Interesting title for a first post? Well, it's one on the top of my mind, not only because I had a vacation property in Park City, but I spent Saturday showing properties to someone who was interested in at least the idea.
As an winter enthusiast, isn't this how the conversation goes: "Man that was a great trip to XYZ Resort. I really love that place and it has to be the best skiing in the world. I wonder what it would be like to own a place there. I bet places there make tons of money on vacationers like me. I should buy something so I don't have to keep wasting my money, it's not like I want to ski anywhere else." I know I've had this conversation several times, and I even had it again this weekend with my client about a different resort.
After being a vacation property owner, here is how I now think about it now and how I explain it to people that are interested in a winter vacation home.
Purchasing a vacation property isn't like owning a full-time rental. You have to have a different mindset about them, because they typically don't make money, and that's not a reason you should be buying one anyway. You buy them because, 1) You have the money and 2) You're committed to using it.
Here's what what you should be thinking about when and if you do buy something:
- Is the area appreciating or holding it's value over the long run?
- What do you have to have and what could you live with? Isn't it always ski in/out?
- Is it going to have more than just a wintertime appeal?
- Will it have public transit for those guests that aren't going to have a car?
- Can I rent it out long term if things change?
- Will it give my guests a great experience?
- Will I want / be able to use it for more than just one week a year of skiing?
- Will it cover at least the expenses of owning it (Property Management Fees/Tax/Interest/Insurance/HOA/Utilities)?
- Do I have the $$$ to cover the difference between what it costs and what it earns and am I OK tying that money up until I get rid of the place?
Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the subject. I'm sure there are plenty of other things you should be asking, and if you want to send me your list @ email@example.com, I'd love to review it.
Also the photo is copywrited by Peteyshead on Wikipedia.