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Shop Here for Vacation Rental Investments

When located in the right market and maintained efficiently and well, vacation rental (a.k.a. short-term rental) properties can be a fabulous investment.

They can serve as your own vacation destination, produce a steady stream of income when you’re not using it and appreciate in value the whole time.

Yet reports of oversaturated markets and tough regulations that have all but eliminated them as an option in cities as large as New York have some experts flashing a yellow light on these vacation rentals for investors.

More than ever, location dictates where those looking to build can up their income. These are some of the communities analysts have recently recommended.

Phoenix

Some analysts report Arizona’s big metro area is one of the better places you could buy a vacation rental property despite high startup costs — depending again on the specific location. Lower operating costs and higher expected revenue boosts the attractiveness of most neighborhoods in Phoenix and Mesa for these investments, according to LawnStarter, which produces studies ranking cities on numerous parameters.

Tempe, as a college town with a lot of out-of-town families visiting students, is also singled out as a good bet. Scottsdale gets a much lower ranking, with increased competition a possible factor. Phoenix also finishes at or near the top of many surveys rating the best place to invest in residential rental properties.

Virginia

Vacasa, a vacation rental management company, put two Virginia towns, Lake Anna and Sandbridge, in the No. 1 and 3 slots for its annual “Top 25 Places to Buy a Vacation Home” listing in 2023, with nearby Rehoboth Beach, Delaware at No. 4.

These mid-Atlantic destinations all offer ocean or lakeside water access that are big draws in the spring and summer and brilliant fall foliage that can lead to a steady stream of bookings toward year’s end.

Lake Anna sits on a quiet lake, Virginia’s third-largest, where much of the shoreline is restricted to homeowners and their guests. Sandbridge offers a peaceful retreat near bustling Virginia Beach, and Rehoboth is famed for its mile-long boardwalk.

Finger Lakes, Upstate New York

The towns surrounding this cluster of 11 skinny lakes between Syracuse and Buffalo topped a list released by Evolve, a company with more than 30,000 short-term rental properties in 750 markets, of the “Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental in 2024.”

Wineries, breweries, summer and winter sports and recreation and events and festivals make this scenic slice of the Empire State a prime investment opportunity.

Canandaigua Lake is surrounded mostly by high-end homes, requiring a hefty upfront investment, but if you can surmount that barrier it’s a great place to invest.

Seneca Falls on Seneca Lake is beautiful in summer and busy in winter as home of the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum.

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