Learn About Investing in Park City, Utah Real Estate

Guide to Investing in Park City & Deer Valley Real EstateInvesting in Park City, Ut real estate is one of the oldest and most popular asset classes for the wealthy and wise.  Most new investors in Park City have multiple properties in different areas of the United States or the World and rent their properties on a short-term basis with light personal use.  It is common for investors and developers in other areas of the united states to purchase properties in Park City.

Below we will discuss the different types of real estate investments and you'll learn more about Park City real estate investing. 

The Best Short Term Rentals Areas in Park City

The search for Park City investment properties usually starts around Park City Mountain Resort (Old Town), Deer Valley Resort Area, and The Canyons Village.  A large portion of these areas allows for short-term rentals, also known as nightly rentals, and the best chance for the highest return on investment via rental income.

There is a premium when purchasing and renting ski-in-ski-out properties and allows the investor to maximize profits of the peak ski season.  Old Town also allows for property owners to recieve higher rents during the Sundance Film Festival.  In my experience, many of the owners in Deer Valley do not rent their properties on a short-term or long-term basis but sometimes they may offset some of their costs of ownership by renting their property during the peak times of Christmas, New Year, and Presidents Day.

Park City Investment Realtors

Remodel of Investment Property in Deer ValleyInvestment properties in Park City, Utah aren't about cash flow.  The goal typical goal is to be able to use the property two to six weeks a year and have the nightly rentals cover the cost of ownership.  

I just closed on a property in Deer Valley that's a single-family residence.  It's one of the few single families that allow for nightly rentals but it was odd.  Odd enough for me to go back and check the entire last year's worth of sales.  In the past year, I realized I have closed on the lowest-priced single-family home in all of Deer Valley Ski Resort Area.  The clients have great vision and will do a great remodel in an amazing location about two minutes from the base of Deer Valley Resort Area.  

By pulling the stats for the past year, and I know that most brokers aren't excited about this but I am excited about helping clients get great deals on all types of properties.  I realized that now I have helped the lowest priced home buyer and lowest priced condo buyer, for a 3+ bedroom condo, in all of Deer Valley.  I'm posting before and after remodel photos of a kitchen in a condo in Upper Deer Valley.  

My real estate strategies work great for buying investment properties in All of Park City.  Every deal is different and sometimes it's about getting the best deal while others it's about getting the deal on a property.  

This is a challenging real estate market with plenty of agents trying to compete for your business.  I don't care if it's on an entry-level property or a luxury property, the agent and advice one offers is important.  It can be the difference between saving thousands of dollars or in a hot real estate market, it could mean getting the deal or not.  I try to advise my clients as I would my own family member but I also make sure that I have the best tools and resources. 

If you don't like the property we move on but if you like the property I have all the resources to remove any excuse for not buying.  We can come in aggressive on the price, I have a great contractor and designer I work with that will make it easy for you, I've personally used them so I know how giving a few Pinterest photos will help,  the best property management companies in town work with me.  

My goal is to ensure you are comfortable during the search for your new Park City property and during the time we are under contract.  I want to earn your business for a lifetime and help everyone you know buy and sell real estate in Park City.  You'll quickly know that you are in the best hands possible when buying or selling real estate in Park City, Utah.

Do Park City Investment Properties Cash Flow? 

The truth is, rental properties in Park City, Utah tend to be cash flow neutral when you pay cash.  I generally tell people that if there is no financing involved for a nightly rental property you should cover the expenses at the end of the year.  With the current demand for real estate in Park City, it feels as though the rental market isn't keeping up with property values.  Yes, rental rates are increasing but because rentals may have been booked twelve months ago they are often a lagging indicator.  In the past most investors have chosen to use projections balanced with historical numbers to develop their own cash flow projections. 

The typical buyer is searching for real estate they can use two to six weeks of the year and have a full-time property management company take care of the rest.  Every year hundreds of buyers purchase properties in Park City that essentially break even and over time the rental numbers increase and the property appreciates in value.

In a previous comment on this blog, Ron asked "When you say "cover all bills" does that include the mortgage?" To answer that question, the break-even does not include the cost of covering the mortgage.  Recently, I had a client ask for me to research rental numbers on several properties and we were unable to find a property to cover the cost of a mortgage with 20% down.  In addition, unless you know your mortgage rate we won't be able to calculate the cost of the mortgage.

Ski-in-ski-out properties at Park City Mountain, The Canyons, and Deer Valley tend to offer 120 to 150 peak days a year of peak days for the rental market.  There are many factors that play into the rentability of a property in a resort town.  

Non-Traditional Ways to Invest in Park City Real Estate

There are two additional ways to invest in Park City real estate.  The New Construction and Spec Home Strategy possibly offer more upside but in a way the risk could be considered higher as well. 

The First Option:  We have a few new construction projects coming online in the next few years.  Over the years many Park City real estate investors have been successful being one of the first buyers into a project and selling the property upon completion. 

The upside to this strategy, when purchasing a condo, is that you may be able to hold the property for up to two years without mortgage payments, property taxes, or HOA fees.  This new construction strategy allows you to leverage your buying power and hold 80% of the property with only 20% down.  (numbers can vary) 

The downside to being one of the first one's in is if the market flattens or dips you could have to come to the closing with additional money out of your pocket because the property won't appraise.  There's always risk vs reward - I'd have to think every investor that has used this strategy since 2012 has made a healthy profit.  In 2008 that wasn't the case for some buyers with $100,000+ non-refundable earnest money walked away and didn't recover their down payment because it made more financial sense to walk away from the deal. 

The Second Option:  Building homes on speculation.  Building a home in the Park City Area can be very rewarding financially.  A spec home typically requires much more work on your part than the first option because you need to find the land, architect, builder, designer, and all the other pieces along the way.  I have all those contacts for you to work with as you buy the land or after the purchase is complete. 

The upside to this strategy of investing is that there you not only may be able to find arbitrage in the market you may catch the sails of the upward trending real estate market.  The downside it it's more work, typically more capital intensive & it takes time to plan the home.  Also, if the market turns you could be sitting on the property for a while until the market comes back to where you thought it might be when you started building.  

If buying or building new construction you also need to take into accounts the risk of the banks changing loan programs, inherent builder risk, market risk, etc.

Check out when the best time of year is to buy a condo in Park City!

The Different Types of Investment and Rental Properties in Deer Valley and Park City, Ut

How to Search for Nightly Rental Investment Properties in Park CityThe Park City MLS allows for properties to be labeled in seven different ways which can be seen below. The best way to search for properties is by using the Map Search or neighborhood page. The map search allows you to use filters to select your price point, type of property, and many other features such as area or nightly rentals.

The general rule of thumb for finding a great investment property is that the closer you are to the resorts the higher your gross rental revenue. The nightly rental number is only as accurate as the listing agent puts the information into the MLS - search all properties and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me to discuss the options.

Homes: When investing in Park City homes, it should be noted that they may or may not allow for short-term rentals.  The location and proximity to the ski resort will play a large role in the property value and rental possibilities. 

Condos: Condos for sale can be found throughout Park City. The homeowner association fees tend to start around $350 per month and work their way up to over $50,000 per year. The HOA fees will be subtracted from your gross revenue so it is important to pay attention to the fees when you are considering purchasing a Park City condo. The HOA can also add value to the property by keeping the property in good condition and providing additional amenities, which makes it easier to rent.

Townhouse: Townhomes can stand alone in your real estate search but they are also pulled in within the condo search. Townhomes tend to be larger than condos and possibly live more like single-family homes.

Vacant Land: If you are considering purchasing land for sale in Park City you will be looking for appreciation. This speculative play may reap large rewards but you will not have rental income during your time of ownership. There is also a possibility that the land has HOA fees, typically lower than a property with a home on it, but HOA fees are worth taking into consideration.

Commercial:  Commercial real estate in Park City tends to be office buildings.  In Park City, commercial real estate is marketed much like our luxury properties.  Many of the properties for sale will be on the Park City MLS and this website.  I strictly work residential real estate but work with several commercial real estate agents that can help provide the real estate expertise that you're looking for when buying commercial property.

Fractional: Fractional ownership is structured much like a timeshare but you actually own the property and not a piece of paper. While there are some investors that prefer fractional ownership I personally tend to shy away from the property type because of their lack of liquidity and weak appreciation. I'd rather have full ownership of a smaller condo and more control over when I'm able to rent or use the property.

Multi-Unit:  This is a new property type in the Park City MLS which allows you to search by "stacked product".  Multi-unit means multiple residences on multiple floors.  This is not to be confused with multi-family properties like a duplex or triplex.  Contact me if you're searching for a multi family property in Park City as the search can be quite complicated.

Management Companies for Your Park City Investment Property

Most of the buyers looking for rental properties in Park City are interested in short-term rentals.  Local property management companies tend to be 25% to 50% of the gross rental income.  I tend to shy away from the higher-priced property managers because there are some great companies that charge less which will improve your bottom line.  Most of my clients pay 25% for full service and are completely hands-off in terms of management.  We sell assets, not liabilities.  

 5 Ways to Value Investment Properties in Park City, Utah

Items to Consider when Buying Park City Investment Properties

Old Town Park City Vacation RentalsMuch of my business is from second homeowners and investors. Park City investors are looking for a turn-key vacation rental where they can own it from another state and not worry about issues that may arise.

When you work with me you'll have all the tools you need for an easy remodel, designers, property management, and a full overview of the Park City real estate market.  Discover How to Value Investment Properties in Park City & Deer Valley

Derrik Carlson has personally owned, managed, and raised financing for many of his own investment properties. This information is reliable but it is not, in any way shape, or form, investment advice.

Originally by Derrik Carlson on Sunday, March 29th, 2020 at 1:28 am.  Updated on January 4, 2022.

Posted by Derrik Carlson on


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We are interested in a 2nd home in Park City but would also want it to be an investment property maximizing short term rentals. We will be in Park City for a few days later this month and have been looking online but are not sure what areas do/do not allow short term rentals. Thanks

Posted by Penelope Boettiger on Monday, September 7th, 2020 at 4:49pm

Hi, looking for a good rental investment property sub $2mm. Goal would be to cover all bills, insurance and taxes and find a place where the appreciation would rise for when selling in future. Please let me know if you have any ideas. 2+ bed plus 2+ bath minimum.


Posted by Ron D. on Monday, March 15th, 2021 at 6:32pm

Hi Ron,
When you say "cover all bills" does that include the mortgage?
Kindly, Derrik

Posted by Derrik Carlson on Monday, March 15th, 2021 at 6:38pm

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