Phoenix short term rental advice for newbie

2 Replies | Phoenix, Arizona

Hello all! 

My name is Layne and I am new to Bigger Pockets. My fiancé and I are considering investing in the Phoenix market, and I wanted to maybe get some advice from some seasoned veterans. 

Backstory: we are having to move to Phoenix for about a year (possibly up to 18 months) and don't want to blow our $ on rent. We are considering purchasing a home (2/2 or 3/2) to live in ourselves during this time, and then hold as a short term rental. As long as my fiancé holds his current job (baseball) we will be in Phoenix every spring living in this property from mid Feb to April. This would be our home, but we would be away for the season (April-September/October). We would hope to get snowbirds in the winter, where we would go spend time with our families in the south. 

Is this a bad time to invest in the Phoenix market? I am seeing mixed opinions on these threads. We would have a furnished rental and I believe we could have summer tenants based on our baseball contacts- lots of guys have to come back to rehab injuries. 

We are looking to be all in for under 325k and we qualify for VA/FHA.

Areas of interest include:

South Scottsdale


Central Phoenix 

East Camelback

Do you see snowbirds flocking to a particular area? Do they require pools? 

Thanks in advance for your help- I know this is unique and I appreciate all feedback!


Snowbirds flock to AZ starting at the end of Oct, but mostly in November.  They stay through February.  So, you may have some overlap that would present a problem.

Snowbirds nestle in to places all over the valley.  The key is to find a place that near all of the stuff they like to do.  Having a pool nearby is good, but not necessary to have at the property itself.  A community pool is good.  Also, how close are they to golf?  To shopping?  To eateries?  To culture?

Old Town Scottsdale is good as it provides much of that in a close proximity to each other.  The Scottsdale Waterfront is lined with restaurants, shopping and close to all kinds of art shops and culture of old town.

Another area of Scottsdale to consider would be North.  January/Feb is busy and flooded with people who come for the phx open (golf tourney), the arabian horse show, Barrett Jackson car show/auction, and a few other things.  Kierland and Scottsdale Quarter are good areas that also provide a flood of activities for snowbirds to take part in.  McDowell Mtn Ranch is a popular choice as it has the beauty of the mountains and walking trails, community pools, an aquatic center with classes like water aerobics and other social water classes.  It is close to the AJ's where people come with their dogs and sit out on the patio and socialize.  DC Ranch is another good area with a similar social setting nearby.

There are spots like this all over the valley.  When considering a property, look at the immediate area for where someone might go to get to their groceries, dining out, entertainment, and shopping.  If it's more than a golf cart ride away, it's probably too far for a snowbird.  They like to stay close by.

Hope that helps!

Thank you so much, Cara! I really appreciate all of your input! You have so much knowledge of the area! 

Worst case, we could stay with family or friends for a short while if we had people staying in our property.

I guess our only battle now is actually finding something in our price range! Scottsdale is a pretty difficult market.