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Phoenix Bike House - Good Idea?

Is this somewhere that you would consider staying?

Total votes: 2
March 13, 2018, 3:18 p.m.
Posts: 28
Joined: May 17, 2013

Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but hoping for some feedback/criticism. Given BC real estate prices, I'm looking at purchasing an investment property down in Phoenix instead. I was thinking about AirBnb'ing a condo in Scottsdale (in properly zoned area/allowed by the strata there), but I also like the idea of catering to bikers.

Biking is obviously year-round in the desert, but the prime time is obviously when BC biking is at it's worst. Summer riding is generally limited to early morning or nights with lights.

Direct flights (3 hrs) can be found for under $300 roundtrip and WestJet charges a bike box/bag up to 45kg as regular checked baggage.

South Mountain ( has a good variety of riding from easy XC greens to more tech trails like National:

I'd be looking at a 3BR detached house with pool, garage, and secured bike storage/tools within a 5 minute pedal of South Mountain. Uber from the airport is under $20 and you would not need a car. There are a few other riding areas within a 30-40 minute drive and Sedona/Tucson are ~2 hours away (but much higher elevation/snow).

Any giant holes in this idea? Would you pay ~$2,000 for a week stay (split between 4-8 friends)? There aren't many houses for rent in that area (mostly condos), but would you see any advantage to staying in a place catered to bikers?

I don't really have any contacts for guides/shuttles, but assume most people here would want to do their own thing and I can contact some local businesses to fill that gap. I'd definitely put a guide/map together for the area.

 Last edited by: luckbox on March 13, 2018, 3:19 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 13, 2018, 11:39 p.m.
Posts: 897
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

For work I used to go there frequently for years, honestly I wouldn't put it on my list of places I'd travel to. 

As for year round, hot seems great, till you realize you can't go outdoors when it's hot, and it's frequently hot. Like in the 40's (one hundred teens). I used to run obsessively, many trips I couldn't even walk vigorously outdoors, even at 3am. 

Sure, it sucks to put on a light wind breaker and fleece gloves for riding in slightly chilly Vancouver. Desert heat however won't be slightly off of your ideal temperature- it will kill you.

If you're very conservative and have trouble finding people to talk to about the merits of bump stocks and/or are really into indoor air conditioned strip malls it might be a good move?

I will give you a 99.9% + .2% guarantee if you do this your wife will never let you forget what a dumb move it was and how it was all your idea.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on March 14, 2018, 12:04 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Snarkinessness
March 14, 2018, 4:51 a.m.
Posts: 2906
Joined: June 15, 2006

Consider slightly further south..San Carlos,Sonora..heck even Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point).

Kitesurfing, mountain biking, road riding, hiking, fishing,boating, tequila and freedom.

March 14, 2018, 9:27 a.m.
Posts: 28
Joined: May 17, 2013

I'm definitely not considering moving there as I'm happily living in Whistler, but I do usually head south for a few weeks in the fall/spring. I would only expect the place to be rented October-May or so.

I've never done any biking in Mexico (lived in Mexico City for a couple years as a kid). How is the riding around Sonora? Seems like it would be 2-3x the travel time/cost needing a car?

March 14, 2018, 1:02 p.m.
Posts: 897
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

You've got Dec, Jan, mostly Feb with guaranteed pleasant temps in Phoenix. Fall and spring still can have days that are baking.

Looked at Tucson, Flagstaff, etc? Cooler than Phoenix, hills, character to the towns. A political map of Arizona will give you an idea of places that are worth while. Conservative generally= shithole. Even if just visiting.

California? For fall/spring maybe no need to go all the way down to the surface of the fucking sun? Anything south of the Oregon border and it is steamy wonderfulness. Northern California is a shorter flight from YVR and has mild fall/spring temps. Clamath, Shasta, Mendocino. Fly in to Eureka? Plus there's dirt and trees, and culture. Real estate is free compared to Vancouver.

T-shirt riding in a redwood/ marijuana forest in Humboldt instead of heatstroke in the desert...

 Last edited by: Hepcat on March 14, 2018, 3:25 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Reason: "Hi Crime Stoppers. Hi Steve!"
March 15, 2018, 1:16 p.m.
Posts: 1353
Joined: July 11, 2014

Have you run some hard numbers on this? I don't see how it will be profitable unless you are managing the rental yourself (which would mean living there). Just not sure how it's an investment idea as purchase prices are not astronomically low there anymore.

March 16, 2018, 10:30 a.m.
Posts: 28
Joined: May 17, 2013

I've run the numbers, but I'm going to abandon the mountain bike vacation idea and just go with a typical vacation rental in Scottsdale as was my original plan. The mountain bike idea is pretty niche in the grand scheme of things, plus there's a lot more maintenance considerations with a detached home.

Both style of properties would be right around $200k (3BR/2BA pool house near SoMo vs 1100sf 2BR/2BA Scottsdale townhouse). Prices are still way up from the bottom as you mentioned, but they are still free compared to BC. Arizona has a lot of protection for nightly rentals (as long as there aren't grandfathered restrictions in HOA CC&R's), whereas most areas it's a grey area at best.

All of the money is made January-April with most rentals near full capacity. I'd head down and use it myself for May and Oct/Nov when it's miserable up here.

Managing it remotely really comes down to having reliable cleaners (and backups). I had a Whistler AirBnb unit until last year and had no trouble managing that while away. I managed all check-ins through a Kaba digital lock and never had issues beyond hairdryers throwing breakers and a couple broken glasses.

I tried looking into the area surrounding Eureka, but it does look like a longer/more expensive trip (as you need to fly to SFO first) and I couldn't find much on Trailforks (although I realize that can miss a lot). Real estate is also 50-100% more expensive and the weather isn't great this time of year (raining/high of 10 vs sunny/high of 23 today).

We did a road trip down the coast to San Diego last October/November and the Redwood was certainly a cool area.

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