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Here’s how financial planners come down on the mortgage-in-retirement debate. If you have a financial adviser, this is worth a chat.As you know, having a great time in a ski town for one week is not the same as daily living for 52 weeks. As you look around, ask if it’s mostly filled with second-home owners and vacationers, or are there plenty of year-round residents?
Perhaps consider renting for a year in one town. If it doesn’t feel right, try another one or reassess what you’re looking for. (Cities like Ogden, Utah, and Bozeman, Mont., with ski slopes a short drive away?) And if you love a pricey town, consider a smaller place or something a bit further from the slopes. That could make Summit County — Silverthorne or Dillon instead of Breckenridge? — work for you.
Here are three suggestions to get you started. You should be able to find something well below $1 million.Gallery: The 15 Best States for National Park Trips (Money Talks News)Pick this lower-profile resort as your ski area, and you avoid much of the traffic jams around Georgetown and further up the mountain to Summit County and beyond. While you can live at the resort, you may want to consider Fraser, 15 minutes north of Winter Park, or Granby, another 20 minutes away.
Nearly 16,000 people live in Grand County, or about half as many as in Summit County, and homes are more affordable. The towns are admittedly small — Fraser has about 1,300 year-round residents, and Granby has around 2,100 people. (By comparison, Breckenridge has about 5,000.)Not only would you be in the mountains, but you’d have plenty of water options. Granby in particular is close to Lake Granby as well as Shadow Mountain Lake (actually a reservoir) and Grand Lake.Get your mountain-biking fix at Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park; Ski magazine calls it “Colorado’s best downhill mountain biking park” — or explore some of the smaller options in the county.
Finally, Winter Park is less than 90 minutes from Denver.Temperatures stay cool here, with average summer highs only reaching the mid-70s. You’ll still have snow in May.Here’s what’s for sale now in Winter Park (some are fractional ownership), Fraser and Granby using listings from Realtor.Com (which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.).