Vacation / Short term Rentals

10 Replies

I am wanting to get into RE investing but I am not 100% settled on where I want to live. We have moved a good amount over the last 5+ years and I wanted to wait until we chose an area that we would make permanent so we wouldn't have issues when moving from place to place.

However with that being said my urge for wanting to begin investing is growing stronger and my patience for waiting is fading. I have been reading on the topic of vacation/short term rentals and it's very appealing to me. My initial thoughts are I can purchase a vacation home in an area that we can utilize as a family for personal vacations but also use as a vacation property or short term rental using Airbnb or home away type of platform. Does anyone out there have any experience with using these platforms and what are the pro/con of short term vacation rentals? Any suggested areas to buy one of these types of jokes?

Any other thoughts on this situation would be much appreciated.


Shahram -

I am in Orlando - home of Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld.  The vacation home market is huge here and year-round.  There is lots of competition, but, if done right, you can do well with vacation home investments here.  This would be a good spot for you to research.

Vacation home owners and property managers use HomeAway/VRBO, FlipKey and others to market their rentals as well as social media.  Two of the better known vacation home resorts are ChampionsGate and Reunion.  Both resorts are within 15-25 minutes of the theme parks, and both resorts offer golf, water parks, etc.  Go to HomeAway or VRBO and do a search for the 2 resorts.  You will be able to see how well some of the rental homes do.

I'll be happy to help you in any way that I can.  We deal in both the buying and selling of vacation homes and in the renting of them.  We see first hand which ones do well and which ones don't.

Good luck,

Keith Courtney

@Keith Courtney

Thank you for your time and insight on the topic.

I have heard that the Orlando area is great for vacation rentals year round but I was thinking more coastal. If it were 100% business decision I would definitely look into Orlando area but at this time I am looking more for something my family could use as a beach home for when we vacation but also something I could rent out when we are not using it. Once we get our vacation/rental home then we will look into Orlando for business rentals.

I guess my concerns would be if it's actually possible for me to not live in the vacation home area (let's say Miami for this convo) and use those online platforms to handle marketing and booking of the unit? I have heard good/bad about going with mngt company but if I could use these sites to help market and book the unit and then hire out local help for cleaning and fixes as needed..then I would strongly consider this route bc I could benefit both personally and as a business investment.

I've never used AirBnB or any other platform on either side of the transaction and I'm curious to see how helpful it really would be in running a vacation rental.


Shahram -

I don't blame you for wanting to have a beach home!  Sounds great.

If you ever decide to purchase a vacation home that is not near you, you will be able to manage it.  Most vacation home owners here do not live here.  Many are foreign nationals.  The key is having a good, trustworthy property manager.


Thanks @Dan Oliver

Great article - Do you know if it is common practice to contact these mngt companies to buy properties? I would imagine the owners of these properties would inform these companies if they were looking to sell but I could be wrong.

Do you have anybody in the Florida markets that are closer to the coastal areas of Saint Petersburg or Ft Lauderdale?



@Keith Courtney

Thanks for the advice - it seems like the mngt variable in this will be critical for mme to succeed and not go crazy. 

Most of these properties are sold through agents, not the management companies.  I do have short term rentals for our investors, but they are all located around the Disney attractions.  I am not close to the coastal areas.

Got ya - Once we get our family/rental home then we will look into the orlando market. For now we want to get something that we can utilize as a family.

Thanks for all of your help!

The short term rental market in Orlando is real good. We have seen movement in properties in all areas of the city. The most amount of movement is seen closer to all major atractions. Miami is an incredibly hot market for short term rentals. Specially around South Beach and Downtown/Brickell Area. Rental rates in Miami go up really high very often because right now there is a shortage in hotel rooms for the amount of visitors they are receiving per year.

Key to vacation rentals is year-round usage if you really want it as an investment property. This is tough and Orlando is one of the few places that truly drives considerable year-round demand. I've heard many people say that they don't consider it an 'investment' as much as a 'family vacation home' upon which they try to break even. So, if Orlando isn't an option because you want the beach (and I'm in that bracket), next best is a mix of 'fairly strong year-round demand' combined with best possible purchase price. Regions where I've seen pretty good mix of price and demand (and beauty is in the eye of the beholder) include: PCB, St Augustine, Galveston, Gatlinburg, Palm Springs ...

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