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Old 02-11-2021, 07:32 PM   #1
shikataganai
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OMGHi2U shikataganai's Mountain House thread

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Originally Posted by thechickencow View Post
I think shik needs a ďGrand County investment property for shikĒ thread.
A thread in which I will narrate the process of acquiring a second house in the mountains.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:35 PM   #2
shikataganai
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Background:

I like to ski. My family likes to ski. Ski traffic around Denver is awful. This year we have been leaving the house at 6:15 AM (which is later than on a typical year due to lower COVID ski volumes!) and still got ****ed over by the traffic gods last weekend.

Therefore it would be highly beneficial for my family's quality of life to have a house in the mountains. Yes, we could rent, but that's lost appreciation and we can't leave gear in said house, etc.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:37 PM   #3
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Location: Grand County, home of Winter Park (and I suppose Ski Granby Ranch).

It's not as crazy real-estate-wise as Summit and Eagle counties (Keystone/Breckenridge/Copper and Vail/Beaver Creek for those two, respectively).

More importantly, its access is on the near side of The Tunnel, the Eisenhower-Edwin C. Johnson Memorial Tunnel. The tunnel sucks. Traffic getting back through it is awful on Sunday and Saturday afternoons, and there's a ton of truck traffic going both ways.

It's not going to be widened to 3 lanes anytime soon thanks to cheap voters and TABOR, so the choice is easy for me even though I prefer Breckenridge's and Copper's terrain over Winter Park.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:40 PM   #4
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Given these realities, I've had the goal of getting a place in the mountains for a while.

At first I thought in Winter Park at the resort base would be ideal. This is before I discovered how insane their HOA fees are. Think just around $1k/mo in HOA fees for a 2 bedroom condo!

:nonononocat.gif:

That money is money down the drain, like renting. And once one elects to be off-mountain proper and drive in (no shuttles for me, thanks, even pre-COVID), then many more options open up.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:43 PM   #5
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What was holding me back was financial conservatism, and a belief that lenders would require conventional 20% down loan terms for second houses.

The conservatism is being shed slowly, and that lenders will do 10% down (and part of it can come from a loan to myself from my own 403(b) account!) has basically broken down my remaining mental barriers. See the personal finance thread in the last few weeks for details on this. Cliffs Notes is that for about 0.25% of a premium, a bit more in fees, and an extra 6% mortgage for the supra-conforming portion one can indeed get 90% LTV financing on a second home these days.

I am ready to deal, once an appropriate place at an appropriate price crops up. Pickings are slim now, as the economic downturn with COVID has been very unevenly felt across the economy. People like me who are in a position to buy, well, anything haven't been hit too hard/can work remote, etc. So the market has remained pretty solid.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:45 PM   #6
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Are there potential downsides? Yeah, if I relocate outside of Denver I'd either have to convert it to a rental property or take a large transaction cost hit to sell it, probably wiping out any gains if in the near term.

But at this point in my career (6.5 years in at the same institution and they're happy enough with me) I feel stable enough to walk a little bit more out on the financial limb that banks are all too willing to offer up.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:53 PM   #7
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Make sure you get a 30 day return house!

Cantbelieveimfirst
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrundleJuice View Post
Make sure you get a 30 day return house!

Cantbelieveimfirst


Yeah, that definitely gives me pause! Since there's no good return policy, we've rented a few condos up in the Winter Park/Fraser area (and at Copper), which was useful to inform us of what we like and don't like.

Things we don't like:

- semis engine braking down I-70 at Copper, very audible from West Village and probably everywhere since it's all right off the highway. That + tunnel == total deal-killer.
- ridiculous HOA fees
- silly super-tall layouts, where it's 15 feet wide but three stories, with the kitchen on the top level, etc.
- janky 1970s construction places that haven't been touched since then

Things we like:

- attached garages
- sane layouts without grandiose, expensive to heat super tall rooms and the like
- someone else to do snow removal in exchange for a reasonable HOA fee
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Location: Grand County, home of Winter Park (and I suppose Ski Granby Ranch).

It's not as crazy real-estate-wise as Summit and Eagle counties (Keystone/Breckenridge/Copper and Vail/Beaver Creek for those two, respectively).

More importantly, its access is on the near side of The Tunnel, the Eisenhower-Edwin C. Johnson Memorial Tunnel. The tunnel sucks. Traffic getting back through it is awful on Sunday and Saturday afternoons, and there's a ton of truck traffic going both ways.

It's not going to be widened to 3 lanes anytime soon thanks to cheap voters and TABOR, so the choice is easy for me even though I prefer Breckenridge's and Copper's terrain over Winter Park.
If you're buying a house why are you worried about tunnel traffic? Isn't one of the advantages of owning a house being able to go up Friday night and back early Monday morning to avoid the traffic?
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
If you're buying a house why are you worried about tunnel traffic? Isn't one of the advantages of owning a house being able to go up Friday night and back early Monday morning to avoid the traffic?
It's gotten worse since you lived here, I'm guessing. Even Friday night traffic can be a nightmare through the tunnel if there's been snow.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
It's gotten worse since you lived here, I'm guessing. Even Friday night traffic can be a nightmare through the tunnel if there's been snow.
That's unfortunate.

We were supposed to be back for a vacation in January. Clearly that didn't happen. Maybe 2023?
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:30 PM   #12
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I know nothing about second homes, mountains or skiing. Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:38 PM   #13
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Any plans to generate income with VRBO or AirBnB when you're not there? Or would there even be a demand for that in the off season?
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:39 PM   #14
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Any plans to generate income with VRBO or AirBnB when you're not there? Or would there even be a demand for that in the off season?
He could invent a new sport. Downhill Mud running.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:43 PM   #15
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Default shikataganai's Mountain House thread

My favorite Mountain House is Pad Thai.



Iím in as well for many of the same reasons as you - winter park has been my target for several years just waiting for the right timing.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:44 PM   #16
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I know nothing about second homes, mountains or skiing. Good luck in your search.
Thanks. This is uncharted territory for me and my extended family as well. My parents got started too late in their real earning years to consider such a thing (PhDs for both of them that they ultimately didn't use!). My wife's parents weren't in a position to do so, either, with the divorce and alimony sealing the deal, likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07Wagon View Post
Any plans to generate income with VRBO or AirBnB when you're not there? Or would there even be a demand for that in the off season?
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiplemw View Post
He could invent a new sport. Downhill Mud running.
There is actually summer recreation up in the mountains as well. Winter Park has a fairly lively lift-assisted mountain bike setup, there's horseback riding at places like Devil's Thumb Ranch (eldest kid loves horsies), and there's always ye olde hiking and non-lift assist biking all about.

So there would be reason for people to rent in summer and winter, not so much the shoulder seasons, sure. But I plan to structure it such that we're not dependent at all on rental income.

Besides, we'd use it every weekend during peak seasons anyway--eldest kid this year and elder two kids next year will be in the 14 week, all-winter-long All Mountain Development program at Winter Park so we're committed to being up here come hell or high water. Er, snow.

(I would probably idly list it mid-week and for when we're out of town for a week or two block on vacation ourselves, but that'd just be icing on the cake.)
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thechickencow View Post
My favorite Mountain House is Pad Thai.



Iím in as well for many of the same reasons as you - winter park has been my target for several years just waiting for the right timing.
:internet high five:

Maybe you, me, and Compressed can all be neighbors!
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Any plans to generate income with VRBO or AirBnB when you're not there? Or would there even be a demand for that in the off season?


There is a decent amount of summer demand in the area. Trestle Bike Park at WP is a big draw as is just general summer mountain life.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:47 PM   #19
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Another comment on the value of the property for a ski weekend -

The Sunday afternoon shower, cook dinner, pack up, then drive to Denver at 7pm is a likely way to avoid traffic
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:55 PM   #20
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thechickencow View Post
Another comment on the value of the property for a ski weekend -

The Sunday afternoon shower, cook dinner, pack up, then drive to Denver at 7pm is a likely way to avoid traffic
We're thinking more:

- I take every Friday afternoon off during ski season
- leave Denver as soon as kids done with school, so 3 PM?
- ski Saturday, elder kids in programs, youngest learning with me
- ski a couple of runs Sunday if kids enthusiastic or snow exceptional
- head back Sunday around noon
- ...
- profit
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:09 PM   #21
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Default shikataganai's Mountain House thread

That makes sense. My friend with a place in Fraser said they do the evening in Fraser then drive back. His kids are a bit older though so they do homework or whatever Sunday evening.

The drive back mid-day Sunday from WP shouldnít be bad at all.

2021/2022 season for me is the condo rental/test season. We will try a few places and see which we like to stay at/near to narrow down our choices. Also dedicating that season to fully gaining wife buy-in.

For skiing alone Iíd consider steamboat but itís a longer drive so maybe less use on random times.

I also lean toward if I choose to invest not renting it out a ton - maybe around holidays where I know 100% Iím gone but Iím not really sure. I actually think renting only via word of mouth to friends/coworkers might be better since you can gauge the way they will treat the place.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:14 PM   #22
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Yeah, when the kids are older we'll definitely push travel times so as to get longer ski times. But they're little.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Yeah, when the kids are older we'll definitely push travel times so as to get longer ski times. But they're little.


I actually see for me the summer being the bigger advantage for having the property. The kids are out of school and free to be anywhere, I could work remote and enjoy mountain life before/after work with them. Depending on the condo/house they might have a pool to swim and what-not.

I know you guys are up every weekend now which changes the math. We are likely at best two weekends a month in the winter with everything else going on.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:20 PM   #24
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Have you try shopping for all the duplicate stuff that you need to buy for a second house?

When you have 2 houses you pay 2x the internet, have 2 sets of all the furniture, pots and pans, etc.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by thechickencow View Post
I actually see for me the summer being the bigger advantage for having the property. The kids are out of school and free to be anywhere, I could work remote and enjoy mountain life before/after work with them. Depending on the condo/house they might have a pool to swim and what-not.

I know you guys are up every weekend now which changes the math. We are likely at best two weekends a month in the winter with everything else going on.
I don't think I'll have the freedom to work a whole week straight remote, but maybe some day. We're starting the process slowly at work now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bemani View Post
Have you try shopping for all the duplicate stuff that you need to buy for a second house?

When you have 2 houses you pay 2x the internet, have 2 sets of all the furniture, pots and pans, etc.
Yeah, not looking forward to that. Hopefully an existing build will crop up and we can negotiate for their window coverings, furniture, etc.
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