This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

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.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 -1.15%
FB $117.58 0.73%
GOOG $693.01 0.29%
TSLA $240.76 -2.81%
YHOO $36.60 0.03%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs