7 Mountain or Ski Towns Worth Your Investment in 2020

7 Mountain or Ski Towns Worth Your Investment in 2020

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Scott Smith

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. His law firm, Royal Legal Solutions, helps thousands of real estate investors and entrepreneurs in all 50 states protect more than $1.2 billion in assets. Since 2014, he has published over 1,000 posts and articles on BiggerPockets and has appeared on hundreds of podcasts.

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Scott fell in love with real estate when his commercial property investment allowed him to graduate from Albany Law School debt-free. He immediately began practicing at the trial and appellate court with the district attorney, placing him in the top 1 percent of lawsuit attorneys in the county in terms of professional experiences. He also worked in private practice, suing insurance companies for denying valid claims (which is surprisingly common!).

After his friend lost $3 million in real estate from a single lawsuit, despite having ample insurance, Scott dedicated himself to educating real estate investors on the importance of affordable asset protection, specifically when it comes to folk knowledge and misconceptions that still exist in the investment and legal community. The solutions Scott recommends for his clients are the same ones he originally created for himself and has been refining on his mission to help people protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits.

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Some people long for a beach vacation on a sunny island, while others prefer a cozy ski chalet and breathtaking, snow-covered mountains. With the right investment property, you can afford to take vacations wherever you want.

Many mountain towns are often overlooked, especially those in Colorado. BestPlaces.net reported the median home price for a ski town like Frisco is over $750,000. But not all ski towns have such a high barrier to entry. Towns in Montana or Utah may be more suitable for a first-time investor. Below is a guide to start your search and help you find the perfect vacation home for the chilly months.

Here are seven mountain and ski towns worth investing in:

  1. Logan, Utah
  2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  4. Fraser, Colorado
  5. Whitefish, Montana
  6. Salt Lake City, Utah
  7. Bozeman, Montana

Logan,Utah

Logan sits just an hour away from Salt Lake City. According to Realtor.com, the median home price is $264,900—just over half of Salt Lake City’s.

What makes Logan so appealing to investors is its position as both a mountain town and college town. Utah State University is home to more than 20,000 students that live near or on campus, and more than half of all the town’s residents rent. Buy a house here and enjoy the highest gross rental yields that you can find in Utah’s major cities.

prepare-rental-winter

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Just because median home prices are high doesn’t mean the market isn’t worth the investment. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is consistently named as one of the top places to invest in the West.

BestPlaces.net reports median home prices sit at around $800,000, but these homes are in high demand. More than 95 percent of the land surrounding Jackson Hole is federally protected, and tourists can access Grand Teton and Yellowstone with a quick drive.

The market is hot. Even if you can’t find the right investment in Jackson Hole, nearby towns and valleys are also reaping the benefits of the boom in Jackson Hole.

Related: Looking to Invest Out of State? Here’s How to Pick and Analyze a City

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Don’t overlook the East Coast when looking for a mountain property. Consider places like Gatlinburg, where visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, and top-notch skiing.

Zillow reports the median home value as $252,325, up 9.9 percent from last year. They also predict home prices will rise at least 6 percent in the coming year and continue down this track for years to come.

Are the Great Smoky Mountains calling your name yet?

gorgeous mountain silhouette during sunset

Fraser, Colorado

Fraser is less than a two-hour drive away from Denver and Boulder and sits right above a more expensive option, Winter Park. Visitors can take a quick drive to Winter Park to enjoy more than 150 different ski trails and a cozy resort experience.

But while Zillow found Winter Park’s median home value to be over $450,000, Fraser’s median sits below $400,000. Home prices increased by 4.6 percent in the past year and are continuing to rise at least 3 percent each year.

Whitefish, Montana

Stepping just 25 miles outside of a hot spot can significantly decrease home prices. Whitefish is a quick half-hour drive to Montana’s Glacier National Park, which welcomes 3 million visitors each year.

The median price in West Glacier is over $720,000, according to Zillow, but in Whitefish, that number drops to $450,000. It’s become one of the hottest places to invest in the West—home prices increased by 9.3 percent in the past year with another 6 percent increase expected in 2020.

Related: Should You Quit Your 9-5 Job to Become a Full-Time Real Estate Investor?

Salt Lake City, Utah

A lot of these markets have a low population—Fraser is home to less than 1,300 people! Salt Lake City, meanwhile, has a population of more than 200,000, offering a nice mix of city life and mountain air.

Like Logan, Salt Lake City is also home to one of the larger colleges in Utah (The University of Utah has over 32,000 students). Zillow reports a median home value of $414,000, up 6 percent in the past year and predicted to continue to grow by almost 5 percent in 2020.

The average home rents for $1,575 per month, making it a great place to purchase a property and act as its landlord. If you prefer a more bustling ski town, Salt Lake City is a great place to look.

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman isn’t just known for the nearby Gallatin Mountains or Big Sky Ski Resort—a number of startups and tech companies are also making headlines in the Montana city. Bozeman’s population boom is turning heads, as everyone from retirees to millennials are packing up and moving here.

It’s a town of under 50,000, but is experiencing rapid growth—the population has increased by a whopping 23 percent since 2010, according to WorldPopulationReview.com.

Housing supply remains low through this boom. The median home value is $471,000, Zillow found, but the average monthly rent is over $1,800. Buying or building could result in great returns for investors who want to check out Bozeman.

Investing in a ski town can bring in big returns—and give you more chances to hit the slopes. Keep your eye on these areas and surrounding cities for exciting investment opportunities.

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What do you look for in an investment property?

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