Ski-in, Ski-out Properties: Their Pros and Cons

Mountain Top Houses

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Ski-in, ski-out properties provide direct access to the ski slopes. They’re usually a cabin, condo, or townhome in a resort community close to ski resorts. They’re right next to the ski runs, so owners don’t have to carry their gear or take a shuttle to the slopes. The slopes are right at their doorstep.

And as of now, they’re in high demand. According to the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR), home prices have gone up 30% since 2020 due to more people wanting a bigger home for self-quarantine.

This type of property is perfect for avid skiers who want the convenience of a home right at their favorite place. But before you purchase one, you should weigh the pros and cons of such a property.

Pros of a Ski-in, Ski-out Property

CHL-What's so good about a ski-in, ski-out property

Convenience and Accessibility

The convenience and accessibility a ski-in, ski-out property provides are its major advantages. Instead of dealing with parking and transportation, you can simply get on your skis or snowboard and enjoy the slopes. No need to deal with crowded parking slots and traffic.

Year-round, Easy Access to Slopes

If you have a ski-in, ski-out property, you can enjoy the slopes whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re an early bird or a night owl; you’ll never have to miss out on a good ski day.

Many ski-in, ski-out properties are located in places with year-round outdoor recreational activities like fishing, hiking, or golfing, making them an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Time Savings

Many spend most of their time climbing the slopes instead of skiing. But with a ski-in, ski-out property, you save valuable time getting ready for and getting to the slopes. No need to worry about lugging equipment around or changing in cramped spaces; you can leisurely get dressed, prepare, and step out the door with skis strapped on, ready to hit the slopes.

Spectacular Views

Aside from easy access to the slopes and avoiding crowded hotels, ski-in, ski-properties also offer incredible, breathtaking views of the mountain scenery. You’ll have a front-row seat to the snowy slopes and mountaintops, adding value to the home when you sell it or rent it out. Even if you aren’t an avid skier, there’s something extraordinary about the picturesque serenity these homes offer.

Reduced Transportation Costs

There’s no need for transportation via shuttles or cars to the slopes if you have a ski-in, ski-out property. This can result in significant savings, especially for frequent skiers who would otherwise pay for a shuttle or rent a car.

You don’t have to worry about early morning travel and parking fees. You also don’t have to worry about driving in potentially hazardous winter weather.

Potential for High Rental Income and Property Value

Ski-in, ski-out properties are excellent investment opportunities. You can rent them out to others who want to hit the slopes and enjoy what a winter vacation offers. They are always in demand in mountainous areas.

Cons of a Ski-in, Ski-out Property

CHL-What are the disadvantages of a ski-in, ski-out property

Higher Costs

Convenience often comes at a price; the same is true for a ski-in, ski-out property. They are significantly more expensive than traditional properties because of their location and the extra amenities. You may also have to deal with additional building and zoning restrictions in ski resort areas.

You also need to think about upkeep and maintenance costs. Harsh winter weather will take its toll on the property and require frequent repairs.

Seasonal Accessibility

While most ski-in, ski-out properties are ideal for any season, some are not quite as appealing when it’s not winter. Some properties have limited accessibility and amenities during non-skiing seasons than they do during the winter months.

Environmental Impact and Natural Disasters

The increased food traffic and recreational activities can negatively impact the environment. It can lead to increased erosion, vegetation damage, and potential slope accidents.

Ski resorts are also often in remote areas susceptible to natural disasters like avalanches, flash floods, and mudslides. Aside from being a safety threat, they can significantly damage properties and infrastructures that may take some time to repair.

Emergency services can also have limited access to these areas, making it difficult to respond to a natural disaster or accident.

Crowded Ski Areas

The long lines and crowded slopes can turn ski resorts into a buzzing hive during peak ski season. It can detract from the overall ski experience, especially for people looking for a more peaceful and relaxed ski trip.

Crowded slopes also mean more noise and traffic, making it more difficult to enjoy the peace of a ski-in, ski-out property. Avoiding crowds and finding a place to relax will be challenging.

Factors To Consider Before Purchasing a Ski-in, Ski-out Property

CHL-It's important to consider many factors before purchasing a ski-in, ski-out propertY

Location and Accessibility To Other Amenities

While being close to the ski slopes is the main draw of a ski-in, ski-out property, you should also consider its location and closeness to other amenities and activities. Are there grocery stores, shopping malls, or restaurants nearby? Can you get there by car or public transportation? How close is it to the slope? How easily can service people get there to perform repairs?

Try to stay as close to the slopes as possible, especially if you plan to rent it out. You won’t get good reviews if the property is 30 to 40 minutes from the mountain. Consult a local realtor or lender knowledgeable of the area to find better properties.

Cost of Living

Living in ski resort areas is more expensive than in other locations. It’s important to check buying guides and research the cost of living in the area before you purchase a ski-in, ski-out property, including property taxes, utilities, and other expenses.

Quality and Maintenance

If you’re hunting for a ski home, you likely have a primary residence and know essential home maintenance. However, a vacation home in snowier and mountainous regions has its own challenges. Take snow plowing, for example. The cost of plowing a long driveway will be an additional expense. You’ll also have to factor in mowing, cleaning, and maintenance if you can’t visit it every weekend.

Local Zoning Laws and Regulations

The local zoning laws and regulations governing the property will also affect your ski-in, ski-out property. Are there restrictions on what you can do with the property? Are there rules on short-term rentals or vacation properties? In Colorado, ski property owners must pay taxes and file paperwork if they decide to rent out their home, even if it’s just for a month.

Key Takeaway

A ski-in/ski-out property offers tremendous convenience and accessibility for winter sports enthusiasts but also comes with higher upfront costs and potential environmental impact. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider important factors such as location, cost of living, and local regulations. With careful consideration, a ski-in/ski-out property can be a fantastic investment for those who love the mountain lifestyle.

Enjoy the slopes of the Colorado mountains.

If the Colorado mountains truly call you, come to Cedar Home Loans. We can help you finance the ski home of your dreams. With our 20 years of experience and local expertise, our mortgage broker in Colorado can also get you the best deals that will suit your needs. Contact us today to get started.

About the Author:

Andrew McBryan

Andrew McBryan is the owner and founder of Cedar Home Loans LLC, where he brings over 27 years of experience in the mortgage industry to his role. Andrew has successfully expanded the company across Colorado, including offices in Telluride, Vail, Summit County, and Boulder. His dedication to providing innovative mortgage solutions and his commitment to staying informed on the latest industry trends make him a trusted advisor to clients and referral partners alike.

When not focused on his business, Andrew enjoys the unique sport of burro racing and relishes the time spent skiing in Colorado’s beautiful terrain. Above all, Andrew is a devoted father, finding joy and inspiration in his daughter’s growth and happiness. 

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