Hello! I'm looking to connect to those who currently AirBNB properties in popular Northern Michigan cities: Traverse City, Boyne City, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Mackinaw City, etc. I took a big 4 day road trip through some cities to look around these past few days and am very interested in purchasing a property to AirBNB. Just wondering how your experience has been (Worth the investment? Easy to find cleaning crew/handyman?) and potentially what other cities to consider?
When looking into it briefly, it looks like Mackinaw City, Traverse City, & Petoskey are the most restrictive on AirBNBs whereas Boyne City and Harbor Springs allow them with a permit, any information on how difficult it is to get one of these permits for an out of state investor?
Would greatly appreciate any Realtor recommendations that you've worked with in purchasing an AirBNB who would know more about local ordinances/best areas to buy as well.
Thanks for the help!
Hello Landon, I am happy to share with you my experience. I own and operate 4 Str and expanding into a few more this year. I am NOT a realtor and I found it was not easy to find a realtor who can speak my language. If you find one let me know too :)
Many of the lakes have local STR management although not cheap. Your biggest issue is simply finding inventor. STR in those areas do well year round because of fall colors and ski resorts and snow mobiling if they are on a lake, but on the flip side you are paying significant more because they serve dual purpose. I have found that the return on a SFH STR in those areas is minimal in comparison to other assets as they require a large down payment, but with management taking on 18-30% of rents it's much more difficult to manage. If you find a cleaner to manage it life is easy but it's also difficult to maintain because you lose them to others that can provide more consistent work. If you are looking to make some money and have a place to use 4-5 times a year, then from that aspect it's a great investment but solely looking at numbers I could find others that perform much better. Those I know that do really well often self manage as there is where most of the margin is made up.
@Landon Bleau if you want to look a little farther south along the Lake Michigan coast I run the area from Grand Haven to Ludington. I believe Muskegon through Montague are up and coming vacation areas that have been passed over for a long time. These areas are not overly regulated yet, with the most restrictions I've run across so far being they can only STR for 120 days a year, or the rentals have to be a month at a time. Because of the weather those STR often do 6 month ‘winter rentals' and I have not heard many complain about not finding a renter for that timeframe. I have been learning the investor language, though still working on applying and practicing as I've worked with investor clients who flip, as well as do STR and LTR. I've flipped two personal homes, and just bought my first duplex.
I second Muskegon. I think it’s going to continue to trend toward the Grand Haven and Traverse City type locations over the next 5-10 years. There are whispers of regulations though.
Traverse city has str limit in downtown area but certain zoning are exempted. Township like eastbay and long lake are more friendly with a straightforward permitting system. Garfield township is a straight no str. There are lots opportunities in easy bay township or downtown Condos (where str is allowed.) direct west of TC has lots str experience opportunities (water front/ farm house , wineries), direct east close to Williamsburg has great opportunities even for long term summer rental to the horse show participant (June to Sep). It is a great market, yes it is expensive but I feel tourists are paying big city dollars to be here in the summer, ADR on return is very attractive.