Factors to Consider in Buying a Seasonal Rental

Saturday, November 03, 2012

We’ve written a lot about buying a rental property here on this site.  It is a very popular investment strategy, but it does take a lot of work.  One thing we haven’t touched on too much is the market for seasonal rentals.  Holiday, vacation, or seasonal rentals can be a lucrative market because the prices charged during the peak season can often be huge, making the property very appealing.  However, different challenges come with a seasonal or vacation rental.

Things to Consider When Buying

Buying a vacation or seasonal rental is challenging, because you need to pick the right destination and location.  For example, beach rentals are extremely popular, but you need to be in a tourist destination, like Southern California or Florida.  The same is true for winter chalets – you need to be in a top winter tourist destination like Colorado or Utah.

For the actual unit or property itself, curb appeal and atmosphere matter.  People want views and access to the tourist areas (beaches, ski resorts, etc.).  You also should consider the character of the home, and the surrounding area.

Considering Management

For most vacation rental landlords, you will use a management company like Rent My Cottage IE to handle the bookings and clients.  When looking for a management company for your seasonal rental, you want to make sure they are in your area and have experience dealing with the specific type of property you’re interested in.  This means understanding what facilities the customers will want, and more.

Also, you want to make sure that your company is good at the details: cleanliness, fresh towels and linens, and even flowers or bottles of wine upon arrival.  These details can make the difference.


Dealing with the Basics

Finally, you need to understand how you’re going to take care of the maintenance and utilities of the property.  Will your management company handle these, or do they deal exclusively with booking vacationers.  Understand this ahead of time so that you can be aware of what your true expenses will be.

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