Considering a Slopeside Condo at Sunday River, Would Like Advice

Hi all,

My fiance and I are considering buying a slopeside condo at Sunday River. We have a lot of questions and I was wondering if any unit owners (or renters) might know the answers to some of them. We are mostly looking at two-bedroom units in South Ridge, North Peak and Brookside, but also considering one-bedrooms in Cascades and Fall Line.

1) For complexes other than Fall line and South Ridge (which are not managed by Sunday River), would we be allowed to rent our unit out ourselves, or would we have to do it through Sunday River Management?

2) Other than taxes, condo fees and electricity, what are the monthly/annual expenses that owners incur?

3) Am I correct to assume that the spring would be the best time to buy, as folks might be looking to unload after the winter? Or does it follow the traditional housing market where sales pick up in the spring?

4) Brookside seems like the only property with two-bedroom units and an on-site hot tub. Is there any deeded space on other two-bedroom properties where it would be possible to install a hot tub?

Thanks in advance.

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we chose fall line as it has lowest qtrly fees, it was centrally located, gets ski in/out earlier than brookside and white cap, night skiing is right out the door and easy access for river runners dropoff and pick up. unfortunately no official 2bedrooms in fall line, but many have split their bedroom into 2 rooms.

1) I know people in sr managed units that rent privately, but I think.officially it is susposed to be only be through resort, but that may have changed.
2) it is only taxes(600/yr), electric(10/mo in summer as that is cmp minimum and max of 70 in winter) and condo fees (800/qtr) for us. we have standard cable package included and use internet provided in common room, but upgrade cable and have their own internet at additional cost.
3) when we bought people tended to list more properties in spring, but I have heard of a couple deals of places that people are looking to off load now.
4) no clue.

Make sure you think about the future. right now our place is perfect location and size for us and fit our price range however in the future it might get cramped as the boys get bigger and if they want to bring friends.
oh fall line will have an in the building restaurant as well.
I am in South Ridge. I have a three level townhouse with three bedrooms, and quarterly fees are $687. The two bedroom units are less. Included is water, sewer and basic cable. If you want a hi-def box and Intenet you have to pay more. Some "gang" up in a building and share an Internet node. Some of the older buildings, "A", "B", "C", and "F" are two floors, and have ground level patios out back. You would need board permission to put in a hot tub, but its worth asking. PM Steveski and ask. He is on the board.

I pay Taxes once per year to Newry, currently $2200. Quarterly fees, CMP, And I pay TWC and Oxford phone as you cannot get phone through Time warner.

Bought my unit in the spring. Not sure of the best time to buy as some people rent the unit for the winter, others rent daily/weekly during winter. You may be able to buy during the season, but have a renter until April 15. I spent a while looking at units. Started with an agent in the summer and bought in April. Took my time and looked for a bargain. Feel good about what I paid. Bought through SR Realty, but the agent is now on her own by the Phoenix, Susan Duplessis, nice lady. If you do use SR Realty, ask for Callie, TVDave's wife. I would check in with an agent and ask these same questuins of them too.

SteveSki has owned two South Ridge condos. Currently on the second one, and has sold his first one. You might want to PM him and ask for hs phone number.

Thanks SundanceKid and DickC; I appreciate the thorough replies.

DickC - I tried PMing SteveSki but it said we had to be friends to do so. It looks like he hasn't posted here since March but we'll see if we can connect. Thanks for the heads up. If it's possible to put a hot tub in the A, B, C or F units that would be amazing. The lower maintenance fee is very important to us.

South Ridge, Brookside, and North Peak are the primary properties with "official" 2 bedroom units.  There are some properties with interior renovations to divide rooms/closets into a second bedroom.  Other properties have condos that have combined adjoining units to make a 2/3 bedroom unit from 2 singles.  Generally the combined units have been done with building permits and approvals ... the divided units, not. 

1 - Properties under SR management have an exclusive arrangement with SR.  Only seasonal rentals are allowed outside of the rental agreement.  Fines and/or cancellation of the rental/management agreement for all owners is possible if "rogue" rentals are not controlled.  Check the by-laws for the association you're interested in.  Initially all the on-mountain properties were SR managed and the by-laws stated that if the board of directors selected a rental agency, then all owners would rent through that agency.  If the by-laws have not been amended, that option is still a BOD decision.

2- Landline phone is not included.  Personal electricity is not included.  Some associations include internet and cable, others just cable.  "Fees" (dues) is a mixed bag.  There are three components: operating expenses, reoccurring maintenance expenses, and non-reoccuring maintenance expenses.  The association may or may not be collecting enough to cover all of them.  If not, special assessments will be levied on top if you are unlucky enough to own when the bill comes due.  Operating expenses are easy and don't change that much year to year.  reoccurring maintenance is the same.  Non-reocurring is more complex.  Everything has a finite life and will need to be replaced - doors, siding, roofs, pool heaters, pools, carpeting, fences, decks, exterior stairways, etc.  If these are part of the quarterly dues planning and being collected, you won't have a special assessment when the time comes due.  If not ....  

3- "Dumping" of vacation properties tends to follow the economy more than seasonality.  Bad economy - more desperate sellers. Good economy more sellers looking to trade up. The "financially motivated seller" listings are not what they were 4-5 years ago, prices are rebounding, and the number of units on the market is significantly less.  There are generally more units on the market at the end of season, but that doesn't usually translate to them being "dumped", as in sell at any cost.  

4 - Hot tubs and pools raise the quarterly dues - especially outdoors.  Brookside, White Cap, and Locke Mtn are the associations with hot tubs.  Most associations have enough land for sighting a hot tub (some at the expense of parking area), but doing so requires a vote by the majority of owners.  Commerical tubs are required, which is a much more costly endeavor than typical residential tubs.  Some associations have (or had) a personal membership agreement with Brookside for activity center use.

Happy hunting!

Pm sent

Rob said:

Thanks SundanceKid and DickC; I appreciate the thorough replies.

DickC - I tried PMing SteveSki but it said we had to be friends to do so. It looks like he hasn't posted here since March but we'll see if we can connect. Thanks for the heads up. If it's possible to put a hot tub in the A, B, C or F units that would be amazing. The lower maintenance fee is very important to us.

I am sure south ridge has the lowest condo fees, as we have no pool expenses

SundanceKid said:

we chose fall line as it has lowest qtrly fees, it was centrally located, gets ski in/out earlier than brookside and white cap, night skiing is right out the door and easy access for river runners dropoff and pick up. unfortunately no official 2bedrooms in fall line, but many have split their bedroom into 2 rooms.

1) I know people in sr managed units that rent privately, but I think.officially it is susposed to be only be through resort, but that may have changed.
2) it is only taxes(600/yr), electric(10/mo in summer as that is cmp minimum and max of 70 in winter) and condo fees (800/qtr) for us. we have standard cable package included and use internet provided in common room, but upgrade cable and have their own internet at additional cost.
3) when we bought people tended to list more properties in spring, but I have heard of a couple deals of places that people are looking to off load now.
4) no clue.

Make sure you think about the future. right now our place is perfect location and size for us and fit our price range however in the future it might get cramped as the boys get bigger and if they want to bring friends.
yes, south ridge townhouses has the lower fees. sorry, I meant of the condos.
We bought at Brookside primarily for the outdoor pool and hot tub but you do pay for that in dues fees. That said, Brookside fees currently cover the pool/common areas, water/sewer, standard cable and soon (with an increase on the dues of course) internet to every condo via time warner. I can tell you that Brookside is very well managed an aside from the internet addition, dues have been stable in the 3 years we've owned even with the reno going on in the locker rooms at the pool and other changes and upgrades of common areas.
In terms of when to buy, depending on what current owner is doing may be a good thing to look at. For example, we bought our unit at the end of February and it was in the standard rental program with SR. We wanted to start using it right away and the rental office tried to clear rentals booked but couldn't clear two weekends we wanted to use our new condo in March (we did get the rental income though). Something to keep in mind, especially now that SR has more unit for sale that are on seasonal rental leases in addition to just the standard rent program.

Good to know, thanks. Do you have any gripes about Brookside other than the higher fees?

We're hoping to rent 2-3 weekends at some combination of Brookside/South Ridge/North Peak/Cascades/Fall Line later this season to get a better sense of what we'd be happiest with, as all the spreadsheets in the world can't compensate for first-hand experience.

If we get a place with no hot tub, we'll likely join the Brookside association, but obviously there's a huge perk to having it right outside your door. We've stayed at the Snow Cap Inn and loved having the hot tub each night. We would actually consider doing that in perpetuity if its units had kitchens and were more of a condo, less of a hotel.

MachSki said:

We bought at Brookside primarily for the outdoor pool and hot tub but you do pay for that in dues fees. That said, Brookside fees currently cover the pool/common areas, water/sewer, standard cable and soon (with an increase on the dues of course) internet to every condo via time warner. I can tell you that Brookside is very well managed an aside from the internet addition, dues have been stable in the 3 years we've owned even with the reno going on in the locker rooms at the pool and other changes and upgrades of common areas.
In terms of when to buy, depending on what current owner is doing may be a good thing to look at. For example, we bought our unit at the end of February and it was in the standard rental program with SR. We wanted to start using it right away and the rental office tried to clear rentals booked but couldn't clear two weekends we wanted to use our new condo in March (we did get the rental income though). Something to keep in mind, especially now that SR has more unit for sale that are on seasonal rental leases in addition to just the standard rent program.

Nope, we are quite happy at Brookside.  We too used the Summit Hotel as a base for a while but tired of having the hot tub there look like a MTV spring break pool every weekend (brookside can be busy, but never is jammed like that!)  I would say the idea of renting at various properties first is a great idea, we did a seasonal rental to gauge at Brookside first and that was very helpful in the decision.

One last thing you may want to investigate is how well managed the associations at each complex are.  While the SR managed properties do have some SR oversite, the association is managed by its board of directors.  I can tell you Brookside's financials are excellent and while I dn't know personally, I've heard some of the other SR managed associations financials are not as good.  So something to investigate if you're going to buy in to any association I suppose.
Rob said:

Good to know, thanks. Do you have any gripes about Brookside other than the higher fees?

We're hoping to rent 2-3 weekends at some combination of Brookside/South Ridge/North Peak/Cascades/Fall Line later this season to get a better sense of what we'd be happiest with, as all the spreadsheets in the world can't compensate for first-hand experience.

If we get a place with no hot tub, we'll likely join the Brookside association, but obviously there's a huge perk to having it right outside your door. We've stayed at the Snow Cap Inn and loved having the hot tub each night. We would actually consider doing that in perpetuity if its units had kitchens and were more of a condo, less of a hotel.

MachSki said:

We bought at Brookside primarily for the outdoor pool and hot tub but you do pay for that in dues fees. That said, Brookside fees currently cover the pool/common areas, water/sewer, standard cable and soon (with an increase on the dues of course) internet to every condo via time warner. I can tell you that Brookside is very well managed an aside from the internet addition, dues have been stable in the 3 years we've owned even with the reno going on in the locker rooms at the pool and other changes and upgrades of common areas.
In terms of when to buy, depending on what current owner is doing may be a good thing to look at. For example, we bought our unit at the end of February and it was in the standard rental program with SR. We wanted to start using it right away and the rental office tried to clear rentals booked but couldn't clear two weekends we wanted to use our new condo in March (we did get the rental income though). Something to keep in mind, especially now that SR has more unit for sale that are on seasonal rental leases in addition to just the standard rent program.

Another thing to look into, is to see of any of the owners at the varied condos you are interested in would be willing to share the association documentation they have.  A few years back on meeting minutes and financial data may be helpful to see if they are stable or have had surprises.  I believe about two years ago, the SR managed units had a road repaving surcharge added to their fees on a one time basis.  South Ridge did NOT share this burden as we are not SR managed.

I see some good info floating around in this thread.  Hope it makes your decision making easier, not harder!

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