We purchased a cabin at Sasquatch Mountain!
As we wave goodbye to 2020, we will reflect on it with mixed emotions. Obviously, 2020 sucked in many ways. But, it wasn’t all bad. We learned a lot about what is truly important. It put life into perspective and reminded us how quickly everything can change.
For that, we are grateful.
Before we share the details about our new cabin at Sasquatch Mountain, let’s take a step back and share WHY and HOW we decided to go down this road.
Like you, when the world shutdown in March we were forced to re-evaluate our situation. At the time, we had no idea the pandemic would last as long as it has.
As each month passed, it became clear that the travel industry will take years to bounce back. Our desire to travel also shifted, at least in the short term.
With this in mind, we started to consider other ways to get our travel fix. This forced us to put thought into WHY we travel as a family. Of course, we love seeing famous landmarks, trying new food and learning about people and cultures. However, for us, a big driver is being able to spend quality time with our boys. That’s what really gets us excited about travel these days.
Over the years, we’ve often talked about owning a vacation property but the conversation had never progressed beyond words.
With travel on pause and a renewed appreciation for how precious time and life are, the idea of purchasing a vacation property resurfaced. But where?
Our first thought was Whistler. If you’ve followed this travel blog for a while, you’ll know that we often label Whistler as our home away from home. Given that it’s become a four season destination, we thought it was a no-brainer to purchase a vacation property in Whistler.
That is, until we started researching and realized that Whistler is way out of our budget.
One bedroom condos in Whistler Village start around $500,000 CAD, and you will likely pay at least $500 per month in strata fees (more if you get a property with a pool). The math just didn’t work for us. Especially if we wanted a 2 or 3 bedroom property.
So, we started looking elsewhere.
We almost purchased a trailer at a holiday park at Cultus Lake, but the property would not be accessible in the winter. That was a deal breaker for us. Although it would have been the perfect summer destination, we wanted a place that we could visit year round.
Next, we explored options in the British Columbia Interior, specifically at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna and Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops. There were a few properties that would have worked for us, but we couldn’t get over the 5 to 6 hour drive from Vancouver.
And, we didn’t want to have to contend with the infamous Coquihalla Pass, known for its treacherous winter road conditions and frequent vehicle accidents.
The search continued.
When our boys returned to school in September, we started the discussion about the upcoming ski season. Every winter we plan a few overnight ski trips in British Columbia. Last year, we visited Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island and we spent the Christmas holidays at Sasquatch Mountain Resort.
“What about Sasquatch Mountain Resort?”
I think we both said those words out loud at the same time.
Sasquatch Mountain checked most of the boxes on our list. The more we talked about the pros and cons, the more excited we became. Could Sasquatch be the perfect place for our new home away from home? All signs pointed in that direction.
Why Sasquatch Mountain Resort?
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a vacation property at a ski resort. The reason we felt Sasquatch Mountain was a good fit for us was because:
- It’s close to Vancouver – only a 2 hour drive. It’s located between the towns of Mission and Agassiz.
- You do not have to contend with an unpredictable mountain pass like the Coquihalla Summit.
- Private cabins and ski chalet prices are affordable – at least, when compared to Whistler.
- It’s accessible year round, with skiing in the winter and lakes and hiking in the summer.
- Lift passes are affordable and there are virtually no line-ups for the chair lifts.
- There are currently no hotels on the mountain, so private rental properties fetch a good price for nightly rentals. We hope to rent our cabin next year, after the renovations are complete, so this was a big factor in our decision.
The owners of Sasquatch Mountain Resort have big plans for the future. They intend to add more chair lifts, a zipline course and treetop adventures, mountain bike parks and other investments that will make Sasquatch a more attractive four season destination (read the development plan here).
We feel confident this is an opportunity to capitalize on ‘getting in before the boom’. Kind of like investing in Whistler BEFORE it was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics. That would be a nice cherry on top.
How did we find our new cabin – or is it a chalet?
We did a very bold thing in order to purchase this cabin on Sasquatch Mountain – we made a written offer without physically viewing the property. Yep, you read that correctly. We made a significant investment by only looking at a few photos online.
When we tell this story to friends and family they give us a perplexed look. “I’m sorry, you did what now?”
We’re not usually that impulsive, but this cabin felt like the one.
So we went for it!
There’s limited supply on Sasquatch Mountain. At any given time, there might be 5 to 10 properties for sale. Some of these properties are high end luxury cabins, which reduces the number of available properties that fit within our budget.
When we started seriously looking there were only two vacation properties that fit our budget and met our family requirements. One of them was perfect. However, when we inquired about the property, it had already been purchased.
We actually considered purchasing a vacant lot and building a cabin because there was nothing available. However, we scrapped that idea because it would take too long to complete the project (at least 12 to 18 months). Our goal is to enjoy the cabin this year, given the pandemic and travel restrictions, so it didn’t make sense to go down that road.
Do you believe in destiny?
We’re not sure we do, but something remarkable happened after we made the decision to purchase a cabin at Sasquatch Mountain.
After weeks of waiting for new properties to hit the market, we almost gave up on the idea of purchasing a property in 2020.
Then it happened. Remember that perfect ski chalet I mentioned, the one that had already been sold? Well, it came back on the market! The deal fell through and we had an opportunity to purchase it.
We took that as a sign and quickly made an offer before physically seeing the property. We added a few subjects to the sale, so we had a few outs if needed, but we were confident that we had found the one.
Why this particular cabin on Sasquatch Mountain?
There are a reasons why we felt this was the perfect ski cabin for us.
First, it’s located in the Upper Village, which is walking distance to the chair lifts and day lodge. This is important because we did not want to have to drive to the chair lifts, especially during a big snowfall.
Second, it has plenty of space for us to host guests. It has 5 small bedrooms and a large open family room with an awesome fireplace. We’re excited to be able to invite friends to stay with us on the mountain.
Third, it was priced within our budget. We can afford the monthly expenses without having to rent the cabin. Now, the plan is still to rent the cabin in the future to offset its expenses, but we don’t HAVE to. It feels good to be in control of this investment.
Finally, it has a hot tub. What more needs to be said?
Below are a few photos of our cabin at Sasquatch Mountain.
We will share more before and after photos as we progress through the renovations. We hope to complete the work by the end of this year (2021).
The main floor (second floor) has an open concept, from kitchen to living room. Above is a photo we captured before we took possession.
The previous owner left a lot of items, which has made the transition much easier. It’s not easy to get deliveries at the mountain during the winter, especially big items like sofas and mattresses.
We like the kitchen but we plan renovate it this summer. The floors and cabinets need to be updated, so we plan to renovate them at the same time. We’ll likely keep the appliances.
How great are these vintage snow shoes?!
View of the living room from the third floor. We’ve replaced the carpets on the stairs.
This entrance was one of the first things to go. We’ve ripped out the old bench and floors.
Updated entrance with custom bench, vinyl plank flooring and new shiplap wall.
Above is the Before photo. The previous owner made this room an office, but we have other plans. We’ve already updated the walls (the lower section) and replaced the flooring.
Our plan is to keep this room open and use it as a place to store ski and snowboard equipment.
This room is a game changer when getting our boys dressed for the mountain. It’s nice to have lots of space for everyone to put on their boots and outerwear.
The in-between photo. As I write this post, I realize I don’t have an updated photo. More to come.
This is the Before photo of the downstairs room. We’ve already replaced the floors. That big wood ‘art’ has also been removed, along with everything else.
We will share an updated photo when we get to this room in the spring. The plan is to make this a fun kids room, with old video games, board games, bean bag chairs and a smart TV with Netflix and Disney+ (there’s no cable up here, but we have wifi).
Before photo of Bedroom #1. There are 4 bedrooms on the 3rd floor that are about the same size.
Connor helping Nicole paint the walls.
Bedroom 1 is mostly complete now. It has new lights, electrical outlets and switches, new door and frame, carpet and trim, new bed frame and mattress.
Now we just need to personalize the room with artwork, blankets and pillows.
Before photo of Bedroom #2. We’ve removed everything except the curtains.
Bedroom #2. New carpet and trim. Look at the previous photo to see the old brown carpet.
Painting complete. New doors and frames installed. New lights and switches.
Brand new bed and mattresses arrived last week! We’re still not sure about the bed layout in this room. The sliding door and small size make it challenging for a queen bed.
What do you think? Keep the bed as is? Or turn it the other way?
Not gonna lie – the hot tub was a big part of the decision to buy a ski cabin at Sasquatch Mountain. We’ve never thought of ourselves as hot tub people. That has since changed. We love it and go for a soak at least once per day.
Total game changer!
Nice view of Sasquatch Mountain Resort from the hot tub.
The view from our balcony in November.
Same view from our balcony in December. What a difference a month makes!
Has anyone seen our car? I parked it right there, I swear!
How will this move impact our future travels?
The simple answer is – we don’t know. Owning a cabin has introduced us to a much slower lifestyle. And we’re digging it. We enjoy the simplicity and convenience that it brings.
However, we’d be lying of we said we weren’t craving a Caribbean beach right now. When the world opens up again for international leisure travel, we’ll be the first to book a flight. But we don’t expect that to happen in 2021.
Until next time… check out our Instagram stories for live updates.