I live in the Los Angeles area and I am looking in to STR Market of Big Bear and looks to have a lot of upside. Price of Homes Vs. Potential Profit. I am looking to invest in a 2/3 BD Cabin. Looking for feedback on STR's in the area. Tips in operation of STR's in general would be much appreciated. I would like to go to the property physically only once a month or so.
What are the average costs of Property management on an STR?
Average Vacancy rate in Big Bear Area Air BnB/Vrbos?
Local Laws to be aware of?( Heard of city policy requiring physical presence during check-in)
Any downside to listing on both Vrbo and AirBnb?
Hey @Shane Maddux . I normally invest out of state but I am from SoCal and was starting to look in to STRs in the Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead area. The big thing I took away from my research is that there is more and more coming into STRs in Big Bear. There are growing nuances and costs. For this reason I suggest whatever investments you look at you make sure that it also works as a long term rental and would make sense as a normal buy and hold. STRs profits should be seen as an amazing icing on the cake.
Updated about 1 month ago
More and more regulation. Whoops. Forgot to include that word
Thanks for the response Aseel, I agree you should always have a plan B to shift to. I definitely plan on doing further research on which area (Arrowhead or Big bear) would be an easier area to transition to LTR if need be.
I’m new to investing as well, and had the same thoughts, due to my love for the mountains and wanting to be close to big bear to get my snowboarding fix.
The STR route hasn't penciled out from the properties I've seen thus far. I will say this though...if you can get a duplex or triplex up there, you can incorporate long term for one or two of the units, while leaving one unit as a short term or personal use. I believe this will work out at the right price!
I think there is still money to be made pending you work the right deal and make your STR unique from others. The major money eater is the requirement for a property manager in that area( if you don't reside relatively close), which from what I've read is roughly 25-30%. I stayed at a property with 4 2 story buildings( roughly 1000sq ft each building) all with units on top and bottom, all booked at $500 that night. So the owner paid her mortgage for the month In one night. That's what really drew my interest to investing in the area.
For sure! Definitely buy at the right price, and it can definitely work. I think if you find a property that is close enough to the mountain, maybe off moonridge, then it should attract enough renters to offset the higher property management costs and longer vacancies like the property you stayed at.
The problem is finding a property like the one you mentioned, as a property like that would be overpriced in this market, as an owner who’s selling would bake in the price of it being fully rented in a “normal” winter season. That sets you up for more risk, as you have to bank on all buildings renting out for 12 nights a year to just pay the mortgage (at the owner’s current loan amount), not factoring the insurance, taxes, cap ex, property manager, etc. You’re also at mercy of the weather, which you can’t control. Fortunately, there’s year round activities to do up there, one of the reasons I like Big Bear so much.
Finding a motivated seller off market, or a distressed property is how I would tackle it.
Sharpen up those negotiating skills man!
I've been an Airbnb superhost for several years. One tip that's worked well for me is to use a channel manager like Siteminder to advertise on multiple sites and keep track of it all. I assumed most bookings would come from Airbnb, but Booking.com was a pleasant surprise that drove even more traffic to my rental. Have fun!
I have neighbors that bought in Crestline hoping to make it work with a STR. With COVID it was too much of a pain so they recently had to sell. Obviously COVID won't be forever but they had trouble with keeping it clean and maintenance requests. I think that area is going to be all about who you know and ensuring you have an excellent PM, cleaning company, and system for turning over the property/checking guests in before you buy.
Greg, do you live up there and self manage or do you have a property mgr?
Hi! I bought a cabin on a whim last year in February 2020. I had the worst guys working on the renovation and took like 9 months to complete it. It’s finally rented as of mid November and doing well (so far) but I’m waiting to see how it does long term, especially during the coming slow season.
I look everyday on real estate sites there out of habit and it seems to me that prices have gone up significantly in one year. My cabin which I bought at 360k is now above $500k. I say this to show the craziness. I’m a bit concerned about the sudden and drastic price increase there and also worry that once Covid is over, people will once again have many more options for travel besides what’s nearby within driving distance.
But having said that, it’s all about the numbers. I would ask property management companies what the rental income looked like in 2019, pre covid and assume that as the worst case scenario. Then see if you can still cash flow after 30% property mgmt company (worst case scenario if not self managing) and other fees (mortgage, supplies etc etc) and see if numbers work out still.
Before I bought mine, I paid for AirDNA data on Big Bear to see what my income potential was (before I learned of BP or Mashvisor) and that helped me to see where I COULD land.
In Big Bear Lake, in person check in is mandatory.
I’m still learning as well. [Solicitation Removed by Moderators]