7 affordable slopeside condos

Mountains of fun just outside your door

What's better than stepping out the door and finding a ski trail or lift just a short walk away? Well, nothing, which is why we went looking for affordable ski-in/ski-out condos on some of our favorite mountains. No schlepping your skis or board across a parking lot. No jostling for a seat on the shuttle bus. Our suggested properties are priced from $195,000 to $299,000 and stretch across six states, from Vermont to Idaho.  We didn't do single-family houses for two big reasons. First, most ski-in/ski-out places are condos. It's just the way the resort industry works. Of course, there are houses, but they're luxury abodes that defy anyone's definition of affordable. The second reason is that all of these condos come fully furnished and ready to rent out. When you aren't around, you can make a few bucks. Our first suggestion is on the Beast of East …

Killington

51 East Glade at Sunrise
Killington, Vermont
$195,000
$195 per square foot

This isn't just the least expensive condo on our list. It's also the second-largest, clocking in at 995 square feet, and second-cheapest in terms of price-per-square foot. Although the exterior looks a little dated, the inside has been fully renovated. The kitchen has radiant floors, high-end appliances and granite counter tops. The bathrooms have radiant flooring, too. The living room and bedrooms have new carpet, new furniture and an updated fireplace. There's also a large storage space underneath to store your ski stuff or lock up possessions when renting out the unit. The $525-a-month association fees include access to indoor and outdoor pools, exercise room, ice skating pond and cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. The street dead-ends at Sundog Trail, which takes you to the Sunrise Village Triple lift and full access to the East's biggest ski area.

Contact: Ted Crawford of Prestige Real Estate of Killington, 802-422-3923

Schweitzer

90 Stella Lane, Schweitzer Creek #2
Sandpoint, Idaho
$252,500
$173 per square foot

Schweitzer Mountain is an absolute delight, with enough cruisers, steeps and glades to challenge skiers of every ability. This 1,457-square-foot condo is the largest on our list and the cheapest in terms of cost-per-square-foot. It's not quite two stories, but it does have vaulted wood ceilings with a loft, two fireplaces and two decks. It has three bedrooms overall with a master suite on the first floor. The condo also comes with a one-car garage, separate storage area and reasonable association fees of $291 a month. The drawback: It hasn't been renovated since it was built in 1978. But if you can look past that, it's a good deal, and the Happy Trails beginner's slope is just two blocks away. Ski down to the Musical Chairs Double, and ride up to the heart of Schweitzer village and full access the rest of the mountain.

Contact: Randy Stone of Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, 208-255-8268

Aspen

100 Elbert Lane, Unit H-7
Snowmass Village, Colorado
$239,900
$537 per square foot

An affordable condo on Aspen's biggest mountain? That's what this 447-square-foot Snowmass Village condo offers. The unit was built in 1967 and renovated in 2008. It's considered a zero bedroom place — the living and sleeping areas are the same. But it's not like you're walking into a room full of beds. Two beds come in the form of sleeper sofas, and a single bed is tucked away into a corner and doubles as a seating area. This also means that the fireplace can be enjoyed by all. Fanny Hill, the main run down to all the lower lifts, is just a football field away.  Association fees of $307 a month include electric heat, trash, cable, water and sewer, as well as property management for owners renting out their units.  It's also one of the few condos in Snowmass that has a designated parking lot right next to the building.

Contact: Greg Didier of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, 970-923-2006

Breckenridge

205 Primrose Path 9
Breckenridge, Colorado
$235,000
$623 per square foot

Talk about location. This kicky little condo is just 100 yards downhill from the Snowflake lift and a few blocks uphill from downtown Breckenridge. Although it's the smallest of our suggestions, we think the design makes good use of all 377 square feet. There's a sleeper sofa in the living room and a loft with a queen bed. It doesn't look like much has been done to the exterior since it was built in 1974. But inside you'll find an updated kitchen and bath, new hardwood floors and gas fireplace. The unit sits above a dedicated one-car garage, a major plus. The homeowners association fees are the lowest you'll find here — $245 a month — but include access to the Upper Village pool and hot tubs, cable, insurance, water and sewer. One final advantage: Breckenridge is owned by Vail Resorts, so most lift tickets can be used at the company's other nearby mountains — Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone.

Contact: Jan G. Nichols of Metro Brokers, 970-453-1226

Park City

1482 Empire Ave. #114
Park City, Utah
$257,000
http://summitpeaktours.com/tour/1224/
$288 per square foot

Edelweiss Haus sits in the heart of town, an easy walk to shopping and restaurants, and just across a couple of parking lots from the base area and most of Park City's uphill lifts. Although it's no more than a couple of football fields, you can catch the ski shuttle if you don't want to walk. The two-bedroom, two-bath condo has 893 square feet and isn't fancy. But it has a few nice touches, including a balcony, fireplace and granite counter tops in the kitchen. There's also an attached garage — a big plus in a locale that gets two feet of snow a month during the winter. The year-round outdoor pool and spa dominate the building's courtyard. The homeowners association fees of $487 per month cover all utilities except phone. If you're going to rent out the unit, Edelweiss Haus offers on-site check-in and management services.

Contact: Dennis Hanlon of Summit Sotheby's International Realty, 435-649-1884

Jackson Hole

7180 Rachel Way N. #A-6
Teton Village, Wyoming
$299,000
$361 per square foot

This ties for the most expensive condo in our slide show, but hey, it's in the heart of Jackson Hole. It has 828 square feet, with one bedroom, one bath and a wraparound deck with spectacular mountain and sunset views. Although the unit's been upgraded since it was built in 1973, the photos we've seen would suggest it's about time for another redo. There's basement storage and a ground-level ski locker. The listing says the condo is walking distance to a ski lift — and that's technically true. The Moose Creek Quad, Union Pass Quad and Aerial Tram literally surround the place. But they're all about a quarter mile away, so this is stretching the limits of what we'd consider a ski-in/ski-out location. We decided to include it, however, because the Teton Village shuttle stops just outside, association fees are a reasonable $267 a month and this still seems like a deal for Jackson Hole.

Contact: Brad Andrews of Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, 307-733-6060

Taos Valley

St. Moritz Condo #102
Taos, New Mexico
$299,000
$336 per square foot

The St. Moritz was built in 2012, making this the newest condo in our slide show. After looking at a lot of buildings dating from the '70s and '80s, the difference really shows, inside and out. The exterior is modern and attractive. The one-bedroom, one-bath, first-floor unit has 890 square feet and lots of upscale amenities. The kitchen is equipped with stainless-steel appliances, including a large French door refrigerator, granite counter tops and breakfast bar. The living room has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace with a built-in flat-screen TV. Stone fireplace and breakfast bar round out this condo's rustic yet modern feel. It's a two- to three-minute walk to the Taos Valley base area where you can catch the No. 1 and No. 5 lifts up the hill. Homeowners association fees are $265 per month, which will be waived for the first year. You can't beat the view, either: You're looking at the slopeside right out your window.

Contact: Keith Dowell of Taos Ski Valley Realty, 575-776-0600