SA short term rental

20 Replies

Parents have their personal mobile home parked in their rental unit. I’m trying to convince them to Short term rent it to bring in some more income since it is just sitting there.

Question, how is the SA market for STRs? What kind of traveler would use this? Anything else I should ask I’m not thinking of? I’d basically have to manage it from out of state, but I’m willing to give it a go. How could I learn more? Books? Websites?

Hey @James G. , the best website to look up this info is....biggerpockets. This forum will help answer those questions, but you need to give us more info. What you gave us is that you have a thing and I would like to do something with this thing. How do I do that?

The only time I've seen a MH rented for much money is if its waterfront.

Not sure this will attract anyone except value shoppers. 

Why not just sign a 1 year lease with someone?

@James G.  You may need to research the market and run a few test ads to measure demand. Though, it will require some time if you need to fix it up and to find the right tenants. Usually, for short-term rentals it's more for those who are there either for work or an event. The Airbnb market has been hit pretty hard with the pandemic. So, just be aware of that. 

If you need help or advice on managing out of state, you may want to connect with @Ali Boone here. She does it herself and has written extensively about it on the BP blog. 

Hope that helps! 

All thank you for your responses. That makes a lot of sense and helps guide my thinking.

I also forgot to say SA was a reference to San Antonio. I’d love to learn more about what ppl are doing for STRs there in general, but will make that a separate post soon. 😀

Thank you!

I have not heard of any mobile home short term rentals in the San Antonio area. 

Typical areas for airb&b or other short term rental services are going to be near downtown, or near the air force base with weekly graduations.

Originally posted by @James G. :

@Stone Saathoff. Thanks for the info. Would it be safe to assume downtown is for business and conference attendees? Might have to rethink the strategy and maybe buy a house to convert into a STR.

 Some business and also tourism. This will likely come back even more early next year when we can have more large sporting events in person and the riverwalk and other tourist spots become more popular again.

One of my clients purchased a single family home from me in Lavaca (historic subdivision of San Antonio), and already has bookings for the next 2 months last I heard. 

@James G. i’m about 95 percent sure the short term rental ordinance doesn’t allow campers/air streams/rvs etc to be used as short term rentals.  I can provide the reference later when I’m not posting from my phone.

@Aaron Bihl , no worries, that sounds pretty credible and would make sense.

Kinda taking the post a different way, is there a way to see how many STRs are in the block since there is a limit. I’d figure the city should allow you to be able to check that information, right?

Originally posted by @James G. :

@Stone Saathoff wow, that’s fantastic for them. Good find. Do you know if they did any rehab work, or just furnished it and STRd it?

It was a unique setup. A lot of rehabbed houses in Lavaca have a high end finish, this one was just finished out with builder grade materials (basic materials from Home Depot) and couldn't command the 400K+ ARV of surrounding homes, but was a perfect fit for Airb&b. We cut a deal with the seller to leave behind all of the nice furniture he had for 3K on top of the purchase price. No rehab.

  • While I don’t have a ton of direct experience with mobile homes, there are a few important things to consider.
  • Best way to get the answer is to test this out. List the property on Airbnb, set up “manual approval” and see what happens.You’ll find out who’s inquiring, how long the average stay duration requests are, and what people are willing to pay for it.
  • At the right price, there is always a market for accommodations. So I have no doubts that you can find demand. The only question is if the pricing makes sense to you to do the extra work and coordination.
  • So basically, if the mobile home is already furnished, just clean it up, take some professional photos and list it and you can make a decision later whether it makes sense for you — once you see the data and level of inquiries.

Which part of San Antonio is the mobile home parked? I'm in SA and have an STR, hopefully two soon. We have to get permits in SA, and theres two types. You'll probably need a type 2 since you dont live on the property. Both are about $100 and you have to submit city/county taxes each month. If you have guests stay 30 days or more it's not a short term rental and there might be a need for this in medical center or near military bases. Go on to Air BnB as traveler and see which types of dwellings are used. I thought I saw an Airstream in Southtown but @Aaron Bihl might correct that they dont allow mobile homes. Check SA Developmental Services site to see what's permitted. All the best!!

If SA allows mobile homes...Your best bet would be to attract working travelers. They just need a bed, bathroom, kitchenette, and a clean and quiet place. Market it on air bnb for business travelers. Make sure to be transparent in your posting that it is a mobile home. Mention this somewhere in the description of your listing. I'd also include 1-2 exterior pics of the mobile home on your Air bnb listing. You'll most likely want to price it less than your competition bc it is a mobile home. 

When you say mobile home is "parked", I picture an RV that is mobile.  Is that correct?  A mobile home is typically tied down to some degree. I ask because with an RV, you will have limitations of black water and grey water capacity that it can hold (how much you can shower etc. is limited before tanks are full). Some people have sewer connections to alleviate this issue but renters would need to be made aware if that is a restriction. If it is an RV, there are sites that essentially do an Air BNB type of rental for RVs.  They typically rent them out to people who want an RV experience and who will tow or drive it to another site.

     I may be way off base but the term "parked" got me thinking about terminology to be sure we're all talking about the same thing.  

     Curious to know more about this.  Best of luck!

@Will Pritchett , you are correct.  I did indeed mean RV.  Sorry for the confusion on that - it is a critical distinction.  

But yes, that was my thought as well with how to handle the water and electricity and see if STR revenue would more than offset the cost of putting in all those hookups. I don't think they would be too keen on actually letting someone else pull it so didn't really go down that route but maybe in the future.


My initial reason for asking all this was essentially to dive into the SA STR market and really understand it more to which I've been given a ton of valuable information even if I might have to pivot my strategy. From all of this, now I'm leaning more towards acquiring a SFR and turning it into an STR. Somewhere in the downtown region to capture all the tourism and conference needs when that eventually comes back.

@James G. It's an RV? Rental market for RVs in the area is not bad. I use rvshare and outdoorsy to rent our RV out. You can set the parameters for people to pick up only or you can offer delivery for a charge. You can also set a charge to empty the gray/black water tanks. There are nice RV parks in SA you could suggest for tourists. We rented our RV (2020 34' travel trailer) 3 times last month - made close to 1,000.