Using vacation rentals as Airbnb

13 Replies

Hey BP community! 

I've recently been toying with the idea of buying a lake house soon and renting it throughout the year on Airbnb. I've ran some preliminary numbers and it seems sustainable but I would like more information from people who have experience doing it.

I would love to hear any stories or advise on anyone who has had experience renting out their vacation home. 

Specifically I am thinking about buying a lakefront house at Lake of the Ozarks, MO; so anyone who has specific knowledge of that area that could pitch in would be AMAZING!

Thanks in advance!

I grew up there. Definitely a market for summer rentals. There are a TON of options for vacationers though. 

I have a true vacation rental that is a lake house. It is rented 95% of the time via Homeaway / VRBO and about 3% of the time on Airbnb. I would list on both sites to capture as many rentals as possible. People rent the place year round which really surprised me. You can cozy up by the fireplace with a view of the lake in the winter and people do. You can fish year round. The peak season is packed and has many checkout and checkins on the same day. I also am close to a University so football game weekends sellout early in the year for top dollar.

I don't have a hot tub because I don't need one, but you should check and see if other STR's in your area are using these. If they are then you will need to match the normal ammenities to be competitive.

@DeAndre Xavier Thomas . Depends on your market! I’m in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg where we get 13 million tourest every year that want to stay in a log cabin. I own 5 if them. I self manage from a distance and I couldn’t be happier. Happy to schedule a call any time and give you the run down on my systems and how I was able to implement them.

@Lucas Carl You need to just write a book and then you can refer everyone to your book. Or start a consulting business.

I'm sure you could do either given your experience. I am 100% serious. Side note I listened to you on Ozzy Boneyard channel a couple days ago. I liked the music and it was a way better channel than I would have guessed.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

@Lucas Carl You need to just write a book and then you can refer everyone to your book. Or start a consulting business.

I'm sure you could do either given your experience. I am 100% serious. Side note I listened to you on Ozzy Boneyard channel a couple days ago. I liked the music and it was a way better channel than I would have guessed.

With the amount of time I’ve been spending on the phone with folks lately I think you’re right. Although I’m not sure there’s a big enough market for self managed VRs to make a book worth while, I am a published author. 

LOL the channel was better than you expected LOL tell you what I’ll give you a shout out on OBY on Sunday at 11amEast \../

@DeAndre Xavier Thomas

Do it. I think as an investor, buying a vacation rental in certain areas that you like especially is a great idea.

I would strongly recommend checking, checking again, re-checking, and then checking one more time on the laws/ordinances regarding short term rentals in the area you want to target.

Once you are done there, I would follow the same process on any proposed or upcoming legislation that can impact you. 

Thanks @John Underwood for the advice! I figured people mainly rent the lake house in the summer since that's what I grew up doing. Didn't even consider people would rent year round which helps my numbers a lot! 

@Lucas Carl wow you've really got a system figured out! I would love to schedule a call sometime. I will be in touch

@DeAndre Xavier Thomas : I'm interested in buying a LOTO vacation rental as well, have you found any legal barriers down there or does it look pretty open?  I'll do my own research too, but was just wondering if you found anything at a top-level.  

@John Underwood : I am also interested in Lake Hartwell, and being close to Clemson makes sense. Is Lake Hartwell pretty VRBO friendly as well?  No hot button issues with neighbors?  If you'd be willing, I'd love to see your property, can you send me the listing?   

Originally posted by @Bob Mueller Jr. :

@DeAndre Xavier Thomas : I'm interested in buying a LOTO vacation rental as well, have you found any legal barriers down there or does it look pretty open?  I'll do my own research too, but was just wondering if you found anything at a top-level.  

@John Underwood: I am also interested in Lake Hartwell, and being close to Clemson makes sense. Is Lake Hartwell pretty VRBO friendly as well?  No hot button issues with neighbors?  If you'd be willing, I'd love to see your property, can you send me the listing?   

 Bob,

Here is my listing

http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3685237

Yes is a very friendly VRBO area as it is rural.

Just make sure no problem with the HOA before you buy a place.

My wife and I turned our vacation area home into a rental 3 years ago and found great success.  The only thing I would prepare you for is that associated expenses of Insurance, Taxes (property, local and state sales), utilities and property management will most likely be higher than expected.  For example, most insurance companies will not insure a short-term rental and the number of companies offering short term rental insurance is extremely limited and usually 2-3 times the cost.  However as long as you perform your due diligence ahead of time it can be a great way to get started in real-estate investing which is how we got our start.  We now have 6 long-term rentals as a result of our foray into vacation rentals. 

@DeAndre Xavier Thomas  I just want to point vacation rentals are not "Airbnbs". Airbnb is simply a marketplace to advertise vacation rentals. Better to learn the language now if you're getting the industry. There's a wealth of info all over this forum...I would spend a weekend and dive in.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here