This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

How to Buy a Home in Ski Country

Only pay for what you want
Prices on ski homes and condos tend to vary based on a wide range of location-related factors, from the quality of a property's mountain view to how close it is to ski trails, shops and restaurants.

Experts recommend deciding ahead of time what you want nearby and what you're not willing to pay extra for.

"A family with kids might want a great family space, while a jet-set couple with no children might just want to be near the local bars and restaurants," Ernemann says. "That's important to think about, because the further you get from heart of [a ski town] or the slopes, the more bang you'll typically get for your buck."

Consider nearby alternatives
Sometimes you can find ski-house bargains by getting off the beaten path -- literally.

Spencer says many homes in his town are right on ski trails, but people looking for deals can buy properties that aren't and hop on Park City's complimentary buses to reach the slopes.

"If you're on a ski trail, that obviously increases a home's price," he says.

Ernemann says Aspen-area househunters on a budget should consider Snowmass Village, Colo., some eight miles away.

"It's still part of the same resort community, but real estate there has been slower to recover and there are some great opportunities for buyers," he says.

Check a property's rental value
If you plan to rent out your ski property when you're not using it, make sure you know before you buy how it will fare in the rental market.

Ernemann says agents who show you properties will often prepare a free rental analysis for you.

If you're worried about a broker's objectivity, most ski communities have lots of property-management firms that will give you a free market analysis in hopes of getting your future business.

Understand second-home mortgages and taxes
Some lenders have different underwriting standards for second-home mortgages, so don't assume you'll qualify for a loan or get today's lowest rates if you're buying a vacation property.

Ernemann says some second-home buyers end up paying around 0.5 to 1 percentage point higher interest these days than they would for a loan on a primary residence.

"Some banks charge [a] premium on interest for second homes, although the spread isn't nearly as much as it used to be," he says.

Buyers should also understand how federal tax rules apply to vacation homes.

For instance, you can generally deduct the mortgage interest you'll pay on your vacation property -- but only on the first $1.1 million that you borrow for both your primary and secondary homes.

Internal Revenue Service rules get even more complicated if you rent your ski property out for more than 14 days per year, so consider consulting with a good tax adviser before buying.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,514.37 +65.12 0.40%
S&P 500 1,879.55 +7.66 0.41%
NASDAQ 4,161.4580 +39.9120 0.97%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs