Dear Joan,  I am a renter in Vail and have a great location with a very reasonable rent because I have been here so long​.  My landlord really
 like​s​
 me and ha​s​
 not raised my rent in years.  My question is, I have enough money to buy a​ small 
condo “​mid​
​”​
 valley or a home ​with a yard ​
“down​”​
 valley for myself, but I am thinking that maybe I am better off staying where I am, in this great location​.  I
 could not afford to buy​ the place I am renting if it did go up for sale.  So, maybe I should just enjoy it and
 buy stocks,​ or ​
 bonds, ​or ​
mutual funds or maybe income property.  I still love to ski, among other outdoor activities, so location really does matter to me.  Thanks for any pearls of wisdom to think about.  

Dear Undecided, the first part of this answer is easy, it is almost always best to quit being a renter and become a home owner.  Your primary ​
residence is the best first step to ​personal ​
wealth made by most everyone​ who can afford to do it in America​
. Don’t forget, your landlord could sell​ to someone else​
, or heaven forbid,​ he could​
 ​die​
, and your rent could sky rocket or your place not be available to rent any more…at any ​price​
.  You are never in control of your own destiny as a renter​ and you are always making your landlords payments and/or setting up his retirement.  ​Now on to location and lifestyle.  You may be surprised, but many “down” valley property owners also ski!  If you are not ski in/ski out, does it matter if you have to drive 15 to 30 minutes more?  I know taking the bus is a great solution, but that can be done from all over the Valley now,  as well.  You mentioned other outdoor activities.  Do you know they are bike riding and golfing at the other end of the Valley right now?  Life is always a series of trade offs, I like to say, whether it is with a personal relationship, work, investments or location for living.  My best suggestion for you is to  have your trusted, knowledgeable Realtor show you what you can get for your money, at numerous locations in the Valley, and then reevaluate, looking at the financial, aesthetic and lifestyle possibilities of all locations.  If you conclude that you still need to be in your current fabulous location, you can always hedge your bets.  You could find a property suitable for you to live in, but buy it for an investment for now and just rent it out…so someone else is making your payments, while you are making your landlord’s payments.  That way, if your current location sells, or the rent is substantially increased, you will have a place to go that you can enjoy, and that will at least be partially paid for.  .  Good luck with your decision!