Buying a Condo in the Village at Blue Mountain – What You Need To Know

It’s hard to believe that in just ten years, a vacant field at the base of Blue Mountain has turned into a bustling, Old Ontario style village.  Today, the Village at Blue is home to about 46 shops and restaurants plus about 700 hotel-condominium units that hosts over a million visitors each year.

In a partnership between Blue Mountain Resorts and Intrawest, the Village changed the face of our region making Blue Mountain one of the top tourist destinations in Canada.  Millions and millions of dollars have changed hands over this past decade creating an economic engine based to a large degree on one thing…. real estate.  Oh yes, there is an economy in jobs, sales and service but without the 700 new condominiums, none of the other sectors in themselves would thrive.

My previous series on buying a condominium at Blue Mountain generated numerous enquiries and requests for more information about the Village at Blue so, it seems like a good idea to delve into that a little further.  In this new four-part series, we’ll look at what the village is, why people buy units there, how the rental program works, what you can expect, financing and future plans for the Village at Blue.

The Village at Blue Mountain is Ontario’s premiere, four-season resort destination.  It is nestled at the base of the Niagara Escarpment where traditionally, skiing on Blue Mountain was the biggest attraction. Today, the region attracts over two million visitors annually in all seasons and, resort real estate has become a mainstay of our economy.

The Village itself is home to five main buildings that house a combination of ground floor retail and dining businesses with hotel style condominiums above.  The oldest of these is the Grand Georgian with about 87 units followed by the Weider Lodge with 91 units, the Westin with 224, Seasons with 137 units and the newest building Mosaic with 165 units.  As of now, ALL developer units are SOLD OUT.  The vast majority of units are active in a rental pool and are offered as accommodation to paying guests from around the world.

In addition to the Village units, there are two other Intrawest-built developments in the immediate area including Historic Snowbridge and River Grass plus, there are the original older units of Blue Mountain including Cachet Crossing, Chateau Ridge, Mountainwalk, and Wintergreen.  All are eligible to be part of the Blue Mountain rental program.

In the Village, there have been an average of 90-100 sales per year of new and resale units.  Originally sold for about $325.00 to $650.00 per square foot, prices have gone down significantly in recent years due to a combination of factors.  Economic contractions, stiff competition from neighbouring developments and, certainly internal competition from new developer inventory have all put downward pressure on values.

In the last year, resale prices have ranged from $128,000 to over $500,000 in the Village while golf course units have ranged from $267,000 to over $1 million. There are currently about 75 resale units available representing about 10% of the total village inventory available.

Some believe that with no further internal competition of new product availability, that scarcity will begin to increase resale values.  I think this could be true based on supply and demand however, external factors such as rental revenues, neighbouring competition and economic conditions will have an even greater impact.  In recent weeks, we are seeing sales pick-up and I think we may now see prices start to climb making this a GREAT time to buy.

Go To Part 2:  Reasons Why People Buy Condominiums at Blue Mountain

Related Post:

The Secret To Earning An 18% Return or More on Your Collingwood Rental Property


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About Marg

is an award-winning real estate Broker who has successfully been helping people move since 1989. When it’s time for a move in or out of a bigger, smaller, better, more expensive, less expensive, newer, older, house, condo, farm, investment property, vacant lot or business, talk to Marg.

This entry was posted by Marg on Thursday, October 21st, 2010 at 5:34 am and is filed under Blue Mountains, Buying Real Estate, Condominiums, Investment Property, Vacation Property. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

16 Comments

  1. Marg says:

    Hi Craig
    There are restrictions on usage in the Village which would prevent you from using for more than 10 days per month however there are other options that may work for your plan. I am going to send you a private message with some thoughts. Thanks for your comment.

  2. GCR says:

    I can’t find ANY information on the management rental programs revenue generation (pooled).

    I would love to use a unit say 2 weeks a year and rent it out the rest of the year.
    I would be happy if it had break even cash flow.

    I understand that depending on the unit, you would have different costs and revenues but lets say you have a bachelor in the village around $140K, I figure the break even after financing, mngmt fees, taxes, etc.. etc… is about $1200/month.

    Where can I find actual revenue figures or a break down of units revenue and costs? Lots of sites and people out there to tell you what something cots, but ZERO on what something generates.

  3. Marg says:

    You are correct Geoffrey and it is frustrating but there is a reason for that. Units earn a different percentage of the rental pool depending on a complicated formula. A unit for example in a higher value building or floor, may generate a higher income than one in a location that had a lesser original value. Also, the expenses, such as condo fees vary greatly based on square footage, building, etc. So, it is very risking to publish figures that could mislead a potential buyer and therefore, it is usually done on a case by case basis. I do have general numbers available by building and unit size to give you an idea. Send me an email and I’m happy to help. Thanks for your enquiry.

  4. George says:

    Hi Marg. can I please get the breakdown of expenses/revenue pools broken down by size and building? Thx

    Gstavro@bellnet.ca

  5. Marg says:

    Hi George and thanks for your comment. There are many variables to consider and are well beyond the scope of a reply here on the blog. I will send you a private email.

  6. Frank Dodaro says:

    Hi
    Can I also get a copy of those estimated costs related to the rental pool and how it works.

    Thank you.

  7. Marg says:

    I have sent you a private reply Frank.

  8. Jenny says:

    Hi Marg, can I also get a breakdown of the revenue/expense
    Related to the revenue pool program? Thanks!

  9. Marg says:

    Hi Jenny. There are so many variables as I mentioned above that it’s not easily sent and I provide this information to my clients on a case by case basis suitable to their needs. In a very generic sense, you’ll find that the average revenue stream with limited owner usage, will cover most or all of the operating expenses but will not cover the costs of financing. I hope that helps.

  10. Greg says:

    Hi Marg,
    Late to the blog, but may I also have a breakdown of the estimated costs related to the rental pool and how it works/literature?

  11. Marg says:

    Hi Greg,
    As I said to the poster above, there are too many variables for me to hand that out and, they no longer publish annual accounts of this. We obtain them now on a case by case basis by unit for our clients. for how the pool works, you may find it helpful to read part two of this blog series found at http://blog.collingwood-bluemountain.com/why-do-people-buy-in-the-village-at-blue-mountain/ I hope that helps.

  12. Mel says:

    Hi Marg

    I am thinking of purchasing some town homes in Blue Mountain for rental. What are the average maintenance fees associated with a 3 bed? I was also wondering what the rental take up is on average, I was thinking around 50% of the 12 months, would you say this is reasonable. Thanks in advance for your help.

  13. Marg says:

    Hi Mel
    If you are referring specifically to condos in the Village, please see my previous replies. If you are looking outside of the village, it all depends on if you are renting short term, seasonally or long term/ self-managing or property manager, etc. It is a complex discussion with the new short term accommodation by-law which limits your choices. If you are looking for an income property as a longer term investment, I’d recommend you look at townhomes in-town with an annual tenancy instead.

  14. Carol says:

    Hi,

    I have a question about whether you feel it is a good investment to purchase a property at Rivergrass or Snowbridge. I noticed in your response to Mel you indicated that if you are looking for income property as a long term investment you would look at townhouses, can you clarify why.

    Thanks

  15. Marg says:

    Hello Carol: For long term annual rentals, something in town may be better. Rivergrass and Snowbridge can work too but overall costs may be higher thereby reducing returns. I hope that helps, Carol!

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