[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-24-2003).]
So, at least right now, it wouldn't seem that there's strong rental potential for properties at Whitetail. This is my gut feeling, but you should try to get (accurate!) numbers from the agent there. My guess is that there is not strong rental demand for those Inn units -- I just can't see how there would be. Those that are interested in renting would probably be families, and they will be more interested in renting the larger townhomes than the tiny condos at the Inn at Whitetail.
Having said that, there are other reasons why you might want to purchase a property at Whitetail. If you visit frequently, then having your own property could be a real convenience. I would just be careful not to consider rental income as a big factor in your decision.
In terms of resale value, the Inn at Whitetail rooms aren't going to be the hottest property at Whitetail. They truly are small, without full kitchens -- that immediately knocks families off the list of interested renters/buyers. (You do realize the "kitchenettes" don't even have sinks!) They are much cheaper than the townhomes at Whitetail, but the townhomes are going to be much more in demand at Whitetail if the real estate market at Whitetail heats up. I think the Inn at Whitetail rooms have been on the market for some time (at least 1-2 years), and they haven't sold out.
Another thing to consider: if you are interested in a property primarily as a place to stay vs. as an investment, you would probably be better off simply renting a townhouse at Whitetail each time you visit and stay overnight. They're not terribly expensive to rent, and you could rent for many, many nights before you came close to the purchase price of even one of the Inn rooms.
One final question to consider: do you see Whitetail evolving into a destination resort in the coming years? If it does, the value of the real estate might go up. If it continues to be a solid day resort, there's little incentive for the vast majority of folks to stay overnight. Whitetail is a nice community to live in, but again, most people would want the fully-equipped townhomes, not the hotel-like Inn rooms.
The DC-area primary home and vacation real estate markets have been over-heated for the past several years. For vacation homes, prices have often risen solely based on *possible\probable* future events, such as completion of new roads, speculation of new development, etc. Not selling out in 1-2 years is highly unusual in this real estate market; the market is telling you something.
[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 11-24-2003).]
On the other hand, if you do not care that much about rental income and are simply looking for a crash pad for yourself at the mountain, a small unit can be super (low utilities, taxes, mortgage, fees, etc). Given the real estate trends in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, you may even see some capital appreciation but don't bank on it. The beauty of a crash pad is that it will allow you to occasionally commute to work from your Whitetail residence and take advantage of the uncrowded nightskiing sesssions.
A FORTUNE! Besides, renting is recession-proof. Do you really think WhiteTail will appreciate as a "destination resort". Remember NO LIQUOR there so forget bars & happy hours and gathering holes - a mainstay of skiing (every heard of the Wobblie Barn?)!
We can't afford the bigger townhouses and I'm not sure we'd want to sink that much money into something we will only use for 2-3 months at most. Whitetail being dry is not an issue for us, although I can see how it might be on resale, and that is a good point to consider. For us, with young kids, it is almost an advantage.
Of course I realize we could rent for less money, but like the idea of having some tax breaks and maybe, hopefully, some appreciation over time.
The advice about looking into how long these things have been on the market is good and I will do that. Thanks again for all the input!
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-25-2003).]