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THE NEWS Realty Trac, a real estate information company and online marketplace for foreclosed and defaulted properties, has ranked Huntsville, Utah, as the best ski town in the US for real estate investing.
Huntsville is located in the Ogden Valley, just east of Ogden, Utah, and less than an hour drive from Salt Lake International Airport. The Valley is home to three ski resorts. Snowbasin, a world-class ski mountain, hosted the Downhills, Super-Gs, and Combined events at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and has some of the most stunning and elegant lodges, efficient gondolas and lifts, and varied terrain that can be found anywhere. Powder Mountain has close to 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, and gets as much snowfall (500+ inches) in most years as powder legends Alta and Snowbird, and Nordic Valley is a small, but terrific mountain for families, those learning to ski or board, and racers looking for an excellent training site for slalom and giant slalom.
A large recreational lake, Pineview Resevoir, covers much of the floor of the idyllic Ogden Valley, and the surrounding mountains and craggy peaks offer numerous hiking and bike trails. There is a top-flight golf course and a number of trout streams. The scenery is spectacular.
Realty Trac listed the median price of distressed properties in the town of Huntsville as $169,950.00. Median prices of all properties in the Huntsville area, as well as all of Ogden Valley, are considerably higher - but still much less than other ski towns. And residents of the Valley and those who have second homes here consider it a true paradise. The primary reason for the irony - the Ogden Valley is still undiscovered.
A major base development was planned (and apparently still is) for just after the Olympics, but has never been built. Because of this, there has been very little marketing and advertising of Snowbasin outside of the local Utah area. Powder Mountain is just now starting a multi-phase development, and again, national and international advertising and promotion have been lacking. Numerous articles have appeared over the past few years touting the lifestyle, amenities and values available in the Ogden Valley, and also the town of Ogden. But until there is a major national and international marketing and promotional campaign, good deals are likely to remain. The conventional wisdom is that as soon as a shovel goes into the ground at Snowbasin for their base development, real estate prices will jump quickly and dramatically.
The city of Ogden, only fifteen minutes from the Ogden Valley through a spectacular canyon, and less than thirty minutes from Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, also offers remarkable value in the real estate market. Lovely historic and contemporary homes on the "bench", which offer walking access to mountain trails and scenic views of backyard peaks and across the Great Salt Lake, can be purchased for less than $100 per sq. ft. For investors, the rental market is strong, with attractive returns due to the low property prices.
Locals and property owners who love the lifestyle marvel at how long the area has remained undiscovered. It won't last. Nothing this good does. If you're in the market for property at or near a four-season, mountain resort(s), whether for your use or as an investment - contact a local realtor now.