First Rental Property....But What Type?

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Hello BP, as I am looking at different options for investment I was hoping to get some opinions from the community about what type of rental property is the best investment. I realize factors will play a part in one deal being better than another, but I just wanted to hear personal preferences and why. The types I have thought of are Vacation Rentals, College Rentals, Family Rentals, and Bachelor Pad Rentals. Which type would you prefer for a first cash flow property and why? Thanks.

P.S. What would you say is a good goal for yearly cash flow on your first property and what factors play a part in making or breaking that goal?

I rent to contractors.  They are the guys you see working on the large erections of steel at a petrochemical refinery and nitrogen fertilizer facility.  They all get a per diem between $75-$110 a day to pay for housing and food.  I generally charge $200 a week per person.  I rent out the entire house to groups of workers.  My goal is to gross enough rent in the first 26 weeks to pay for the purchase price of the house.  It's only happened twice.  Generally it takes 8 to 12 months to gross enough rent to pay for the purchase price of the house.  YMMV.

Answer is It Depends... on you.  How involved do you want to be?  Do you want/need it to be local or are you okay with long distance?  What's your risk tolerance?  How much do you have to invest?  

You posted in the STR/VR forum so obviously we're generally more biased towards STR/VRs. And this IS one of the highest cash-flow niches, if you do it right. It's also one of the niches that requires the most work (which, generally speaking, isn't terribly time-consuming but DOES require daily attention and customer service skills). Lots of people don't want to put in that much effort, no matter the cash flow.

Personally, I like VRs because yes, the cash flow is a lot higher, but I also like that I get to put my own stamp on each house, and I enjoy being engaged with guests.  The idea of buying a house and renting it to long-term tenants who I (hopefully) only hear from once a month when they turn in rent is uninspiring to me.  I like having the ongoing project of my VRs.

Good goal for yearly cash flow - again, it depends.  What's the market?  What kind of property did you buy?  What's your target guest like?  Your first year should be your 'worst', money-wise, as you're developing a reputation, reviews, have no repeat guests, etc.  

Figure out what your parameters are first, then come back with more specific questions.

@Julie McCoy What she said.

You can also boil it down to this: LTR=Less work, Less profit. STR=More work, more profit. What are your goals? If your goal is a bit of extra cash on the side and (hopefully) some long-term appreciation while you get on with your life then go LTR. If your goal is like me, to eventually quit my cubicle job and do this full time and make a living out of it, then high-return, high-effort is the way to go.

Personally, I prefer vacation rentals. I aim for $20k annual/property.
Why? It's where I started out, it's very profitable, and I live only 2 hours away from the area, which is swarmed with visitors almost all year around.
It's a little bit more hands on than my traditional LTR, but once you have the right systems in place, it literally takes just a few minutes a day to manage. 

@Tim Schroeder nailed it.  My real job is part time.  I just go to a clinic whenever someone needs a drug screen.  Probably spend no more than 90 minutes a day doing actual "work" that I get paid for.  The rest of my day goes with managing 22 (soon to be 23) STRs in my town.  Oh, the people I give the drug screens to are my potential renters.  They are contractors.  They are the people you see working on the large steel erections at a petrochemical refinery and associated nitrogen fertilizer plant.

Did you post this is 5 different forums? Lol everything you need to know has already been said. I can gross 45k on a 200k property in my market. Of course gross is a whole different thing in vacation rentals and Julie is right you should spend the first year swapping things out new appliances new furniture new everything. It’s about reviews! And it can be stressful. And can be fun.