Possibly the most often asked question that I get as a Realtor at Snowshoe, is "How does ownership work?" The other question I get asked a lot is, "Are these Timeshares?" I thought this would be a good forum to answer these questions.
There are over 2,000 homes here at Snowshoe. When I say home, I mean single-family houses, condominiums and townhomes of all kinds. Every one of them are privately owned by people like you, and are not time-shares. The difference is that when you purchase a time-share, you don't really "own" anything except for some "points" and the ability to use a place for a certain amount of time. With actual ownership, you not only build equity and see certain tax advantages, you can do with your property what you wish, including remodeling, reselling, willing it or deeding it to anyone of your choosing.
Most people who purchase at Snowshoe are people who like to visit Snowshoe twice a year or more, and who would rather put money into their own pockets instead of spending money to rent every time. They know they'll most likely get their money back when they sell. The majority of Snowshoe homeowners choose to rent out their home to other visitors when they are not using it themselves. As an owner, you have many options as to how to approach this. The most common method is to use Snowshoe Mountain's rental program. Most homeowners choose this method because their properties will most likely receive the highest number of traffic leads and potential renters because of the direct and exclusive link from the Snowshoe Mountain website and central reservations phone line.
If for some reason an owner prefers a different management company, they are absolutely allowed to use whoever they wish. There are several local property management companies in the area who each have their own private selections of properties that are unaffiliated with Snowshoe Mountain and operate independently. I would be happy to provide a list of these companies to anyone considering buying a rental property so that you can make the best decision as to which company will work best for you. Another more increasingly common option is the use of online rental websites, such as vrbo.com, Craigslist, and other self-managed sites. As renters search for the best deals, they are increasingly finding that these direct to owner sites can provide a wealth of information to potential renters and offer great properties at competitive, or even great, prices. The drawback to a self-managed property is that it can be a lot of work to figure out all of the logistics, and to have the time to do what could end up as a full-time job.
"So what will it cost me to put my home or condo in a rental program?" Regardless of whether you choose Snowshoe or one of the other local agencies to manage your rental property, you can estimate the following costs. For the Rental Management part, which includes advertising your home, handling the bookings and scheduling, accepting payment, handing out keys, etc., you can estimate paying about 25% of your gross rental receipts to the management company. The other cost will be for housekeeping, and that will run you about 12-15% of your gross receipts. So as a rule of thumb, you can expect to net about 60% of the gross rental income. The benefit to self-management is that you can do without paying someone else to manage your property for you, possibly increasing your net income, but you have to consider the value of your time to handle all of those tasks.
"I understand how the rental programs work, but are there any other expenses that I might expect as a property owner that are unrelated to renting?"
Above, I elaborated on the costs associated with renting your home out. There are two main fees associated with the ownership of a home or condo or townhome on Snowshoe Mountain. The first is your Condo Fees or Home Owner's Association Fees. You can think of this as your utility bundle. As an owner here at Snowshoe, or anywhere, there are ongoing expenses such as water & sewer, heating, telephone, internet, television, etc. Each individual condo association will bundle together these types of expenses for convenience, along with your share of the common area expenses - like the costs for building maintenance, common area lighting, on-premises snow removal etc., and bill you a monthly fee that encompasses it all. It saves you from having to pay every item separately. These fees vary widely by complex, but you can assume in most cases that the newer a complex is, and the more amenities that the complex provides, the higher the condo fees will be to cover it all.
The second fee associated with ownership is called the Mountaintop Assessment, or the Snowshoe Service Assessment. You can think of this like a city tax. The Snowshoe area is unincorporated, and so the resort owner provides many of the services that a city normally would, such as the shuttle bus system in winter, public safety, on-mountain snow removal, etc., as well as a contribution to Shaver's Fork Fire & Rescue department. This fee is based on the assessed value of the home, and you can estimate it based on a $200,000 home costing somewhere around $1,200 per year. In most cases, this fee is billed annually, but some condo complexes will bundle it in with your condo fees, allowing you to spread it out and pay it across a monthly basis.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive. I hope you found this informative! Some traditional agents may think I'm crazy to write all this out. You know, the general rule of thumb among agents is to hang out the bait and then reel in the client so that you can feed the info bit by bit and control the process. I don't work like that. I prefer to be straight forward and give my clients as much information as possible so that they can feel comfortable with their decision. I hope you agree that this is the best way.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at 304-572-6731 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to ask. It will be my pleasure to assist you.
Snowshoe Mountain Homes Real Estate News
Welcome to the official blog of Snowshoe Mountain Homes Realtor Kirsten Boehmer, with news, happenings, special properties, local interest and more from the top of beautiful Snowshoe Mountain Resort, West Virginia!