Have you ever thought about purchasing a property to use as a vacation rental? Maybe you’ve seen a charming beach bungalow and know it would be perfect for vacationers. Or possibly you’ve stayed in the same cabin every Christmas for the last five years and now the owner is thinking about selling. Well, the good news is that if you like to spend time in a certain property then others will probably feel the same way. Still, there are a few facts you should think about before you make the big plunge.
Research – A vacation rental is a business and like any other venture you should look into the market before you buy. What type of people spends their vacations in the area? Knowing who vacations in the area will help you decide if the home you are looking at is large enough. A single bedroom cottage might be big enough for honeymooners, but a family is going to need three or more bedrooms. Make sure you are buying the right property for the market in the area.
Rentability – If you’re buying a property that has been a vacation rental in the past, you can easily get the rental history from the current owner. If not, you’ll need to look into other vacation rentals in the same area. Go on vacation rental websites like VacationRentals.com or HomeAway.com and look up what rates the other owners are charging and how booked their year is. If they don’t seem to be getting much business then you may want to search for properties in a different area.
Cash Flow – Before you buy, you should figure out if you’ll be taking in enough money to pay the mortgage and maintenance fees. Once you figure out the local rates and the average amount of bookings per year, you can gauge those numbers against your costs. Make sure to add in the amount for housekeepers, gardeners, and maintenance people. Even if you are going to be doing a lot of the work yourself you should estimate the cost of your time.
Part-Time Job – The place isn’t going to rent itself. Even if you use a service or list it on a number of vacation-rental websites it’s still going to take time to set up and maintain. Before starting your business, be sure you can answer emails and phone calls every day. Make sure you enjoy dealing with people who want to come to your favorite vacation destination.
Still interested in purchasing a vacation rental? Well, there’s no better place to do it than the Big Island. We have several properties that have already been vacation rentals in the past and have great track records. If you’d like more information, please get in touch with us at MacArthur and Company Sotheby’s International Realty.