I love house hunting, even when I don’t need a house. Hunting for a vacation rental is even more fun. Browsing through Redfin and Zillow, I methodically tick off the top attributes that I know will make a vacation rental more desirable, and more profitable:
1. Buy where tourists want to travel
This might seem obvious, but location is everything. People love visiting locales like Maui, Destin, Palm Springs, or the Finger Lakes. These places also tend to have more management companies to choose from who can help support your vacation rental strategy. That being said, be sure to vet these providers ahead of time as their quality can vary significantly!
2. Purchase close to the beach, or better yet, on the beach
Vacationers love the sound of waves crashing on the shore. While some may worry about tsunamis, floods, or hurricanes, my recommendation is to just make sure your insurance will cover properties for these types of natural disasters.
3. Make sure your unit is decorated in a clean and polished way to maximize returns
Avoid junky knick-knacks. Steer clear of brown shag carpet, mottled mirrors, or outdated formica countertops… these really have to go! Instead, furnish your home with cool, local pieces. Use platforms like Pinterest to find interior decorating ideas. Better yet, work with a local property manager to help you get squared away.
4. Prioritize nice views and comfortable outdoor seating
Even if your unit is not directly on the beach or ski lift, look for spots that have plenty of space where guests can sip a Mai Tai, read a book on the lanai, or soak in the great outdoors.
5. Speaking of a soak, it’s always a plus if the property has a pool or jacuzzi
While a swimming area might increase your HOA fees, it will also increase your average nightly rate and average guest satisfaction score.
Happy vacation rental hunting!