Steamboat Condos and Rental Income

Many buyers looking to purchase a Steamboat condo want to rent their condo to help cover expenses.  So how much revenue can you expect from your Steamboat Springs condo?   Short answer is: It depends.  The long answer is: Rental income varies with:

  • The property you choose and how many amenities it offers (those with shuttle service, pool, etc. are more than those on the bus route.)  Location matters, too.  For example, some renters prefer ski-in, ski-out while others prefer newer properties.  These affect rental rates.
  • When the property is rented.  You’ll get higher revenue during peak times like Christmas week, Presidents weekend, and Martin Luther King weekend than you will, say, in the summer.  If you tend to use your condo during those peak times, your overall rental revenue will be lower.
  • How often you personally use the condo.  Owner days definitely cut into the amount of rental income.
  • What is included in the HOA.   Some developments include heat, cable, internet, etc. in addition to the basic services like snow plowing, capital reserves, etc.  Make sure you look at what is included before concluding the HOA dues are high.
  • How you rent it.  You could self-manage many condos through or a similar rental site, or you can go with a property management firm that charges +/- 50% of your rental income in management fees.  These companies do everything from advertising the condo for rent to cleaning it and preparing it for the next guest.

As prices come down and rents eventually go back up, owners of Steamboat condos will have better cash flow.  Those who bought at the peak (when prices were 25-30% more)  then had rents cut by 25% due to the recession didn’t do so well.

Finally, resort real estate has always been driven more by appreciation than cash flow.  Hopefully, we’ll see the bottom soon and the lucky buyers who purchased in 2011 will see nice appreciation gains.

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