April 19, 2005
Man, i tell you. any northwoods condo owners check out timberline realty. i check weekly to see if any units become available and for the last 6+ months there have been none. the real estate office told me that there was actually a list of folks waiting for uits to become availble. one just did and is under contract 197.5k. unbelievable. i guess thats still cheap in relation to one of the homes there or even for a studio at the shoe. just crazy these prices.
SkiT, Aren't most of those units 1brloft or 2br? Prices amaze me too. Friend bought a VERY nice 4 br house on mountainside drive 4 years ago, 240k...wants to sell it now and his realtor told him she'd probably list it for 435k. The realtors down in the valley have been saying you should have bought 5 years ago for the last ten years. Will this last another 10? Apparently so.
The condo market at Northwoods has been very flat until late last summer. I don't know if it's because of the refurbishment of the exteriors or the overall market, but they have been a HOT commodity
One thing about the n-woods units.....LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. There are few places anywhere where there is such convenience for the skier or owner, quarterly dues are reasonable, and when the fix-up is complete, these units should hold their value for a long time. It's just too bad that the remainder of the buildings were never built. The master concept plan called for an additional six buildings above the existing units.
The condo market in the valley as a whole has been very, very strong. The pedestals at Black Bear, townhouses at Deerfield, and individual units at NorthPoint (and to a lesser extent, Beaver Ridge) get snapped up as soon as they hit the market. From what I can tell, even at current prices, they are still fairly moderately priced, at least relative to DCL, Snowshoe, and many (most?) other 2nd home destinations within 4/5 hours of the greater DC area. If either Tory or Almost Heaven becomes a reality or if Timberline is sold/upgraded, I think prices will go a fair amount higher yet. You also have to consider that, while it will take a while (like 10 yrs or so), Corridor H WILL be completed, at least to the east. Add in the bill introduced to link up I-68 from the north via the North Branch valley, and CV just keeps getting closer and closer to town. There are different opinions as to whether this is good or is bad, but it IS happening and real estate values will be impacted.
Add in the bill introduced to link up I-68 from the north via the North Branch valley, and CV just keeps getting closer and closer to town.
tommo, what's up with this?
You mentioned the high price of a studio at the shoe.
Keep in mind:
Mountain property is hot and generally recieving better rental income for the investment than the beach. Most everyone has to vacation somewhere, why not your place?
You can stil get some good bargains at the Shoe.
Top of the World 1 bedroom $90k
Snowcrest 1 br $93k or 2 br $160k
Also note - they are building a "mini" village at the top of the mountain
The Studios at SilverCreek fetching $70-75k and doing approx $8k gross, they are a good buy.
I do understand people's hesitance, but when you can cover all but $900 to $1k of your yearly bills that is a good investment. Not to mention it does not take but a few days of lodging to equal up to this yearly expenditure.
I suggest that all you ski nuts realy look into real estate at the Shoe (It is worth it)- call Joyce Lanter at Old Spruce - she is the best 304-572-2100
The march to the south of US 219 upgraded to interstate caliber road has been underway for quite some time. The sections from Somerset (I-76) to the Myersdale bypass and from the Myersdale bypass to I-68 in Grantsville are in the alignment stages. Here is a link: http://www.us219.com/
As a follow-on to that project, a preferred alignment was named a couple of years back for continuation south as the entire corridor morphs towards I-83 (?). The selected route was to continue east on 68 then go south on the general alignment of US 220 (the North Branch valley). If you follow this south along 93 to Sherr, you link up with the increasing reality of Corridor H. Just last week, Sen. Mulkuski and Sarbanes introduced a bill to push forward with the project. Again, is this going to happen soon? No. Will it happen over 20 years....hard to say, but I wouldn't bet against it....
Here is a link to an Oakland (MD) newspaper article on the recently introduced bill:http://www.therepublicannews.com/article.asp?id=298
I see what you are saying related to the shoe, but i guess my point is at tline (although not all the frills) northwoods is basically right on the slopes (all of them). this is why i bought in the H building. hop across that lil street and i am at the lift. at the shoe for 100-200k can you have something 1,000 sq ft and be this close to the slopes? i looked at studios there which were running in the mid 100's and were not slopefront nor slopeside.
as for mountain rentals being hotter than beach rentals here we will ahve to disagree. i recently purchased a 2bdrm 2bth condo in north myrtle on the beach and my summer is completely booked.
everyone seems to go to the beach, but not everyone skis.
There are three types of units at Northwoods:
1 BR - 650 square feet
1 BR plus loft - 650 square feet plus loft
2 BR plus loft - 1300 square feet plus loft
When I purchased at Northwoods in 2001, there were about a 6-10 units on the market. The market was dismal and depressing but we liked the skiing so we jumped in an bought the cheapest type of unit (a 1BR) figuring it would have the lowest carrying costs (taxes, utilities, fees, and assesments). Back then, the "vertical trailers" of Northwoods were going for about $72 per square foot give or take. With this recent sale, the price has peaked at $151 a square foot. Real estate in some DC neighborhoods exceeds $500 per square foot, so property is still fairly cheap in the valley, at least by DC standards--especially for those looking to park cash in a non-stock investment.
I think part of the reason for the increase are the improvements (new siding, doors, roofs, decks), but I also think that the development has other things going for it:
a) The high cost of ski property near DC and the general craziness of the DC real estate market.
b) Lack of condo inventory in CV. Why no one wants to develop more slopeside condos in CV beats me. Condos are perfect solution for a second home owner (low costs and maintenance yet high extreme high convenience to the mountain and skiing). The costs of our unit are so low that we don't put it on the rental market. Increasingly, that's been a growing trend with Northwoods owners. More and more owners are taking their units off the rental market in order to maximize their skiing flexibility and minimize maintenance and upkeep hassles. Many owners, myself included, buy season passes and try to ski as many days as they can. We go whenever there's snow and need maximum flexibility to score the best powder. I can't tell you how many times the weekend has appeared to be a bust until the very last minute when the sky cracks open and plasters Herz Mountain with 12 inches of fresh stuff. Slow lifts and ample off-piste means that it takes a long time for the mountain to get tracked out. For advanced skiers, it's really one of the best venues for off-piste and powder skiing in the region.
For Timberline, this is a disaster since condos not on the rental market mean cold beds and no ticket/rental/food sales. For renters, the Northwoods units are too expensive for your average weekend renter. There's a three day minimum and prices are out of sight. More condos in the valley would ease the accomodation shortage but what CV really needs is more hotels that are willing to rent rooms on a nightly basis--that's what a typical weekender wants.
PS Very interesting about 219/202. Even with the completion of Corridor H, the VA route may become to conjested near DC to be practical for DC/MD skiers. Hence, the possibility of this new corridor for those who take the northern passage is encouraging. It will also simplify day trips to 7 Springs for those who have places in the CV.
johnfmh, you said it best. The lack of inventory of condos for sale, or anything for sale in the valley has driven the market. The basic reason why there has been no new housing or motel/hotel development is the zoning, and lack of water/sewer availability. Believe me, several individual have looked into this and have determined that the hoops are too high to jump through at this time. There is a reason why the Glenfidich building on rt 32 accross from timberli9ne realty hasn't sold or been leased. What type of establishment can be done using a septic tank beside the Blackwater River? For more housing to be built, hotels too, the infastructure must be increased and water/sewer taps need to be made available.
As for the cost at the shoe???? I could have bought several units at TOW back in 1992 for under 20k and didn't because of the condition of the building. I didn't see where there was any effort to keep the maintainence and refurbishment up to a level which was warrented for the fees charged by the HOA and Mountain. The best buy there at that time was the Mtn Crest units which were in the 30s and 40s and shamrock units which were more accessable to the slopes. Hindsight is always 20/20 but who would have predicted the boom in mountain property given the lack of decent roads to get there and the rising cost of gasoline over the last three years?
I think developers are building houses because they are offer low risk and relatively high return. Generally speaking, the developer just provides utilities and an access road to a lot and it's up to the buyer to build the house. With condos, a developer actually has to build the structure, which takes much more money (although some of it can come from pre-construction sales).
I wish the developer of this new Canaanmountain Resort would consider developing Deerfield Village style condos on part of the property as opposed to simply big houses:http://www.canaanmountainresort.com/
The problem as I see it is that CV is developing a lot of properties that are unsuitable for couples and singles who just want to come for a weekend and ski. Even condos are too expensive for your average weekend skier. We used to get huge scout troops and church groups at Northwoods but the cost of renting a condo at Northwoods has priced most of these people out of the market. One of the nice things about Stowe, Killington, and 7 Springs is that there are many inexpensive motel beds where skiers can crash a couple of nights. CV is lacking in this regard and I do not know what the answer is--perhaps more B&B development in Davis and Thomas.
What is an example of the HOA fees that SS now charges?