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Summer living in a ski town
Old 09-06-2016, 04:22 PM   #1
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Summer living in a ski town

This weekend DW and I spent a great long weekend in western Maine We started bouncing around the retirement possibility of buying a mountain house or condo we could live in from May through November and then renting it for the winter while we live south in our fifth wheel. Probably won't happen in New England but a possibility for somewhere out west.

Has anyone contemplated this or actually done it? It seems like a reasonable way to subsidize snowbirding and let us live in the mountains which we love in the seasons we love. Hopefully get back in time for a couple weeks of late spring skiing too.

I'm concerned over how small some resort areas are in regards to future medical needs. It also seems like some areas without real towns nearby could be pretty slow in the summer. Finding the right one would be important.


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Old 09-06-2016, 04:52 PM   #2
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We have not but (before our current plan) have spent a few long summer weekends in Vail and Breckenridge. We both commented we could do this in the summer months in retirement. We also loved the mountains and there was a lot to do.
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:12 PM   #3
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In a lot of ski communities you can find summer rentals for a song... same thing with winter rentals in places like Myrtle Beach. A friend was considering buying a condo in Myrtle Beach, renting it out in the summer and using it as a winter getaway. Weather there is mostly sweater weather in the winter other than the colder snaps as I understand.
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:46 PM   #4
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Had a home in Breckenridge for about twenty years. Used it more in the summer than the winter the older I got. Decided to sell it a few years back. Never really rented it other than to friends.

Now that we live full time in Scottsdale had to escape the August heat so we rented a condo in Park City, Ut. It was tremendous. Not real crowded, great golf at reasonable prices and all of the restaurants have 2 for 1 deals. Great time, great weather.

I have told DW that if I ever say I want to buy another vacation home to hit me over the head with a five iron. From here on out we rent!
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:50 PM   #5
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I'm vacationing in Vail CO this week and will be in Breckenridge next week, really enjoy this area this time of year. Summers are very busy out here with a lot of activities going on especially if you like the outdoors. Things start to slowdown after labor day until the ski season starts. The local daily paper is free, mainly because 3/4 of the paper is real estate ads. Be ready to drop some serious $'s for a place in this area. I've haven't run the number so no idea if it would pay for itself buying and renting out during the ski season.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:14 PM   #6
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Most of the western ski towns are popular in both the summer and the winter. And there has been an explosion of vacation rentals to the point that long term rentals are often scarce and workers have problems finding housing. Landlords can charge more for vacation rentals and don't have all the problems that they do with long term renters (e.g., lengthy eviction processes). In response to public complaints, some towns are starting to limit the number of vacation rentals and/or apply hotel taxes and more regulation.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:48 AM   #7
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Summers in the ski resort towns are glorious. It's April and May that are not enjoyable--with rains and mud as the snow melts.

The problem is finding a decent priced place to purchase. If the resort is very desirable, the price can be astronomical. My sister sold a 3 bedroom apartment condo in Aspen and purchased a huge house in the NC Mountains AND a Learjet to fly to it in--no kidding.
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:24 AM   #8
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Two words for you Brian Head, Utah. the worlds best kept secret.....I agree on the April and November.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:37 AM   #9
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Summers in the ski resort towns are glorious. It's April and May that are not enjoyable--with rains and mud as the snow melts.

The problem is finding a decent priced place to purchase. If the resort is very desirable, the price can be astronomical. My sister sold a 3 bedroom apartment condo in Aspen and purchased a huge house in the NC Mountains AND a Learjet to fly to it in--no kidding.
But my understanding is that in smaller resorts that you can rent off-season (Apr to Nov) for a very reasonable price.... good for those who prefer solitude to constant resort area activity.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:44 AM   #10
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Two words for you Brian Head, Utah. the worlds best kept secret.....I agree on the April and November.
Wow - thanks for the lead. I hadn't heard of Brian Head since pouring over SKI magazine as a teenager in the cornfields of Iowa. After spending an hour online this morning, it's got to be on 'the list'.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:11 AM   #11
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6 months into retirement and we just moved to a Colorado resort town (one of the larger ones). Several of our neighbors do exactly what you described. They spend the summers here and head elsewhere in the winter. Some rent them out, some don't. Medical care in our town is fabulous because we draw talented professionals that want the mountain lifestyle. This was a big concern for us so we researched it thoroughly.

Just keep in mind that many places are great for a few weeks but may not be for a while season. Plus, some places get really crowded.

Going into "shoulder season" right now. The Aspens are turning and the weather is fabulous.

Good luck!


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Old 09-07-2016, 08:24 AM   #12
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Wow - thanks for the lead. I hadn't heard of Brian Head since pouring over SKI magazine as a teenager in the cornfields of Iowa. After spending an hour online this morning, it's got to be on 'the list'.
We've been there in June it's amazing in it's beauty, cooler then St George but not too far for some amazing day trips. World famous Shakespeare festival in Cedar City. Don't know about housing prices but lots of empty condos and houses right in the mountains during the summer.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:07 AM   #13
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I have a retired friend who owns a Park City condo. He rents it during peak months, then comes and goes off season. I have no idea what his profit/loss is.

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Old 09-07-2016, 10:16 AM   #14
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Two words for you Brian Head, Utah. the worlds best kept secret.....I agree on the April and November.
Biked though Brian Head a few years ago. Is there even a town? I just remember a small, old ski hill and barren land.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:29 AM   #15
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Biked though Brian Head a few years ago. Is there even a town? I just remember a small, old ski hill and barren land.
Barren land, really? well google is your friend, it's the Brian Head area and right now has over 150 homes for sale.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:42 AM   #16
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Barren land, really? well google is your friend, it's the Brian Head area and right now has over 150 homes for sale.
I just remember not being much "there" there. Like the area behind my wife in the photo I posted. The valley around Cedar City is beautiful though and it would give you good access to Zion and Bryce.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:51 AM   #17
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I just remember not being much "there" there. Like the area behind my wife in the photo I posted. The valley around Cedar City is beautiful though and it would give you good access to Zion and Bryce.
+1.. did you go to Cedar Breaks...? mini Bryce with no crowds.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:56 AM   #18
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+1.. did you go to Cedar Breaks...? mini Bryce with no crowds.
The day we were there, it was closed for some reason. I think there was a slide that closed the road or something like that. I can't remember the specifics, but we were bummed to miss it.
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:28 PM   #19
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I have thought a fair bit about doing this with Telluride CO as the location. It is so close to the places out west that I love to visit. Haven't done anything about it yet.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:56 AM   #20
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Thanks for the feedback.

After spending some time online we've added some new places to visit. My criteria is relatively low housing cost (which rules out Telluride, Aspen, Tahoe, etc) with a small/medium town nearby. The isolated resort areas with no town seem lacking to me. Even a town of 3000-10,000 seems like it has more going on, some level of healthcare and restaurants beyond base lodge snack bars and god awful expensive tourist dining. Having a small city within an hour or so is good too IMO.

Some possibilities at this point:

Bear Lake Idaho/Utah
Eden Utah
Brian Head Utah
Sandpoint ID
Bend OR
Wenatchee WA
Ruidoso NM
Driggs ID
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