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Opinion Buying property in Mt Buller

Discussion in 'Mt Buller' started by AussieSkiGirl, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. AussieSkiGirl

    AussieSkiGirl First Runs

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    Hi!

    After lots of time spent at Mt Buller we are thinking of buying a property/apartment there.

    I have done a bit of research inclusive of profit/loss statements for several places, talking to hotel owners and understanding the leasehold terms etc etc etc. What i want to know is:

    - if anyone here has a place there and if it is worthwhile getting one so i can just use it for say 1-2 weeks plus weekends each winter and rent it out for the remainder of the season?

    - i assume summer demand is very low?

    - what's the difference between buying in an established hotel like the Chalet or Breathtaker versus buying your own apartment (like alto or beehive or twin towers)?

    - Any opinions on whether it would be better to buy a 2 bed or a 3 bed (in terms of return)?

    So please let me know if anyone can shed some light on this for me or if you know of any people who have got property there and can provide some info.

    My husband & I have 2 kids who ski very well. (Aged 6 and 8).

    Thanks in advance for your opinions!
     
  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    My brother and sister in law rent their place pretty successfully midweek through winter. It will be enough to cover the exorbitant RMB rates.

    Yes summer demand is really low.

    I personally wouldn't get a place inside an established hotel, and not sure about 2 vs 3BR.

    Overall it's a lifestyle investment, your capital return will be very low so go in to that with eyes wide open. The rental income will only cover the outgoings but likely not the mortgage nor make up for the opportunity cost of having money parked in an asset that will underperform most other asset classes over time.

    I was talking to a very prominent lawyer once about Mt Buller property - he said "I made money once with one of my properties up here - it was an accident!!"
     
  3. Seth

    Seth Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    ultimately, this is what it comes down to.

    If you get no bookings are you happy to justify/wear the costs?
     
  4. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah assume it will be a loss making exercise and then proceed if you are comfortable with that.
     
    ladycamper likes this.
  5. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans calm and rational Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hey AussieSkiGirl
    I would say it is like buying a holiday house except you only use it 4 months and the rates are more expensive.

    If you wanted to rent the house out, positioning is quite important. To get a higher demand, you will have to go in the village as renters want close to shops, close to skiing, etc. Obviously to get a good positioned place, you will spend more.

    Ultimately for most, renting at Buller is not going to earn you much. The question is how much are you going to use the house? It's a investment on recreation.

    Hope you stick around here.
    Zac (JB1000)
     
  6. Shredderman

    Shredderman Addicted

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    One of the keys when buying is find out the outgoings (ie body corporate costs) of the particular property. The hotels like Breathtaker or Chalet have huge outgoings as they have high Repair and Maintenance costs due to the high volume of hotel users. I understand a 2b/r in Breathtaker costs are upwards of $30k p.a. Also the manager will slug you a big fee if you rent them. This is why they sometimes appear cheap to buy in comparison to the lower outgoings properties.

    As noted above it really is a lifestyle cost and you can minimise it with midweek rentals if you can organise that. Location will be hugely important for rentals and a car park is hugely helpful when you have kids!
     
    Jellybeans likes this.
  7. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    have you thought about buying off the hill
     
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  8. AussieSkiGirl

    AussieSkiGirl First Runs

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    Thanks everyone. We spend SO much on accommodation when we stay there at the moment. We are ski club of victoria members so have been staying at the Whitt. We love ski in/ski out and would definitely look to buy something in the village or on the slopes (looking at Summit Road).
    As long as we broke even each year and didn't lose money, that would be fine - it would be a lifestyle choice (to feed our habit!!!!)
    We've been to Buller 2 times this season and it's cost as much as an overseas holiday!! (And we're hoping to sneak in one more weekend... although may stay at a lodge this time).

    Zac (JB1000) - recreation. Not an investment. Just want to be careful and not lose money in the process. I understand there would be some risk involved obviously!

    Keep the opinions coming!
    Thanks!!
     
  9. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    You only buy on mountain in any resort if you have disposable income and can justify your lifestyle choices. Be prepared to take a loss. It's a lifestyle thing. It's rare that any substantial investment in any ski resort will be a sound financial investment.
     
  10. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans calm and rational Ski Pass: Gold

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    Unless you stay more than three or four weeks a season, you can expect a net loss. It is very hard to outsmart the rest of the market and make a profit. Do it for recreation not for economics. Ski in/Ski Out is also very expensive. The cheapest stuff is out the back of the village (long walk to Chamois and even longer walk to BB1).

    Happy to chat if you're up on the hill, especially if you like the runs on the South Side :)

    PS Lodge is definitely a good option if you want a cheaper holiday. Good for kids too:D
     
  11. djam

    djam One of Us

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    There can be a huge time cost to renting, cleaning, getting the place ready. The
    companies that take 20-25% for looking after your property do very little for their
    cut. The more use, the more it costs on utilities and maintenance. They expect you
    to have 3 sets of linen, and if they handle the cleaning be prepared to have to
    replace missing items often. Finally, bookings mid week are very slim, you would
    be lucky to make enough to cover outgoings, with a lot of work on your side even
    at that. I'd work on the basis that any income is a bonus.

    If you really love skiing and can afford to have a place, do it.

    PS last thing, expect to take two years to sell, unless you are prepared to sell
    very low. Some places we looked at 10 years back were still on the market 4+ years
    later.
     
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  12. BullerBoyz

    BullerBoyz Hard Yards

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    You should consider a club lodge as a part buy-in on the mountain without committing $000's . We're members of one (family of 4) and it works brilliantly as we leave our boots/ski/helmets in one cupboard, linen/food/wine in another. Thus we only take up soft bags of clothing each weekend or the week for the school holidays. Buying a place is a lifestyle choice so don't expect a return, if you're comfortable with that, then look into an apartment. Grollos' are exiting The Chalet slowly and I suspect exiting the looming large repair bill on a building that is not ageing well ( just check the undercroft /eaves on the north side facing the sports hall !). I'd say other apartments are a better option although we do know people who bought there (Chalet), and knocked out the hideous false ceilings and non-structural wall and ended up with a very nice apartment. Also, get a car park as I'm sure the RMB are positioning themselves to ban cars in the village in the short term unless you have an on-site park ( a disastrous outcome for people who do the drop off/return park ) but I feel the signs are there....
     
    ladycamper likes this.
  13. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    we bought our 3 br apartment in Molonys 10 years ago after many years in a lodge down Stirling Track. A few years ago we decided to start renting it out. We set up a website and also used Stayz. This year we started using Airbnb as well. Without any management company we will gross in excess of $24K in rental income this year with no agents commissions and cleaning / linen hire fees of about $3K. We had June / July school hols for ourselves and rented out 2 weekends that we were in Melbourne anyway. All other weekends we have the place to ourselves. The rest of the reservations are mid week.

    I have no expectations of capital gains but if I can continue to get rental income like this and have 40 days skiing a year basically free then I'm pretty happy with that.

    Location, location, location - always the key to any property. Also I think that the extra cost to buy a 3br is actually very worthwhile from personal experience. A 3 br usually allows 2 families to split the cost which makes it slightly better value for them and our high season rental on weekends is $1650 per night and no one even questions it.

    Good luck!
     
  14. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perhaps you've answered your own question here. You spend as much on accom in AUS as you would on an O/S ski holiday. Think about it.
     
    Seth likes this.
  15. AussieSkiGirl

    AussieSkiGirl First Runs

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    True Vermillion - but the ease of getting to Mt Buller (not having to fly somewhere) makes it worth it for us at the moment.
    Takes us 3.5 hours only and we're skiing!
     
    MickM likes this.
  16. djam

    djam One of Us

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    once you have kids it all changes...
     
  17. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    update on this thread - in the past couple of weeks we've locked in a move to Vancouver for an indefinite period (at least 18-24 months)

    so last Sat I sat down and did the spreadsheet for using Airbnb vs taking a season rental next year. I've assumed Opening weekend, June school hols, all July and August weekends, Vic Interschools, National Interschools and a couple of extra midweek bookings. Gross rental values are significant - basically double the proposed revenue of a seasonal rental. Even if we did 75% of forecasted numbers would still be a 7.5% gross yield .
     
  18. ski2much

    ski2much Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks for sharing - Its been great reading about your experiences - and like the original poster we too have been looking at buying a place for next year.

    With your yield calc - which looks fantastic - is this on your original acquisition amount, or the amount that your place would be transacted at today? [more just for interest - I would not see an alpine property as a capital growth opporunity]
     
  19. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    this is based on what I think the current value of the property is, which is about $150K more than what we paid + improvements (both internally and the major upgrade to the building 2 years ago) Not a great deal of capital growth considering we purchased 10 years ago but we love it - don't regret it one bit and will be a nice little supply of cashflow while we are away in Canada
     
  20. djam

    djam One of Us

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    Sounds like you have a great adventure ahead of you LTB. You will have to keep us updated,
    both with your activities in Canada and how the rental works out, that is if you have any free
    time left.

    :cheers:
     
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  21. SwimmingMan

    SwimmingMan First Runs

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    Any chance you can share a little more of the costs or any other details like "Top 10 Tips"? Have you see any places for sale up at Buller that you would buy or not buy, given your experience?
     
  22. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow! Sounds like an adventure. Please update us on all the ups and downs at appropriate times.
     
  23. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans calm and rational Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did you want to buy in the market? Do you come up often or just one week a season? As for the right house, it depends on your requirements. Don't just think you can beat the property rental market. It's hard at Buller.
     
  24. HittingTheCliff

    HittingTheCliff First Runs

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    Haven't been here for 8 years but I cannot believe how many for sale signs and sold stickers are up across the village, as well as new developments that are on the market. It defies logic because speaking with some who are working up here, Buller sounds like it's become the day-trippers mountain with the percentage of over nighters through the gates falling from 24% to 19% this season. It may be a reflection of new visitors, day trip car parks have been so full this season that the village shuttle is bussing them up from the gate car parks, but with rising snow levels, who would purchase a unit up here unless it was a lifestyle purchase, the winter version of the great Aussie beach shack.
     
  25. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    A lot of Buller regulars are becoming very disenchanted by the swarms of snowplay daytrippers overloading the village on weekend.
     
  26. qwill

    qwill Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    How dare they visit for just a day or two.
     
  27. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans calm and rational Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is a lot of supply and I am sure many would want a place up here, but prices are too high to justify a property in the dwindling snow levels. But the day trippers just keep coming...
     
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  28. miss_b_haven

    miss_b_haven One of Us

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    where she's a Heavenly body amidst Heavenly bodies
    :eek: :eek: Whaaaa . . . ?!

    Wow, ltb, that is huge! Exciting and daunting at the same time. I hope everything goes smoothly and perfectly to plan for you all. :thumbs:

    And I hope you'll still drop by here now and then too. :)



    (Oh, and if you need anyone to provide foster care for the coffee machine while you're away . . .
    :D )
     
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  29. mx_boarder

    mx_boarder Habitual line stepper Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can call it an elitist point of view if you like, but the reality is the village is often a total shitfight on weekends now.

    That isn't so much a jab at the day trippers themselves, but rather the fact that facilities to cater for them are clearly maxed out, and the result is massive queues for the bus, and a somewhat 'polluted' vibe in the village.

    Day trippers are important, but the village has become somewhat of a dumping ground. The buses shovel them in - then what?
     
  30. qwill

    qwill Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    If they didn't what would happen to the bulleconomy?
     
  31. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't think anyone is arguing that the day trippers shouldn't be there. Rather, the resort needs to create better infrastructure to accommodate them.
     
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  32. HittingTheCliff

    HittingTheCliff First Runs

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    It would go back to catering for the over nighters. To be frank, I cannot believe how shite the catering options have become since I last visited here 8 years ago. 15 bucks minimum for a preprepared kids meal. Mains for an adult starts in the mid 20s for something that gets supplied by a food distributor and is reheated. Signatures and Captain are good but not great. Abom and village square barely has a kitchen that is open. There is not a single joint up here where you can have a lunch that resembles anything fresh or healthy. Clearly the day trippers are doing little to support the local economy. End rant, but not that I am against them.
     
  33. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans calm and rational Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well the day trippers gives the RMB money and more people allows Buller to boast about its growth. So they're not going away for sure.
     
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  34. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    My problem is that it's a terrible experience for them and they are very unlikely to decide to become skiers.
     
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  35. HittingTheCliff

    HittingTheCliff First Runs

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    Do they care or ever intend to? If they are just there to sightsee or snow play why build the infrastructure to cater to the overnighter?
     
  36. DbSki

    DbSki Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok so if the day tripper rise is a result of marketing by their Ch 7 sponsor leading them to Buller and not LM etc as was stated a while ago.
    Question, if they piss off the regulars who decide to take up other options, what happens when the sponsor moves on and the day trippers dry up.
     
  37. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I actually thought the quality of food on the mountain was better than ever where I ate this year. Great grain salad and breakfast options at Birdcage, food in Black Cock this year was exceptional on multiple occasions. Enzian good, Breathtaker loft had some good (healthy) lunch options in addition to pizza. Tirol is always good value, albeit slow. Even the fish and chips was excellent - not saying it's healthy but the quality was great. I wouldn't eat a thing from Abom, PoPo or the other Village Square fast food outlets. Fast and cheap does not usually equate to quality and healthy (it can but it's not the norm)
     
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  38. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    FWIW - this our place so you can see what you get. We've have had 2 inquiries for 2017 bookings already. I'll be honest - I think it's outrageous what it costs to rent a quality modern ski in / ski out apartment in Australia but ultimately the market decides.

    https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/11299295?s=GDeZFhVd&sug=50
     
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