Snowshoe Condo (or home) Purchase
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neverdnf
March 9, 2015
Member since 03/8/2015 🔗
5 posts

We have been down to Snowshoe a couple times this year and really enjoyed ourselves.  Before this year, we had primarily gone to Wisp.

I noticed several of you guys were proiperty owners at Snowshoe.  We are seriously contemplating buying a property in the near future, but I'm trying to get as much real world advice as possible.  I've read through a couple of extremely older posts from here and it sounds like it is probably a buyer's market for the most part.

Anyway, I'm wondering what properties are generally considered better than others.  I have 3 kids, so we would be looking at a minimum 2 bedroom.  Ski in/Ski out preferred, but not a deal breaker.  We'd also be renting it out when not being used by us.  We'd probably keep it out of Snowshoe's rental program, so I was wondering if there are properties that are more renter friendly in that regard?  It also seems like association fees vary widely across the board, which is find...depending on what is included.

Any advice you guys have would be great.

 

JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 9, 2015 (edited March 9, 2015)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,816 posts

Hopefully, you will get some Snowshoe property owners to chime in.  I am not one, but the general advice about ski area real estate is to NOT buy it to get rich on an investment, buy it for your personal enjoyment.  If you rent it when not using it that is all gravy and should not be critical to enabling you to afford the property.  

There is a participant and columnist on DCSki named Lou Botta who was quite knowledgeable about Snowshoe real estate.  Perhaps he will see this thread and comment.  He sold his condo at Snowshoe and moved to Vermont a couple years ago:  http://www.dcski.com/articles/1421

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
March 9, 2015
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,516 posts

I walked in your same shoes 11 years ago.  Caveat - I'm CPA by trade so my analysis was based on financial info and I purchased my first place in Snowshoe Mtn Lodge in 2004.  

I netted the estimated annual expenses VS the estimated revenue and found that ML was the best "FINANCIAL" value.  I looked at every slopeside complex near Ballhooter because that is the first area to open and last to close each season, which extends your rental season.  I did so well my first season that I bought a second place in 2005.

You can pick up a 2 BR for 20 - 30K less than I paid for my 1 BR in 2004. Ever since they started selling those cheap passes, rental income has shot up.  

ML is a little dated but our board actually functions reasonable well, the HOA is financially sound and the location is top notch.

The downside is we lack amenities like a hot tub, our wifi stinks the high heavens and I truly believe ML is viewed as an ugly duckling in the rental management eyes.  But .... the guests keep pouring in.  

Feel free to message me with any specific questions.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 9, 2015
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,816 posts

I defer to Blue Don's first hand knowledge.

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
Mongo
March 9, 2015
Member since 02/24/2015 🔗
64 posts

I looked at the properties for sale when I was up there two weeks ago. Noticed a fair few foreclosures. =)

How fast do you get to the break-even point when you buy a place? If you plan to be up there maybe eight or twelve nights a season, does it really make sense to own rather than just rent?

neverdnf
March 9, 2015
Member since 03/8/2015 🔗
5 posts

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

I walked in your same shoes 11 years ago.  Caveat - I'm CPA by trade so my analysis was based on financial info and I purchased my first place in Snowshoe Mtn Lodge in 2004.

I netted the estimated annual expenses VS the estimated revenue and found that ML was the best "FINANCIAL" value.  I looked at every slopeside complex near Ballhooter because that is the first area to open and last to close each season, which extends your rental season.  I did so well my first season that I bought a second place in 2005.

You can pick up a 2 BR for 20 - 30K less than I paid for my 1 BR in 2004. Ever since they started selling those cheap passes, rental income has shot up.

ML is a little dated but our board actually functions reasonable well, the HOA is financially sound and the location is top notch.

The downside is we lack amenities like a hot tub, our wifi stinks the high heavens and I truly believe ML is viewed as an ugly duckling in the rental management eyes.  But .... the guests keep pouring in.

Feel free to message me with any specific questions.

We actually stayed in a 2 bedroom at Mountain Lodge this past weekend.  I would agree with everything that you stated.  It is a little dated and the wifi was particularly horrible.  However, it met our needs, location was great, and I'm not sure how nice I'd want my place to be if I was renting it 80% of the time. It also sounds like Mountain Lodge has it set up pretty good for owners who want to self manage.  One guy I talked to indicated he could almost break even financially by just renting his Mountain Lodge Condos for the Christmas, New Years, Presidents Day, and MLK because of elevated rental cost and 3 night minimums.  I find that somewhat hard to believe, but I guess it at least gets you heading in the right direction.  I'd be avoiding holiday weekends myself, so renting then would be great.

Is anyone aware of any future plans at Snowshoe, such as new slope development, high speed lift installation, etc.  I can see how the ridiculous pass has increased rentals, but I'm wondering how long that will continue.  The price seems too good to be true.

It just seems like it is a good time to buy, I can't imagine prices becoming much lower than they are right now.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
March 9, 2015 (edited March 9, 2015)
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,516 posts

neverdnf wrote:

Is anyone aware of any future plans at Snowshoe, such as new slope development, high speed lift installation, etc.  I can see how the ridiculous pass has increased rentals, but I'm wondering how long that will continue.  The price seems too good to be true.

Frank DeBerry mentioned a desire to move Ballhooter to Powder Monkey and replace Ballhooter with a 6 pack high speed”‹.  That was 2 years ago ..... at our HOA mtg.

Assuming 20% down, you'd need more revenue than the 3 holidays to cover ALL expenses.  I can tell you that I break even self renting while using the condo 1 weekend each month (non holidays).

I did OK even before the season pass deal.  You should be fine as your entry point will be far less than mine on a 2 BR. 

jimw
March 9, 2015
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
94 posts

You can break even now that the prices are so low.  Although, the HOA fees do cut into any profit obtain.  I don't think the prices are going to go any lower so now is the time to buy.

I would love to see a High Speed at Powder Monkey, Power Ridge, and Flying Eagle...with a few more slopes.

 

Mongo
March 9, 2015 (edited March 9, 2015)
Member since 02/24/2015 🔗
64 posts

One guy I talked to indicated he could almost break even financially by just renting his Mountain Lodge Condos for the Christmas, New Years, Presidents Day, and MLK because of elevated rental cost and 3 night minimums.  I find that somewhat hard to believe, but I guess it at least gets you heading in the right direction.

 

Break even as in, that income equals a year of mortgage payments and HOA fees?

Also, does the HOA fee cover routine maintenance / upkeep or is that extra?

 

 

neverdnf
March 9, 2015
Member since 03/8/2015 🔗
5 posts

Mongo wrote:

One guy I talked to indicated he could almost break even financially by just renting his Mountain Lodge Condos for the Christmas, New Years, Presidents Day, and MLK because of elevated rental cost and 3 night minimums.  I find that somewhat hard to believe, but I guess it at least gets you heading in the right direction.

 

Break even as in, that income equals a year of mortgage payments and HOA fees?

Also, does the HOA fee cover routine maintenance / upkeep or is that extra?

 

 

I'm not sure if he had a mortgage or not.  Based upon my math, I'm guessing he did not.  He did say Mountain Lodge had in-house maintenance, but I'm not sure that is included in HOA.  I know that cleaning fees are extra.  I'm sure an owner there could give more info.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
March 9, 2015
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,516 posts

Mongo wrote:

Also, does the HOA fee cover routine maintenance / upkeep or is that extra?

Nope - HOA covers everything "outside of" the condo - common areas, wifi, water, sewer, trash, cable, local phone, etc  .... Owner is on the hook for everything inside the condo + elec bill.

 

jimw
March 9, 2015
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
94 posts

FYI, sometimes you can have special accessments.  $1800 for the roof at Summit which was paid over a 6 month period.  It's not the norm to have accessments but I just wanted to point it out that you can have them.

snow.buck
March 9, 2015
Member since 12/12/2009 🔗
202 posts

You know that new siding, windows, rear deck, front porticos, retaining wall, etc etc...that was a ONE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLAR ASSESSMENT when I was there. I think it is part of a loan that added $200/month to your HOA. Here's the keys to your new condo...oh...and ... surprise!!! LOL LOL Definitely get copies of the last years’ worth of HOA minutes and newsletters to see what might be coming. Hey, lets put in a pool. Hey, lets put in a hot tub! LOL LOL I thought 50 cents on the dollar was a bargin just to get out of there!

lbotta - DCSki Supporter 
March 9, 2015
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,530 posts

I sold my condo at the Summit 1.5 years ago to move to Northern New England and was also a member of the condo board.  I owned my unit for almost 14 years.

Snowshoe is by and large a buyers market but perhaps not for long as the sales are getting way better.

First of all, my personal opinion.  

I gather you want a condo and not a single standing home on topside.  Considering the winters at Snowshoe, having a single family home on top can be a nightmare unless someone is there as a caretaker.  From vermin to fallen trees to frozen pipes, not having someone there can be detrimental to your mental sanity.

Second:  The Intrawest-built properties were built in a high market so these properties will still command a high price for the original or second homeowner to make ends meet.  So unless you want to shell out $200K-$250K or so, your two bedroom unit is unrealizable.  

Third:  Your idea of NOT renting through the Snowshoe rental system is a VERY sound idea.  There are numerous venues you can use such as Remax and others.  And of course, you also have VRBO.  Not throwing stones at the nice people at the Snowshoe rental system as they're all wonderful people who are courteous and eager to assist.  But my angst as a previous home owner was their non-screening of renters.  All you need is a weekend of college kids and you may have your unit trashed.  And I mean really trashed with serious, construction-requiring damage.  My rental agent was absolutely firm in not renting to college kids or church groups.  Period.  Over and out.  I had one year of college kids rentals and it cost me a new living room set, a dining room set and new carpeting for the unit.  Yes, you can depreciate it but it's not worth the aggravation and heartbreak.

Fourth:  For me to have a condo, it HAS to be pet friendly.  My pup is as much a part of my family as anyone else.  He goes where I go.  If a place doesn't want him, then I don't want the place.

Then you have a choice of two or three bedroom condos which is what you wanted.  That leaves out Top Of The World, Ridgewood,  Mountain Crest and others.

On the two to three bedroom condos, I agree wholeheartedly with neverdnf on his assessment about Mountain Lodge as being the most cost effective.  The upside is ski in, ski out, close to everything, a restaurant on the premises, full kitchens, elevators (ADA compliant) a sound financial status, a good Board of Directors (BOD) and plenty of parking.  The downside is that you're in a lodge hotel type of environment, not pet friendly, and it can be a crowded experience if there are conventions or meetings.

If you want a town house condo environment, Treetop is an amazing place.  Across the parking lot from Mountain Lodge.  Two to three bedroom, two to three baths, and a huge mudroom/entryway to keep the place clean.  Some units with two decks.  One of my favorites on the mountains.  They go from the $150K to the $250K range.

Also on the townhouse condo realm, Wabasso, next door to Treetop.  Hands down my favorite complex on the mountain.  Impeccably kept and with a kick-ass BOD.  Covered parking.  Good luck in finding one for sale, though.  

More on the townhouse condo, Shamrock is on the North side towards Silver Creek, has two to four bedrooms and two to three baths.  It used to be a little spartan but the outsides have been totally remodeled on the outside.  Also it has tennis courts, rec facilities, etc.  Looooong time ago, these units had a garage that was converted to a second lock-out efficiency unit and in many cases, are now sold separately as one-bedrooms.  From the $120s to the $200s.

Last on the affordable towhome condos, Powderidge units are at the exit point of the Powderidge lift at the Northern side.  The two bedroom, two bath units occupy the top two floors while a one-bedroom unit is on the lower floor.  These go in the $160s to 190s.  They tend to be a bit narrow. 

If you're looking for condo units, Stemwinder, Whistlepunk, and Powder Monkey are way pricey as they're steps from the Powder Monkey lift and across the street from the Western Territory.  So I won't go into them.  But Leatherbark, immediately South of Wabasso, may be a player.  One and two bedroom condos with two baths.  

Summit units are the only standard three-bedroom condos with two baths.  Advantages are the location in the central village, outside entrances, spectacular views of the West, a stair (albeit a long one) to the Depot and the main face (also served by the shuttle bus) and a moderate walk to Western Territory.  You can also pick up a unit with a seriously updated remodel for less than a comparable unit.  Disadvantages are the large loan that the HOA took to remodel the outside, redo the roof, install Hardy Plank siding and change all fireplaces from wood to gas, and that makes the HOA fees a bit onerous.  Aditionally, as they are all three-bedroom units, the units on the Snowshoe rental program use them for groups and college kids, leading to increased wear and tear and the accompanying noise.  

As to whether you can make ends meet, had I rented my unit a bit more than New Years, MLK and President's Day, I could have broken even.  But I didn't, since I rented it to ensure there was someone in the house during the Winter.  It was my joy and piece of mind and retreat, so I was willing to put up with a "loss" in monetary terms but a significant "gain" in relaxation.  Besides the Winter, Snowshoe is heavenly in the Summer and Fall.  And I mean heavenly.  Truly a gem.  From the Cranberry Glades to the Cass Railroad to hiking the Cheat Mountains or Seneca Rocks.  

Reisen
March 10, 2015
Member since 01/25/2005 🔗
365 posts

I have to say, as an MBA with a career in strategy for large companies, I think Snowshoe reservations, as well as the local property managers, are leaving a lot of money on the table and have plenty of room to optimize. 

We're into late season, and as many have said, skier visits slow way down when there can still be great conditions on the mountain.  My Jackson Hole trip fell through (long story), so I decided to do a weekend at Snowshoe.  A couple of things that blew my mind:

- "Late season" for some of the rental agencies starts April 5th.  That's just crazy for the mid-atlantic.  That means you're paying the exact same price April 2nd as you are February 2nd. 

- Even for some of the places that start "late season" a few weeks earlier, the price decrease is nominal (10-20%).  Yet when I look online (Snowshoe reservations, 3 different rental agencies) there is an absolute ton of availability in march.  I wonder what occupance is for some of these companies in mid-late march.  10%?  20%?  That's just crazy with the base depth Snowshoe is reporting right now. 

- All the rental agencies have three night minimums on their houses (4BR+).  Ok, during high season when availability is tight, that absolutely makes sense.  But late season?  The place is going to go completely unrented, and you won't let me have it for 2 nights?  The closest I got was one agency saying I could call "the night before" (Really?  I had to stifle laughter at that), and they would rent for 2 nights with an additional fee that totaled 70% of what would have been the third night. 

It should be in the owners' interest, in the resort's interest, and in the management companies' interest to maximize revenue throughout the season.  We went in mid-December, and pretty much everything was booked solid (we got one of the last places available, and booked 6 weeks out).  But, at least according to the places I'm looking at, the place is going to be largely empty for much of March.  The solution?  Raise prices in December, lower them in March.

As an example, here's a 4BR that sleeps 10.  $2000 for 2 nights the last weekend of March:

http://bookings.snowshoerentals.com/Unit/Details/89158

- As bad as some of the rental companies are, the resort itself isn't much better.  I'm a season pass holder, and I'm opted into their marketing emails.  If they have any kind of CRM capabilities they should be targeting the heck out of me, and yet I rarely receive anything, much less anything of value.  The only exception is pass sales.  But Jackson Hole, Park City, Vail, Stratton, etc are all constantly sending me offers, announcements of how much snow they've gotten, etc. 

Contrast that to Snowshoe sending me one email about Spring Break concerts (with bands I've never heard of, plus I'm 35 with two small kids), two emails about snowfall, and a total of ZERO deals.  Meanwhile, Vail is sending me emails offering 40% off lodging in late March. 

- In the end, we got what we felt was a good deal.  I even emailed JimW about his unit, but he's using it the weekend we're visiting.  But despite being satisfied with the outcome as a customer, from a business standpoint, there's SO much opportunity for improvement, optimization, and revenue maximization.  It's like watching a restaurant that's packed every day at noon, but is a ghost town by 1:30, and is still charging full price on every menu item. 

lbotta - DCSki Supporter 
March 10, 2015
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,530 posts

You have a point, Reisen - or Mr Travel  :-) .  I can see the minimum rental done away.  Late season's definition means you only get one or two weekends, period.  It needs to be looked at.  In many instances, it's done that way just because it has been done that way which is a crummy reason to continue doing it....

Some points.  Snowshoe's (and many other ski areas) business model is that all units are individually owned and they sack the owner with fees that in many instances are onerous.  So someone has to make up the difference.  I'm sure it needs to be studied.

Then there's the raison d'etre for the unit.  An increasing number of owners are buying property not for the rental income but as second homes primarily for enjoyment and the rental being secondary.  Many other owners, in increasing numbers, don't rent, period.  In my case, I only rented my unit during three day weekends when Snowshoe is a literal zoo and being there is a chore given the insufficient infrastructure.  And some times, the rental agent would call me and say "I'm in a bind, we're sold out, can you help?" and I would oblige.  Other than that, the rental income was only a side benefit and not the primary reason for the ownership.  The family that purchased my unit immediately took it off the rental market as it became solely a family retreat. When I owned a place there, I would take my unit off the rental market in late season, throughout the Summer and Fall, and put it back in limited rental during the Winter.   The aggravation and wear and tear didn't make up for the small rental income.

Yes, quite a few home owners do have a rental purpose in addition to personal use for their units.  But again, the hidden fees inherent in renting a place may not make up the difference when wear and tear is taken into account during late season.  Many others just rent and depreciate everything leading to handsome tax losses at tax time.  That's fine too.

Perhaps the answer lies in a lodge hotel owned by the resort in which case they can to with it as it pleases.  

neverdnf
March 10, 2015
Member since 03/8/2015 🔗
5 posts

I think the overall cost of lodging on the mountain has to be driving property sales higher, especially when viewed in connection with the cheap season pass.  Sure, you can ski for cheap, but it is still extemely expensive to stay on the mountain even if you choose the more economical options.  Plus, for the vast majority of folks, you simply can't drive to Snowshoe and ski just for the day and drive home.  The place is a four plus hour drive for me, which means I'll definitely not be making the trip home after a long day of skiing.  So, assuming 4-5 weekends (or similar tmeframe midweek), you can easily spend well in excess of $2,000 just in lodging.  Depending on your view, I suppose that is still cheap when balanced against the risk/cost of ownership.

Mongo
March 10, 2015
Member since 02/24/2015 🔗
64 posts

neverdnf wrote:

So, assuming 4-5 weekends (or similar tmeframe midweek), you can easily spend well in excess of $2,000 just in lodging.  Depending on your view, I suppose that is still cheap when balanced against the risk/cost of ownership.

Let's say you buy a condo for $120,000 with 20% down. Figure maybe $600/mo payment plus $500/mo HOA fee. So roughly $13,000 a year; and you save $2,000 in lodging costs; so the unit has to bring in $11,000 in rent to make sense. Is that possible? I have no idea.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
March 10, 2015
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,516 posts

Mongo wrote:

Let's say you buy a condo for $120,000 with 20% down. Figure maybe $600/mo payment plus $500/mo HOA fee. So roughly $13,000 a year; and you save $2,000 in lodging costs; so the unit has to bring in $11,000 in rent to make sense. Is that possible? I have no idea.

My buddies who do a good job marketing their 2 BR 2 BA units in Mtn Lodge do WELL over 20K in rents.  Similar units can be purchased for under 100K right now.   

jimw
March 11, 2015
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
94 posts

Yes you can easily bring $11k per year...hopefully more to cover any additional expenses you may have like insurance, tax and repairs.  

I agree the late season high rates that Snowshoe is unreal.  For a two night stay at Summit 3 bedroom $509 per night for this weekend...that is like a holiday weekend rate.    Rates are determined by supply and demand.  If half the mountain is vacant they need to lower the rates and offer more specials.  I usually base my rental rates on what Snowshoe is charging but I know I can't get $500 per night in March.  I would rather my place be used than sit empty so I always offer last minute deals and midweek specials....btw both my places are vacant this weekend.

eggraid
March 12, 2015
Member since 02/9/2010 🔗
481 posts

There is a lot of great info on here. We have 3 kids and a dog, and we bought a condo at Summit 2 years ago. We rent it out on the big holidays, and use it on Thanksgiving (the past two years we've skied the Friday after thxgvg), one weekend in mid Dec, One weekend in Jan or Feb, and then at least two weekends in March. It rents pretty much solidly (weekends, anyway) the rest of the season. Granted, it has been 2 good snow seasons, and 2 seasons of $200 season passes, so that has skewed it. I'm sure we will have a warm mid-Atlantic winter sometime very soon which would narrow your rentals to the holiday times.

If you are going to use it on off-peak times and then rent it at high demand times, you should be able to recoup the HOA fees and general maintenance, but I wouldn't expect to make money with it. 

lbotta - DCSki Supporter 
March 18, 2015
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,530 posts

Were I to purchase an investment piece again, I'd want to make sure there were safeguards for the use by college fraternities and groups.  Sad to read this but this is apropos for the conversation....   

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/03/02/ski-resort-says-university-michigan-fraternity-sorority-party-caused-430g-in/

rbrtlav
March 23, 2015
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
534 posts

Ok... not trying to beat a dead horse, but I keep doing the math on some of the smaller units and have a few questions.

Expedition Station (newer and more seems to be more consistent) seems to have a fair number of studios in the 55-70k range and Mountain Lodge seems to have others that are even less. To me the math seems like breaking even on these units even with a $360 HOA fee seems reasonable, and it seems like the value of the units will remain constant or rise. 

Am I delirious for thinking that as far as mountain properties are concerned snowshoe seems to be the closest to breaking even or at least not costing a fortune right now? Also, what are your opinions on those two buildings mentioned above (or others with small units) for those of you that have owned there? Also say a unit rents for $169 a month on the snowshoe site and then snowhoe adds their $35ish in taxes and fees, about how much does snowhoe take from the $169 or is thier cut entirely in the "fees"? 

As a side note I'm just looking at this point, not very serious, but maybe in the next 36 months. I was looking a 7 springs area for a while, but nothing there was really even perking my interest.

snow.buck
March 24, 2015 (edited March 24, 2015)
Member since 12/12/2009 🔗
202 posts

You're right about the dead horse. I was one of the lucky ones to bury it; getting outta SS. LOL Prospective buyers blinded by the proposition only seem concerned with the HOA fee. That is but one of many many many fees, taxes, and headaches: Mountain Tax, Poco Property Tax, whatever fees the RAD will bring, utilities, Insurance, SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS, DAMAGE, SS mgmt. fees if you go thru them, cleaning fees, Excedrin, etc., etc.

skijw
March 24, 2015
Member since 03/10/2014 🔗
37 posts

For people who are interested in buying at Snowshoe. You can contact agent at Snowshoe Mountain Homes. I had a few email exchanges from Rachel Fanning. She has a speradsheet that calculates costs vs income for every building that she can share with you. I was interested in Mountain Lodge and Snow Crest but decided not to go through with it. Just couldn't justify enough time to be at Snowshoe with kids increasingly busy schedule in high school. And I wasn't going to rent it to go through the headaches. Renting for one or two trips to Snowshoe a year is a lot cheaper.

snow.buck
March 24, 2015 (edited March 24, 2015)
Member since 12/12/2009 🔗
202 posts

@skijw : I commend you. You've realized realty reality! LOL If it weren't for the real estate neophytes, those of us that got out...wouldn't have been able to. P.S. - asking a Realtor about it is like asking a Used Car salesman - "you sure this is a good used car?" DOH

skijw
March 24, 2015
Member since 03/10/2014 🔗
37 posts

snow.buck wrote:

@skijw : I commend you. You've realized realty reality! LOL If it weren't for the real estate neophytes, those of us that got out...wouldn't have been able to. P.S. - asking a Realtor about it is like asking a Used Car salesman - "you sure this is a good used car?" DOH

You don't have to believe everything on the spreadsheet. But it absolutely had the right information that you need for your own analysis. The condo fees, the real estate taxes, mountain assessment, insurance, utility, Snowshoe rental program overhead (30% plus 15% house keeping), etc. It's all there tailered to particular buildings. It did assumes certain rental income which you could easily adjust for your own assumption, and you can add your own wear and tear estimates (there is even a line for that). And the several spreadsheets I receieved for the buildings I was interested in, all showed a loss of varied degree (without a mortgage). So from the spreadsheets, the rental income wouldn't cover all the fees and taxes. That was two years ago and rental income could be different now with the cheap season tickets. The spreadsheets looked very honest to me and she was very upfront with warning me about expectations of using the property for cash flow purposes. The rental income came from 3 years average of similarly configured properties in Snowshoe rental program.

Maybe if you had that, you wouldn't have jumped in. :-)

snow.buck
March 24, 2015 (edited March 24, 2015)
Member since 12/12/2009 🔗
202 posts

Go for it.

jimw
March 25, 2015
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
94 posts

Depending on which unit you buy and how you manage it, you can make a profit.

Spence Woody at Snowshoe Real Estare is a very honest guy and will help you make the right decision.  I used him to buy our Summit condo.  He can share some income vs expnese reports with you.

snow.buck
March 25, 2015 (edited March 25, 2015)
Member since 12/12/2009 🔗
202 posts

jimw wrote:

Spence Woody at Snowshoe Real Estare is a very honest guy and will help you make the right decision.  I used him to buy our Summit condo.  He can share some income vs expnese reports with you.

Spencer Woody sold me my condo.

Spencer Woody sold you my condo.

LOL

Richmond Skier
June 28, 2015
Member since 06/11/2015 🔗
5 posts

Hi,

I am new to this board and DCski. For many years, I have been looking on on and off again at Snowshoe condos. I visited last weekend and sent some time in many areas of the village and surrounding mountaintop area. The values seem incredibly depressed now. The one topic which I've not been able to figure out to my satisfaction is the pending RAD (Resort Area District). I've reviewed all of the public available information on  the Snowshoe website but still can't really tell from a dollars impact if it's likely to be a big deal when it is effective.  The anticipated annual cost to a studio or 1 bedroom condo owner would be of interest but I have not been able to find real estimates anywhere.  Anyone know about this and what other information might be available? Is this pending new fee / tax having much of an influence on these values and asking prices?

Thanks! 

PA - During my time there the GNCC motorcycle races were in process.  Quite interesting and fun to watch.

 

Scott - DCSki Editor
June 28, 2015
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,185 posts

Welcome to DCSki, Richmond Skier!

Could you provide some info on what draws you towards purchasing property at Snowshoe?  Are you looking at it as a rental investment?  Or just as a getaway for yourself?

Over the years I've heard from many readers who had "buyer's regret" after facing lots of unexpected expenses/taxes and stress.  Depressed property prices are probably a reflection of that.  On the other hand, there are some readers who have enjoyed owning property at Snowshoe.  I've occasionally glanced at property listings there and have been tempted by the low prices, but then I notice how many people are gleefully running away (while eating a big loss).

Richmond Skier
June 28, 2015
Member since 06/11/2015 🔗
5 posts

My interest is largely for personal use, not for investment.  That said, I do plan to rent either through the Snowshoe rental program or VRBO, etc. Probably rent through Snowshoe. Many of those selling now have cost basis of 2 to 3 times the current listing prices. I certainly understand their "buyer's regret " as you put it.  I looked around quite a bit over the past ten years and the price levels which many of the current owners bought in at was crazy, IMHO. Now they are more realistic and if fees can be understood possibly a sound strategy for some personal use if one has the funds.  I agree with some of the earlier posts, it appears that you can possibly cover expenses (without mortgage or ROI) while also getting some benefits to use occasionally yourself.  Possibly I'm wrong,  but that's what I am sensing so far. There are certainly better investments out there.

 

ndabunka
September 21, 2017
Member since 09/17/2017 🔗
11 posts

Kicking a dead horse section here - I have skied @ SS since it was opened.  I've played with buying a condo there more times than I can mention.  It seems that a couple of times a season I ask myself.. "Why don't I own a unit already"?  Prices were SKY HIGH when new and many/most/all of those owners have been licking their wounds for some time now so it's understandable to read of their pains here.

It seems that recently the bottom is starting to appear as good units are coming available at "break even" pricing (Yes, I have every spreadsheet and even customized to ensure I cover EVERY cost as well as every benefit like claiming depreciation on your taxes).  I have a Beach condo so I understand these investments better than most.  The bottom line is that I am planning on making an offer on a unit this weekend and I will be happy to share my profit and/or loss details with anyone who is interested.

Yes, I am aware of the upcoming RAD discussions.
 

ndabunka
September 21, 2017
Member since 09/17/2017 🔗
11 posts

Odd that my prior post never made it on here.  Lost in the WiFi perhaps.

I am a curent land owner in Sawmill Village & plan on building there eventually.  I see the new management changes as a good thing to breath life back into The Shoe.  To that point I am headed up there this weekend to make an offer on a Snowshoe condo. We have owned a beachfront condo in Myrtle and learned through the years that breakeven is a good thing but it's not easy to accomplish even with the best units so anyone thinking of buying one should not be doing it for the purpose of profit but rather buying because you want your own place when you come to the mountain to ski.  One of the factors that has made it possible to reach "break even" is the fact that the resale prices are starting to come down from the absurd to almost "reasonable"  LOL.  At this point I can dump some free cash into a condo that needs a bit of "freshening up".  Plan on visiting it 3 or 4 times this winter when it's not already rented and then maybe once or twice next summer and then sit down and review those costs.  If I can keep the "burn rate" of additional cash inder $3K, I'll be fine with the investment as we have averaged around $3K/year renting different condo's over the past 5-10 years there so we would view this as a wash.
Been skiing Snowshoe since it was born and looking forward to finally having a place there this winter!

 

ndabunka
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 09/17/2017 🔗
11 posts
We DID buy that condo, a neglected Rimfire studio using Scott Millican as our agent.  He is a great guy as he also helped us sell our two Sawmill lots when it became obvious that the new development owner was a screw up.  We rolled those investment $s into our unit that turned out so AMAZING that we ended up selling it for a hefty profit after having enjoying it for 2 seasons.  Here is a summary:  

Rimfire Brigham 462 - We remodeled it by installing new, high-end KitchenAid Professional Oven, Microwave & Dishwasher, a high volume Fisher & Paykel refrigerator, a leather Luonto sleeper sofa, a new 60-inch flatscreen mounted about the fireplace, a new KING size bed with storage underneath, replaced the worn-out carpet with Luxury Vinyl Tile floors and ripped out the old bath tub surround replacing it with a professional shower and frameless door.  The unit is on the top floor so you don't hear footsteps above and it is on the Brigham rental plan in case you ever want to rent it from the new owner as I am certain you would enjoy it. 

FINANCIALS - I did use it a number of times during the seasons so we more than made up for the costs of trips to the mountain.  It made about $24K in revenues per year.  Management fees, POA fees & taxes drew a substantial portion of that off but we were still able to profit around $5K/year on top of covering the cost of all of our stays (typically 4 or 5 ski trips/year).  In addition, we were also able to let our friends and family stay in it without any cost to them.  There are a few downsides to keep in mind.  The people who manage your unit when you are not there are critical.  I can't praise the Brigham team enough for their great efforts but we have heard horror stories from other management companies up there.  You also have to "ride shotgun" over the rates because the management companies want to rent out as often as possible so they will sometimes toss your unit into the seasonal promos without your permission so you have to OPT OUT of mountaintop promo discounts because with a high-end unit it will be rented at standard rates so there is no need to discount.  If you do buy a unit in the "economy" classification, you may want to leave it in the promotions knowing you will not get the most revenue out of it but it will also not be left un-rented in the less-in-demand weeks.

I am back on here because I am considering buying a 2 bedroom to remodel to also bring it into the modern era so stay tuned!
Denis - DCSki Supporter 
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,281 posts

This is a long thread and the newest post is from 2017.

Looks like the problem was fixed.  Thanks, Scott

ndabunka
6 months ago
Member since 09/17/2017 🔗
11 posts
Thank you!
Scott - DCSki Editor
6 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,185 posts

Denis wrote:

This is a long thread and the newest post is from 2017.

Looks like the problem was fixed.  Thanks, Scott

 Yeah, it's the infamous thread splitting bug.  I still don't know what causes it, but I at least know how to fix it when I see it!

eggraid
5 months ago
Member since 02/9/2010 🔗
481 posts
Thanks for the update! What condo are you targeting for this time?
ndabunka
3 months ago
Member since 09/17/2017 🔗
11 posts

Our 2 bedroom attempts failed due to each and every one of them selling for asking or more within day of listing.  We ended up buying a 1 bedroom in Allegheny Springs and plan to remodel it in the April/May timeframe.

eggraid wrote:

Thanks for the update! What condo are you targeting for this time?
Brian2109
3 months ago
Member since 01/26/2022 🔗
1 posts


 We are also looking to possibly buy a 1 br at Allegheny Springs. It would be for personal use and not rental. I noticed there are a few that have been on the market for a while and the prices seem to be at the peak. The HOA seems to be in good shape although the fees are somewhat high.

Wonder if you had any advice on purchasing there and if you had any up to date Intel. 

ndabunka wrote:

Our 2 bedroom attempts failed due to each and every one of them selling for asking or more within day of listing.  We ended up buying a 1 bedroom in Allegheny Springs and plan to remodel it in the April/May timeframe.

eggraid wrote:

Thanks for the update! What condo are you targeting for this time?
politics123
3 months ago
Member since 01/29/2022 🔗
1 posts

I have 2 studios at snowshoe, one of them in AS. A few thoughts:

when evaluating the HOA fees, note that high fees may be a sign of competence, and low fees might be fleeting. For example, rimfire has had a relatively  recent special assessment, and most of “us” consider that HOA to be in bad shape. I’d rate the AS HOA as “good” — using money to make smart investments, working on a plan to fund major capex as would be expected for an aging building. 

While all prices at snowshoe have gone up considerably the past 2 years, note that they are still under replacement cost (and even the original 1st owner sale price)

Ski resorts tend to be real estate development firms as much as lift operators. That condo prices are less than the cost to build new ones somewhat protects the asset value (they can’t build new condos and sell them less than you paid and still make a profit), and I think more generally informs the future direction at snowshoe — no more condos, pivot to very expensive SFHs , which I think bodes well for the condo values long term 

If you want a good real estate agent there, let me know  

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