Big Sky Montana ranks number one on Vacasa’s list
The 10 best places to buy a winter vacation home according to Vacasa. It’s been one tough winter across the country from record-breaking cold to record snowfalls. Some people think beach and warm weather for a winter vacation second home. Others look to ski resorts and mountain villages. Here’s a list of Vacasa’s top 10: Big Sky, Montana, Poconos, Pennsylvania, Conway, New Hampshire, Killington, Vermont, Vail, Colorado, Big Bear, California, Breckenridge, Colorado, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Granby, Colorado, and Mammoth Lakes, California.
The methodology behind Vacasa’s picks includes “white-hot winter markets that boast the best cap rates (read: annual return on investment) if used as a short-term rental.” A home in a desirable ski-resort has good rental potential in most years. Continuing COVID restrictions should be taken into consideration when doing your own due diligence.
Listen to Vacasa’s VP of Sales and Marketing Shaun Greer. “There are a few surprising markets included in this year’s report, but there’s also consistency with last year’s Best Places to Buy a Winter Vacation Home. Homeowners who are looking to invest in these destinations want to see that consistency in terms of the cap rate, or the rate of return on investment,” Greer advises.
Look to new and increasingly popular ski destinations as options. “It was no surprise that states like Colorado, Montana, and Vermont were featured prominently again this winter, but we did welcome a first-time destination to the list: Granby, Colorado, an up-and-coming mountain town nestled between Winter Park and Grand Lake,” Greer explains.
Here’s a deeper dive into the three top destinations for buying. Leading the list is Big Sky, Montana in the southwest part of the state. The cap rate is 9.2% and Vacasa points to a potential annual gross rental revenue of close to $80,000. The Big Sky area sits in the counties of Gallatin and Madison including the affluent town of Bozeman. Home prices in Big Sky country are pricey. According to realtor.com, the median listing price in Bozeman is $630,000. A current listing at $725,000 is a 2,800 square foot single-family built-in 2006. It sits on a quarter-acre plus.
In the number two spot is Poconos, Pennsylvania. Prices are more affordable with the median home cost at $200,190 according to Vacasa. The cap rate is attractive at 8.2 %. Back in the day, the Poconos’ claim to fame was as a honeymoon capital. Resorts were known for their heart-shaped tubs and spas. Inventory and prices are good right now. Your dollars go far there. In Tannersville, a 5-bedroom 3bath home with 2,472 square feet is on the market for $279,900. It’s on a one-acre lot no less.
Third on Vacasa’s list is Conway, New Hampshire with a 6.5% cap rate and Vacasa’s median home price of $238,930. Located only 2.5 hours from Boston Conway is a popular weekend getaway. The result is strong vacation rental demand. One pending Zillow listing at $250,000 is a one-story 1,456 square foot home built in 2018 on a 1.4-acre lot.
Vacasa’s Greer advises buyers to “look for new and rising market opportunities and what makes a mountain destination popular, including proximity to ski resorts, off-season attractions and being within a three-hour drive from major cities—a key factor during the pandemic and an added convenience for years to come.” Strong takeaways for purchasing vacation investment property anytime.
I have covered the business of real estate (both residential and commercial) for over twenty-five years. I spent 12 years in the Forbes Los Angeles bureau reporting and