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T-Line - ideal time to invest?
8 posts from 7 users
Updated 5 months ago
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6 months ago

Hey all - first off, I want to re-introduce myself. For those who have been here for a while, I previously used the username LangleySkier. I started on this forum sometime around 2006 and posted frequently through the time I was out of college in ~2010. I spent the past few years living up in New Hampshire, got married, and recently had a daughter. She is 2 months and already has her first pair of skis (upcoming Christmas present from dad)….. hoping to get her on snow by Christmas 2020! I moved my family back to the DC area about a year ago and I’ve started stalking DCSki once again to keep track of local skiing. 

After the Timberline bankruptcy offer was accepted last week, I figured I would be interesting to look at real estate prices around the resort. I know things have been BAD for owners for quite some time and figured it might be an interesting time to look at the current state of real estate on the mountain. Honestly, I had no idea just how terrible the market must be up there until I looked at the pricing for houses currently listed. Based on what I could find, properties adjacent to Timberline have declined by 1/2 their value or more in the past 5 years. 

If it is true that the Perfect family really is the ideal investor for Timberline and we assume they understand the cost/time required to revitalize the resort, then one would have to assume buying a property at Timberline today at the rock bottom prices is a no-brainer investment. Even if they only get Timberline back to what it was in 2010 (a poorly run resort with slow lifts, a terrible lodge, but great skiing), I would have to assume house prices would increase substantially and rental income would pick up. 

Obviously, the holes in this idea are many and include the fact Timberline has a LONG way to go for it to be a viable ski area again and things could always fall through over the next few years. My question for those here who own property in the area is… what do you think? Right now, one could buy a very nice house for around $200k which was formerly worth $500K. Ideally, my parents and I would go in on a house together 50/50 as a rental/personal vacation property. 

One caveat here - I know the T-Line issue has generated some vigorous conversation in the past. I don’t want to open that can of worms. Also, for those who own property on the mountain and have seen your property values decimated by the previous T-Line management, I really hope for your sake that prices do recover!


6 months ago

I looked at real estate in the CV area back in the early 2000’s. Ended up buying a condo( and eventually traded up to a house) at Hidden Valley because of the accessibility, and the option to ski other resorts nearby. When I sold my condo in 2007, I nearly doubled my initial investment. Since then my townhouse has not gained any value. Despite the fact that the number of listings for sale has dropped by40%. It seems the demand for ski resort real estate died in the 2009 Recession. Since then there has been very little investment in new ski area development. Meanwhile, at the Delaware beach resorts, 2nd and retirement home resort development is booming. They’re selling as fast as they build them. 
It seems that no one wants to take the risk of developing mountain resort real estate. It seems as though the demand for ski area resort homes has not increased. And in TL’s case, some folks are itching to sell. They’ve had enough or just want to unload. So, yes, I would say now is the time to buy. Obviously, there is risk. If Perfect fails you’re stuck. If perfect succeeds, I think appreciation can be expected. Will it ever come back to 1980’s or 1990’s levels, I doubt it. The Gen Y folks don’t seem to want to own ‘stuff’, unlike us boomers. My ski house has turned out to be an investment in enjoying life and will probably never be a great investment. Thus, that’s the way I would approach it….will I use this house every other weekend? Is this a quality of life investment? If the answer to those 2 questions are ‘yes’, buy a ski house and enjoy.

5 months ago

Hey Langley…er now Ski-PSU, welcome back!

MorganB aka The Colonel

5 months ago

Buy a ski house for the lifestyle, not as an investment. There are far less risky investment options out there.

Be very careful about investing with family or friends. Be overly clear about things and put it all in writing. If that is a buzzkill, you’ve just answered you own question.


5 months ago

…and do not expect that rental income will pay its way.  Gotta make that mortgage payment with NO rental income (and don’t forget HOA fees, condo fees if applicable, etc. )

By the way, a rental property in Tucker County pays DOUBLE the property taxes of a non-rental property .  Just sayin’

5 months ago

I own near TL.  Agree with the “buy it to enjoy it for a long time” theme.  However, FWIW, while home prices have declined substantially, I hear that the rental market is still quite strong in the Valley, even with TL out of commission.  Rental market up there is summer and fall, more than winter, for all but the on-slope properties.  We don’t rent our place but our neighbors who do say that demand remained strong through this past spring/summer/fall season.  

So while buying to rent is probably not an idea with good math behind it, buying to enjoy and clipping some income from rental along the way is viable…if you aren’t thinking on-slope (and if you are, that’s a 100% bet on Mr. Chip Perfect so maybe you might want to see his early impact first).

5 months ago

BTW welcome back.  I believe I remember when you posted as a high school senior…wow, family, 2 year old…I must be old by now…

5 months ago

Yes, but with risk. I agree, if you purchase it for you and your family with the intention to rent some to defray cost, it  may be worth it. There are some really outstanding deals at Timberline and Windwood. Have a couple of beers Friday at Stumptown and ask around, you may be able to get some really great info or options not on the open market. Be aware- almost all of these ‘great deal’ properties may require EXTENSIVE renovation. Home inspections may catch much of what may be wrong. The taxes are indeed higher for second home and rental properties, but it’s still not all that high compared to other locations.




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