The 10 best places in the US to buy a winter home right now

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Big Sky topped the list. Courtesy of Vacasa
  • Throughout the pandemic winter, some people may be searching for a cold-weather getaway home.
  • Rental property management company Vacasa recently ranked the best places to buy a winter home.
  • Montana, Pennsylvania, and Colorado all featured prominently thanks to their .
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Snow way!

Colorado has been hailed as the quarantine location of choice for the young and affluent. And while Montana may be home to several of the best cities to move to after the pandemic, it’s also a strong bet if you’re looking to buy a vacation property right now.

Rental property management company Vacasa just released its annual report on the top 10 places to buy a vacation house. Keep in mind that many of the places listed still have COVID-19 safety precautions in place, meaning that their usual activities and amenities may not be open.

Colorado makes several appearances on the list, although Montana does swoop in to nab the top spot. A few classic New England enclaves also made the cut.

The report is based on a location’s cap rate — in short, the rate of return on a real-estate investment. Last year, Vacasa’s data trends analyst Thaddeus Hanscom told Insider how the cap rate is calculated: take the property’s potential income, subtract any operating expenses, then divide by the purchase price. Vacasa also factored in the markets that have higher average occupancy rates during the winter.

Pandemic-related demand for picturesque locations from folks who are able to work remotely can factor into the decision to take the plunge and buy a seasonal property.

“The spotlight cast on professionally managed vacation homes over the past year not only resulted in an increase in bookings throughout the majority of our portfolio, but also in short-term rental buyer interest,” Shaun Greer, the vice president of sales and marketing for Vacasa, said in a statement.

Below, we listed the top locales in reverse order from 10th to first.


10. Mammoth Lakes, California

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Mammoth Lakes. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US495,201

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 4.8%


9. Granby, Colorado

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Granby. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US452,365

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 5.0%


8. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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Steamboat Springs. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US497,000

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 5.8%


7. Breckenridge, Colorado

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Breckenridge. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US588,324

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 5.9%


6. Big Bear Lake, California

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Big Bear Lake. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US313,667

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 6.0%


5. Vail, Colorado

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Vail. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US648,651

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 6.1%


4. Killington, Vermont

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Killington. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US218,917

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 6.2%


3. Conway, New Hampshire

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Conway. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US238,930

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 6.5%


2. Poconos, Pennsylvania

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Poconos. Courtesy of Vacasa

Median sale price: $US200,190

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 8.2%


1. Big Sky, Montana

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Big Sky. Big Sky Vacation Rentals

Median sale price: $US541,842

Cap rate, or potential return on investment: 9.2%