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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.
Investments

8 ski resort towns where you can buy property for less than $400,000

On a budget or just looking for cheap? RealtyTrac has your back

January 16, 2014
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If you like to ski — but aren't filthy, stinking rich enough to buy in Snowmass Village (average median list price: $1,104,354) or in Aspen ($2,316,250) — or say you’re rich and a total cheapskate — RealtyTrac has your back.

Sort of.

The property analytics company just released the list of the top investment property markets for buy a home in a ski resort town.

They factor in the health of the local economy, foreclosure rate, even the distance to the airport. Yes, the benefits to owning are huge, as per VP Daren Blomquist.

"Plus the property can be rented out as a weekly, monthly or seasonal vacation rental, sometimes bringing in enough cash flow to cover the cost of ownership," he writes. "In ski resort towns with a solid economy, buying non-vacation rentals may even be a good play for real estate investors — even if they aren’t into skiing or snowboarding."

But their list is 19 markets long. And as noted above, some are pretty exclusive.

HousingWire decided to shorten that list to markets with the most affordable listings: $400,000 or less.

Here are the top six budget places to buy, with a ski resort next door, in reverse order:

8: Truckee, CA. ($379,492)

7. Steamboat Springs, CO ($357,497)

6. Mammoth Lakes, CA. ($341,425)

5. Red Lodge, MT. ($338,581)

4. South Lake Tahoe, CA. ($321,713)

3. Bend, OR. ($281,314)

2. Taos, NM. ($274,496)

1. Whitefish, MT. ($249,736)

And if you didn't need more convincing, Blomquist adds, "With the busyness and stress of the holidays over — except for maybe that Christmas credit card bill that needs to be paid — it may be time to get away from it all by going on a ski vacation in a snowy mountain resort town."

What could be more relaxing than buying a home, if it's in a ski resort town? Go on, frugal homebuyer. Go get that bargain!

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