Buying a Vacation Property To Stay and To Rent

Education & Training with House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

There are a great number of people who are attracted to the price of homes in distressed areas.  Okay, Florida and Arizona come to mind.  Many of these Buyers are thinking that they will buy something cheap now, enjoy it when they are able to get there and rent it out when they are not able.  Some Buyers are also thinking that the day will come when they will spend at least 6 months every year in their vacation retreat.  These Buyers need to think of a couple of things before signing the offer.

  1. Is your new home in a rent - attractive area?  Maybe that three bedroom home in a nice family community is perfect if you are going to be living there year round.  Now, what are you really looking for - something near the beach, near a community centre, surrounded by a golf course, in a gated community, managed by a HOA, close to the airport, walking distance to shops and restaurants, etc?  Then, that lovely family home is not what is going to address your needs - or those of possible renters.
  2. Are you expecting your friends and family to rent your place?  Well, they are probably thinking that they don't have to rent it, just visit you when you are there.  Also, that prime time that you want to save for yourself is the prime renting time.  So, now you have to consider that your renters are going to be strangers.  Are you up to managing your property, collecting rent, ensuring the place is clean and rentable?  You may have to hire a property management company to take care of your vacation home.  
  3. Can you furnish your new home to be satisfactory for you and for renters?  I don't think you are going to be buying the most expensive gadgets, expresso makers, computers, etc and leaving them available.  Oh sure, it will look good on your advertisement that you have only top of the line things in your home but then you will also be asking top of the line rent.  Is there a market for that type of home in the area? Maybe you just want to leave your junk and second hand things (that you long distance haul from home). Well, you might consider that a junky lived in look is not attractive to most picky renters.  Of course, if your rates are dirt cheap then the furniture and furnishings can be minimal as well.  
It is not easy to be a landlord of a vacation home.  Take time to consider your own needs and study the rental market in the area BEFORE buying.  You will save yourself a lot of angst.
Just because I would love to rent this place....  I included a photo of a rental in Tuscany.

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Jean French-Turner
Southport Realty, Inc. - Southport, NC

Valerie-Vacation rentals are a LOT of work-the Tuscany villa looks like a dream! Thanks for sharing! 

Oct 10, 2012 11:35 PM #2
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

ahh the problems of the rich and how they go about solving them...Let me have this problem and I will suffer through it

Oct 10, 2012 11:51 PM #3
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

John:  Seems to me that a lot of people try to rent out their homes during huge events - and then they go away to enjoy the peace and quiet of the desert (LOL).  BTW - the star fairies are pure magic and I love it when the sprinkle my posts with stars.  

Jean:  Wouldn't it be wonderful to just arrive at the villa and settle in for a month?  Ahhhhh  Dreams.

Richie:  You have to feel sorry for the rich.  They have so much to worry about and they suffer for their 'possessions'.  LOL  I actually laughed when I read your comment.   Good one!!!

Oct 10, 2012 11:55 PM #4
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good Morning Valerie, I've sold plenty of homes located in short term rental communities and some do try to manage the homes at the beginning but most end up hiring a management company to do the work.
I would love to rent that place in Tuscany as well!!!

Oct 11, 2012 12:13 AM #5
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Valerie, I don't own a vacation home, but I've stayed in a few. They were always managed by a local real estate firm. One house we rented on the beach had a major problem with the HVAC system. It had to be replaced our first day there. It never would have gotten fixed that fast working with the owner. He lived in Hawaii. The local real estate company took care of it and we cooling off the same afternoon.

Oct 11, 2012 01:01 AM #6
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Valerie - Great points.  We used to have a vacation property in Qualicum Beach.  We only rented it out to close friends, and even then, reluctantly.  I just don't like other people sleeping in my bed!  Or possibly scratching the furniture or spilling something on the sofa, you know?

Oct 11, 2012 01:35 AM #7
Shane Barker
Amerifirst Financial, INC. - Salt Lake City, UT

What a problem to have, ha ha.  These are really good points and excellent things to think about in this situation.

Oct 11, 2012 02:25 AM #8
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hi Valerie. As usual, you make wonderful points here. great job.

Oct 11, 2012 04:04 AM #9
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Valerie, Ooh Tuscany, now that sounds like a dream vacation spot.

Oct 11, 2012 05:43 AM #10
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Congrats on the Feature!  I don't have the stomach or nerves for property management.  I also agree with Sally...couldn't stand strangers staying at the home!

Oct 11, 2012 07:21 AM #11
Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR
BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253 - Davie, FL
Top Listing Broker

Lots of things people don't think about! Great post!

Oct 11, 2012 07:23 AM #12
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

What? That is YOUR Tuscany Villa? I knew I should have asked you to marry me when we were 12.

Oct 11, 2012 07:31 AM #13
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

These are certainly three things that should cross your mind when considering vacation homes.  

Oct 11, 2012 09:06 AM #14
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Valerie excellent point, I think it is best to leave the management responsibilty in the hands of a property management company.

Oct 11, 2012 04:39 PM #15
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Valerie, Thanks for sharing the great tips. Excellent post. I love the new profile photo.

Oct 11, 2012 09:13 PM #16
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Beth:  Unless you live in the same area, managing a property from a distance would be some type of migraine headache.  

Michael:  You had the perfect landlord and property manager - a legitimate complain dealt with expeditiously.  

Sally:  I know exactly what you mean.  It is okay for me to rent but to be the owner?  ARG!!!

Shane:  Some people think it is so simple.

Oct 11, 2012 11:24 PM #17
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Sheila:  I am always to grateful for your support. 

Debbie:  I looks so good - probably with an incredible view.

Sharon:  I would probably go crazy with a bad renter.  I am saving myself from prison by not owning a vacation home.

Thanks Patty.

Oct 11, 2012 11:26 PM #18
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

Great advice as an investor I always buy with renting in mind even when it comes to our personal home

Oct 13, 2012 01:52 PM #19
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Valerie,  for those reasons Dave & I decided not to buy and/or rent vacation home. Several of Erie friends have vacation homes/rentals in sunny places.

PLUS, one other reason the Yonkers do not have vacation home/rental property:  we love to travel to different destinations.  Our last trip took us to Montreal & cruise up the St. Lawrence River.  Wonderful trip!

Oct 13, 2012 10:44 PM #20
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Charles:  You would know these things from your experience.  There are a lot of seniors who are just now thinking of vacation properties.  I hope this helps them buy or rent.

Mary:  That is one of the reasons why we would not buy - we like to go to different places as well.  Now, as more time becomes available, the idea or renting for a month or longer is starting to be appealing.

Oct 14, 2012 02:02 AM #21
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