I'm interested in purchasing an investment property in Texas that could be an "escape house" for our family of 10 and occasional vacation spot for us. This would be a 4 or 5 bedroom home that would be furnished high end and sleep at least 12. For those who live in Texas or have regional knowledge:
(1) Where would you recommend buying?
(2) What areas would be the best locations for families (or groups) with fun activities nearby?
(3) We have looked a fair amount in The Woodlands, Spring, Magnolia, but The Woodlands might not allow the property to be used as a ST rental (so that seems risk) and I don't see a lot of other STRs in Spring or Magnolia, so maybe those just aren't popular vacation spots?
(4) Is a STR just a bad idea right now?
Thank you for any and all help for this newb!
At least 4 or more bedrooms, ideally 5 bedrooms plus bonus spaces and outdoor living plus pool.
Galveston and South Padre Island are considered vacation spots in south Texas. As long as you are prepared to pay flood insurance and you are not looking for clear blue water you might want to check out those areas. Short-term rentals are fairly common in both places.
Galveston, Corpus Christi, South Padre, Port Aransas are all the most popular beach destinations. A nice 4-5 br would probably be around 300-600k+ depending on the location and condition of the property. Don't sweat flood insurance. It can vary depending on what flood plain you're in. Just be sure you ask for an elevation certificate for your insurance agent during your option period.
If it's primarily for your family then you need to pick where you want to vacation. Do you want the beach (Galveston, South Padre, Port Aransas), floating down the river (New Braunfels), the vineyards and German heritage of the Hill Country (Fredericksburg, Johnson City) , or are ya'll more city people that would want the bustle of Austin, or the Riverwalk of San Antonio? All of these places, plus several of our large lakes support short term rentals.
@Laura Henderson San Antonio is rated A+ by Aridna. We have a lot of larger STRs here that do very well. There are also a lot of fun things like Sea World, Six Flags, Morgan's Wonderland, tons of Parks, the River Walk, Natural Bridge Caverns, and more. I'm personally investing in short term rentals here in town, and a lot of my clients do as well. The city has a STR ordinance that is pretty clear cut and easy to navigate.
@Laura Henderson STR is a GREAT idea if you buy in the right location. I have a friend who has a 5 bed house in Martindale, just east of San Marcos, that pulls in over $10k/month in gross rents and is fully booked through the summer. Being in San Antonio, I'm biased towards the Hill Country vacation towns or places along the river/lakes like New Braunfels, San Marcos, Canyon Lake, Medina Lake, etc. Prime deals in these areas are hard to come by, but they do exist.
Like you were saying about the Woodlands, it would be prudent to avoid cities with economic drivers outside of tourism, as these places are starting to adopt anti-STR regulations. For example, Austin is in the process of phasing out all non owner-occupied STRs. Several areas within San Antonio have HOAs that ban it as well (Downtown/Riverwalk is still an option though).
Best of luck! If you're interested in more info on Central Texas, shoot me a PM.
If you want to spend 7 figures, I love the STRs on the lake outside Austin. Your high end comment makes me think you will be up there.