Buying property in a location you love

Buying property in a location you love
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One option is to invest in a vacation rental property somewhere you already love to visit. That’s what we did.  You get it all: a home away from home when you want to go on vacation – and rent it out to guests for cash flow the rest of the time when you aren’t there. When you purchase a property in a location you love, it brings a unique perspective into what other guests may want when they travel to that area.  You know what the area is like and what other  can experience.  That knowledge can give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Before you fall in love with a particular property, consider properties that have a great location: close to local attractions, restaurants, nightlife, beaches or whatever it is that makes visitors select that location.  There is a huge difference between “driving distance” (or taxi) and “walking distance” when prospective guests decide which property to book.  It is wise to bear that in mind when you are selecting a property.  The distance to attractions will determine the nightly rate you can charge for your vacation rental.  Properties that are further from the “action” may appeal to some travelers – for example those wanting a “escape” or “off the grid” vacation experience may be attracted to a rental that is not so close to a busy downtown area.

If you don’t want to do all of the work needed to get your vacation rental property to the top of the list in a crowded vacation marketplace, you might consider buying a property that is close to where you live.  Investing in a vacation rental property that is geographically close may be optimal if you are intimidated or fearful about buying.   Such an investment allows you to be involved with your rental, maintain close contact, and have control in the services and contractors who care for the property. You may be very familiar with visitor demographics, plus you know the best spots in the area.

location you loveLiving in close proximity to your vacation rental permits you to go the extra mile for your guests.  This can make a huge difference in the guest experience and in the reviews you receive for your property.   If you are so inclined, gifts for your guests can set you apart. That is not to say that is has to be over the top, but even personal touches like a handwritten note that says “thanks so much for staying here” can make guests feel comfortable and help generate a rave review!

There is no cookie cutter approach to the process, or perfect method of making a vacation rental purchase.  It is also important to consider the profile of your perfect renter: in our case we wanted to buy a more upscale property, with higher end rents and did not wish to rent to those under age 25.  An inexpensive beach front condo property will attract a different crowd.  We had no desire to invest in a property that would attract a college-aged party crowd.  It all comes down to who you want to rent to, and how you chose to market your property after you’ve purchased it.

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