Where is your Vacation Rental Property?

212 Replies

@David Nacco - If you click on Networking and then Events you will find instructions on where to find the details and how to RSVP.  It's a lunch & learn on April 1.  Start time is noon.  Location is provided to those who RSVP because we have to give a firm headcount to the caterer.  Because it's a free club that is volunteer run, we get free space in exchange for people buying lunch.  

@Gillian Mealer

We have only looked in Sea Pines since we really like it there.  Our goal was to use it for a couple months in the winter in about 8 years or so when I retire.  We have looked at both SFHs and condos, and both 2 BR and 3 BR.  You are right about the regime fees.  They are expensive and when you add to that the cost of property management, insurance, and property taxes, the rent isn't significant enough to cover all that and a mortgage payment.

You bring up a good point about marketing.  In a lot of cases, the properties we looked at are currently rentals or if not, the seller provides projections from a property manager.  I've often wondered if you really marketed a property hard, whether you could increase the rents enough to make it a solid investment?

Would appreciate your thoughts on Sea Pines.

@John Smeltzer  

Sea Pines is beautiful, but can be expensive! The insurance can be the big killer in there, depends on the elevation. 

So you want to buy and rent out now, and have the option to be here part time in 8 years? Why not look at the long term rental market? Less wear and tear, less management fees, greater consistency for you. So long as you buy in one of the communities that allow long and sort term rentals you can keep your options open. 

When I work with clients that want to retire here in the future we often look at places that are in reasonable shape with an eye to making improvements/updates when they move here. Tenants can be rough on  a property and repairs/updates are often necessary before it becomes a primary residence anyway so it's a good thing to keep in mind when looking. 

STR really is not a passive business today if you want to keep a unit occupied. Advertising is key! It doesn't have to be expensive advertising either, social media is an excellent tool.

Originally posted by @Nico C. :

@Alanna Schroeder

Hi Alanna! Mine are in San Diego, CA. To be honest, while they produce great returns, it has not been a passive investment experience and I cannot wait to be done with them.

Not passive at all.  I see so many people making comments about how passive and easy it is.  Makes me fall to the ground laughing.....if you want passive head on over to the LTR side.....lol!

@Troy Bailey I kept searching around in the Disney area for a property that met my criteria. Had a few close calls before landing my property. Inventory moves quickly or at least it was while I was looking. There are several communities that cater to the vacation rental folks. When you look it does appear to be saturated but trust me there is plenty to go around. The Orlando area is a huge family vacation destination and not just because of Disney. The hotels and resorts at the parks can get very pricey. There are plenty of families that need something a little bigger than a hotel room without breaking the bank. That's where we fit in. I would suggest either find a community with nice amenities or if you prefer a single family house find 1 with a pool and offer extra amenities to keep your guests entertained on bad weather or break from the parks days. Find simple ways to stick out in the crowd and you'll find success. There doesn't appear to be much downtime but I've only been up and running for a couple months so don't take my word for it just yet.

@Erik Kuhi Thanks! When we went to Disney we rented a large house with a pool and it was nice to get away from the madness and relax in a home. Do you have a realtor that you would recommend. I find my hardest part of any of my investments is finding a good realtor.  

Hi Alana, 

Thanks for the info on Airbnb in Hawaii. May I ask where the locations are in Hawaii that you bought and did you take any financing out or bought outright? I’m sorry to pry but I really am trying to get a good understanding of this possible new venture. I have rental properties in a couple different states and the return is not very high, just trying to gage compared to a standard long term rental.

Our vacation rental is our primary residence in Canton Mississippi. We go to Washington state for the summers and put our home on Airbnb. I didn't think anyone would want to come to Mississippi in the summer. However people come for family reunions or they need a place to stay till they close on a house during a relocation. Sometimes they are traveling I-55 and would rather stay in our home than in a motel. Last summer we had to bikers from Germany stay with us while touring the US on their BMWs. Having a reliable host to turn it for you is key.

Originally posted by @Daniel Purcell :

@Annie Peng

Gretna is a tough spot because of the regulations there! Come join us on the east bank :) the water is so much warmer over here lol

Sure! LOL

Is there a meetup somewhere in the east bank? I plan to look for houses next month. 

I have two Short Term Rentals in Orlando, FL. I stumbled upon AirBnB'ing while finding properties for another Investor. I ended up purchasing 2 for myself and I LOVE IT! I would have to agree with @Alanna Schroeder, I think that to be successful, you must be hands on, even with a great team. I don't consider STR passive, hands off renting. I get excellent results, with a 98% occupancy rate, but I also put the time in to get high returns. And for me, I love real estate and hosting people, so it definitely doesn't feel like work for me.

Originally posted by @Annie Peng :
Originally posted by @Nico C.:

@Alanna Schroeder

Hi Alanna! Mine are in San Diego, CA. To be honest, while they produce great returns, it has not been a passive investment experience and I cannot wait to be done with them.

What do you dislike about STR? I am on the opposite side really liking it.

I am a long distance real estate investor and I am also active duty military. Real Estate MUST be a passive experience for me. That said, I have a couple frustrations with STR:

-Local legislation has mandated a 10% monthly Transient Occupancy Tax on my GROSS. They also force us to apply annually for a business permit, conduct inspections, and incur a number of other business related fees that cut well into my profit margin. Many Hosts simply choose to not observe these rules, but we do and it really hurts our business.

-My HOA is taking steps to ban AirBnB and as an absentee owner I am at a huge disadvantage as far as representation at these HOA meetings.

-While I have automated as much of the experience as possible, I find that I am consistently being drawn into various issues. (This has less to do with STRs and more to do with my property managers)

-AirBnB tends to side with the guests on issues like damage to home and complaints from neighbors or HOAs. I really don't like their hands off, figure it out on your own, customer service approach. I do not think they are especially transparent either. We discovered, following the resolution of a conflict with one of our guests, our listing has disappeared from the listing page for our area. Airbnb stated it was some kind of irregularity and "fixed the glitch." I have read in their forums about other hosts experiencing strange repercussions following conflicts with guests that impact business.

The returns are fantastic - but as Notorious BIG stated, "Mo money, mo problems."

Originally posted by @Alanna Schroeder :
Originally posted by @Nico C.:

@Alanna Schroeder

Hi Alanna! Mine are in San Diego, CA. To be honest, while they produce great returns, it has not been a passive investment experience and I cannot wait to be done with them.

Not passive at all.  I see so many people making comments about how passive and easy it is.  Makes me fall to the ground laughing.....if you want passive head on over to the LTR side.....lol!

You are so right. AirBnB really sets up hosts who manage + clean, in an area that is STR friendly, for success. My returns are still better than my LTRs, but the cost of the frustration is really adding up for me.

Frankly, STR is not the strategy - it is the means to execute the strategy. That is, cover my costs of maintaining a turnkey property in southern California for 3-5 years until I can sell it.

Originally posted by @Nico C. :
Originally posted by @Annie Peng:
Originally posted by @Nico C.:

@Alanna Schroeder

Hi Alanna! Mine are in San Diego, CA. To be honest, while they produce great returns, it has not been a passive investment experience and I cannot wait to be done with them.

What do you dislike about STR? I am on the opposite side really liking it.

I am a long distance real estate investor and I am also active duty military. Real Estate MUST be a passive experience for me. That said, I have a couple frustrations with STR:

-Local legislation has mandated a 10% monthly Transient Occupancy Tax on my GROSS. They also force us to apply annually for a business permit, conduct inspections, and incur a number of other business related fees that cut well into my profit margin. Many Hosts simply choose to not observe these rules, but we do and it really hurts our business.

-My HOA is taking steps to ban AirBnB and as an absentee owner I am at a huge disadvantage as far as representation at these HOA meetings.

-While I have automated as much of the experience as possible, I find that I am consistently being drawn into various issues. (This has less to do with STRs and more to do with my property managers)

-AirBnB tends to side with the guests on issues like damage to home and complaints from neighbors or HOAs. I really don't like their hands off, figure it out on your own, customer service approach. I do not think they are especially transparent either. We discovered, following the resolution of a conflict with one of our guests, our listing has disappeared from the listing page for our area. Airbnb stated it was some kind of irregularity and "fixed the glitch." I have read in their forums about other hosts experiencing strange repercussions following conflicts with guests that impact business.

The returns are fantastic - but as Notorious BIG stated, "Mo money, mo problems."

Totally get it! When you break it down to your hourly time it might not be that different....lol!  

Hopefully the appreciation makes it all worthwhile!

As for the HOA, let me know if you have any questions...I have been through it all with my HOA including serving as president of the board. Honestly, its a lot of people with no experience and a huge bias running most associations. If you have any specific questions I am happy to assist if I can. I was in commercial real estate for 20 years so I have a decent understanding of how to make things happen!

Originally posted by @Kaynea Bingham :

I have two Short Term Rentals in Orlando, FL. I stumbled upon AirBnB'ing while finding properties for another Investor. I ended up purchasing 2 for myself and I LOVE IT! I would have to agree with @Alanna Schroeder, I think that to be successful, you must be hands on, even with a great team. I don't consider STR passive, hands off renting. I get excellent results, with a 98% occupancy rate, but I also put the time in to get high returns. And for me, I love real estate and hosting people, so it definitely doesn't feel like work for me.

That's an awesome occupancy rate! You are doing it right....being active is the only way to get great results like that and lasting memories for our guests! Orlando is a HOT market. Do you know @Erica Muller? She has helped many investors buy/sell a ton of STR properties in that area.

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