- Timing: Property owners generally start listing after the July 4 holiday. The heavy booking period is from then until ~Labor Day. If you need a pet-friendly property you want to look early and quickly. These tend to be few and go fast. And many of us with small children followed that old tradition...try a dog before children. So we have a dog.
- Location: With small children proximity to the hill is very important. Due to those nap, feeding, etc schedules the ability for parents to trade off or roll-out when a melt-down starts is very important. Last year we were lucky and could walk to the hill in 10minutes...this year we can drive there in a couple of minutes and also have a shuttle stop 3 doors down. Also careful of the topography of the place you choose...will it be treacherous either driving in or out or getting the children into or out of the house.
- Amenities: Laundry, Proper amount and layout of bedrooms (we like multiple levels to put the children away from the high traffic or socialization areas for sleeping), microwave, safety with regards to lay-out or design (i.e. open lofts). Honestly...look at it as if it was your home as you will be spending a huge amount of time there during the winter season. Last year we spent 3o nights...and we are guessing 40+ days between Dec1 and the end of April at our lease.
- Price: Generally the price quoted only covers the rent. You will need to ask about other bills...utilities, snow removal, cable/phone, security deposit, etc.. Also ask about payments schedules...month to month, all upfront, 2x during lease period. Also any processing fees. For example generally a credit report is required in the application process and will run you about $25. Another way to help your budget is to get another family to join you. This year we are excited to be sharing a lease with some good friends who have a small child.
So if you were a huge skier before children you can still do it with small children without paying a second mortgage. You still obviously need to budget and save for a ski lease. But for our family who do a lot of traveling and enjoy our primary residence during the other seasons of the year it makes sense for us to have a ski lease. And by getting on it early we got a dog-friendly home that met all or our requirements and our budget and we can return to enjoying the remainder of our summer knowing we have a place to lay our little ones heads when the snow begins to fly.