Build an STR on an empty lot?

5 Replies

Has anyone ever built on an empty lot specifically for a STR/vacation rental?

I picked up an empty riverfront lot last week - the deal was just too good to pass up. Based on comps and tourism traffic, I really think the location would perform best as a STR/AirBnB/VRBO once a building sits on the lot. That said, I don't hear many stories about folks building STRs from scratch.

Has anyone done it that can share how they assessed value/risks? From what I can see, the economics could really make some sense as long as I can get a construction loan similar to when you build a customer single family residence.


@Daniel Kiuttu

I have not heard of building a new STR but have seen some "Tiny House" STR's that would seem to be a good option if your zoning laws will allow. Check out NETFLIX or Prime videos on the Tiny House idea. Picture your lot on the river as a park like setting with 3 or 4 Tiny Homes in a Tiny Village!



@Buddy Holmes thanks for the idea! I had a similar thought, but the POA unfortunately requires a minimum of 1200 sq ft for each building. Perhaps there is a middle ground between true tiny house and complete custom build!

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Might be able to fashion a design with covered porches between rooms to present as a single building of 4 units or two building of 3 units each!   Early Florida houses had two open porches cutting through the home in an X to leave 4 separate rooms on the corners.  This was to deal with the heat before HVAC was invented.

 I have a trip coming up to North Florida and checked AirBnB. Five tiny house offerings in Jacksonville! With prices of $65 to $135 /night!  There is even a filter for Tiny Houses, so it must be fairly popular and desirable.

Put you architect hat on or find a student architect to challenge him.

Spanish style center courtyard, walled exterior? You have a gold mine there!

Build to STR, interesting idea. How would you build differntly than a rental or retail sale?

Tiny houses have not really come to Jacksonville.  There are a few, but they are tied to city initives for senior housing.  

You need to look at the zoning carefully. There are limited locations that allow AIRBNB. If it is not a use by right, If you are on the river and not allowed to STR, your neigbors will turn you in.

The other concern is the army core of engineers.  They control building on waterfront, navigable rivers, ocean.