STR Areas to research

9 Replies


I am trying to get started in real estate investing and from reading this forum and learning all about the different options out there, short term vacation rentals seem to coming up as one strategy that maybe worth a deeper dive. I have some experience with rentals (20 Co-op's for my In laws) and I have a SF long term rental that has ran itself for 20 years. Definitely been lucky with that.  That being said, I think I still have a ton to learn about the Short term industry

One area that keeps popping up as a hot market right now is TN, (gatlinburg / pigeon forge) which I am starting to look into.  There is ton's of great info on here on that area that I am reading up on.  I know many of you got in there over the past couple of years. Is it still considered an solid area to invest?

I guess my main question though would be what other area's should I be looking at. I would like to stay on the eastern half of the country, and I would also like to include beach areas (Vs. inland such as TN) as a comparison.  I say this assuming that in the south eastern part of the country, I would get closer to year round rental income Vs. lets say the Adirondacks in NY.   I would also lean more towards B to A class properties vs lower.  Glad to do any research needed if you guys would suggest a couple of markets where its currently feasible to run cash positive over the year (Some appreciate would also be nice).  I would be managing myself remotely so settling on an area with reliable ground teams is also important. 

Appreciate any feedback


What @Lucas Carl said.  I bought my first cabin in GB/PF eight months ago; now I own three.  Yes, prices are going up there, but the cash flow is still great.  I manage them from California while I work 70 hours/week.  Low season there is Jan-Feb; everything else has been utterly slammed.  (and Jan/Feb are fine too, just lower rates)

Thank you @Lucas Carl I have connect with Avery via PM

@Julie McCoy - thats brilliant - well done  Were you able to come up with deposits for all 3 with cash, or did you get creative. That has been one of the things that I struggle with, how do I go from 1-3-5 without having buckets of cash in the bank for down payments, reserves etc

@Vincent M. I'm fortunate to have low expenses and a high-paying "real" job, so I was able to fund my own deals, all my mortgages are traditional.  However, this latest cabin was largely funded by the proceeds of my others (plus one I have in CA).  I like the small cabins that cater to couples, which have the benefit of being pretty low-cost.  So while I wasn't doing backstroke through all my cash, I haven't yet been forced to get creative.  I will soon, though!  I'm currently tapped out of both time and money, but I know once I've got time I'm going to want another... and I'll have to get creative.

@Vincent M. It's awesome that you are considering vacation rentals. I hope that you are able to find the right area and model that works for you. I'm sure  that TN is a great area. However, if you are not set on a location yet, I would certainly recommend that you consider other areas as well. I'm in Ft Walton Beach/Destin on the Panhandle of FL. I love it here and my vacation rentals do very well. Prices are higher here than in some other areas of the country (and so are rents) but still better than much of the rest of Florida. And, of course, we have the amazing beaches, which ensures that vacationers keep coming, lol. Also, the Emerald Coast is one of the few areas where families from many other states can drive to the beach. For those who fly the airport is here too. You can go on VRBO or Airbnb and check out the area and the type of properties here. Whatever area you choose, definitely visit in person. If you have any questions about Destin/Ft Walton, let me know. Good luck in your search!

@Kelly Wiedower I self-manage :)  If you have a good housekeeper and a good handyman, it's really easy to do (thank you, internet!) and then I'm not losing a huge chunk of my cash flow to someone who's mostly going to answer emails.

@Julie McCoy . <——. What she said. I self manage 5 VRs remotely. I also self manage our LTRs which are in two different markets for a total of 3 markets. And I have a day job. I’m training for my 22nd marathon and I read one non fiction book per week.