If you're looking for a vacation home that pays for itself, finding a property that you can subsequently rent out to others is the perfect solution. But, creating a viable vacation rental business does require understanding how to choose the right home to begin with. Here are 3 things to look for as you shop for houses.
Location. It's a cliche because it's true: location matters. If you're looking to rent out the home or condo consistently and for a good price, you'll want to focus on finding a location with lots of appeal to visitors. This doesn't necessarily mean buying in the most expensive part of town, but it does mean providing some type of access to popular things people like to do. Depending on the area, some popular locations might include walking distance to restaurants or shops, a quiet and wooded property, or a great view. Make sure your property has at least one great selling point for out-of-towners.
Amenities. Added features can really separate your property from others available for rent. One way to increase amenities easily is to purchase a condo for sale rather than a single-family home. Look for a building with amenities like a pool and hot tub, beach access, fire pits, or golf. When choosing a condo or house, consider what types of vacationers your area tends to attract and what they are looking for in a vacation spot. For example, a fitness center may seem like a worthy amenity for a beach rental, but your guests are much more likely to spend their money at a property with a view of the ocean and a nearby beach rather than being stuck inside working out.
Budget. Getting overly optimistic about your rental income can cause you to choose the wrong property. If you stretch too far out of your budget, you may not be able to weather unexpected emergencies or cover slow seasons in the tourist market. Instead, determine your rental budget long before you begin shopping, and be determined to stick to the plan... and to avoid getting caught up in the moment. The rental budget should take into consideration both the purchase price and the monthly costs, such as taxes, insurance, rental listing fees, maintenance, cleaning, and condo fees.
By keeping these few things in mind both before and during your house hunting, you can help ensure that you find a second home that you'll love and that your future guests will adore as well.