Are vacation rentals a good investment?


Yes, they can be. Investing in a vacation rental can pay off in more ways than one, in both the short and long term. While you may be initially drawn to visions of family vacations on the lake or escaping to your slopeside cabin during ski season, a good real estate investment decision comes down to this: Will an investment home result in healthy financial returns? Buying a vacation home as an investment has the potential to deliver ample perks that can boost your bottom line, both immediately and in the future.

Read on to find out more, or contact us and we'll talk you through it.

Why are vacation rentals a good investment?

You can get more R&R (reservations and rental income, that is)

The biggest advantage of investing in vacation rental properties? The opportunity for extra income and revenue stream. Vacation rental websites such as Vrbo, Airbnb, and attract legions of travelers seeking authentic local experiences and roomier accommodations. Investing in the right vacation property has the potential to bring healthy profits, especially when you purchase a vacation home in a popular destination and upgrade the property with income-boosting amenities (think hot tubs, custom interior design, etc.).

The income you make from reservations can help offset mortgage payments and other expenses, including insurance and property tax. We suggest working with a real estate agent who’s an expert in both vacation rentals and the local market to help you find a vacation rental property that can produce a great cap rate.

You may have a future retirement home or a sizable nest egg

Investing in a vacation home is a way of putting stakes down for your future. It can be a smart strategy that ensures a healthy financial foundation for you and your family down the road, no matter how close (or far) your retirement is.

Real estate values tend to increase over time, especially in in-demand travel destinations. You may be fortunate enough to find that by the time you reach retirement age, your vacation home’s value is up and your mortgage payments are down (or completely paid off). At that time, you can kick back and enjoy the retirement you’ve hustled hard for. Or, there’s the option to sell, then use the earnings to fund your living costs, healthcare, travel and more.

stylish living room of Saugatuck, MI vacation home

You could see steadily soaring home values in top vacation destinations

When you invest in the right vacation rental in the right place, it’s possible you’ll see a significant increase in value and equity over time. Compared to residential real estate, vacation rental properties can increase fairly rapidly.*

Before making the investment, work with a savvy real estate agent to review past and current trends in the destination where you’re hoping to buy a short-term rental property. What’s happening to home values in that location? What about the home values in nearby areas? Then, invest in upgrades and improvements to push up its market value even further. These modifications can attract more guests and result in more compelling reviews.

You have your very own place to get away

Want a multitasking investment that makes you money and memories? A vacation home can do both. Invite the family over for a long weekend. Host the next group ski trip. Escape for a romantic getaway. If you want to maximize your revenue potential, you can rent out your vacation rental property for the entire busy season and make personal visits only when demand is slow.

Whether you want to unwind or entertain, it’s up to you. If you partner with a vacation rental management company, make sure they give you the flexibility to stay whenever you’d like, and for however long you’d like, without restriction.

Want to maximize your profit potential when investing in vacation rentals or need help navigating your options? We’re here to help.

Read our tips for investing in vacation rental properties >

Vacation rental investment FAQ

Most often, mountain towns, lakeside communities, and coastal destinations deliver more vacation rental ROI since they draw visitors year-round. When scouring for the right property, consider how much the location and its weather and amenities will appeal to guests. The more appealing a destination, the higher your earning potential can be.

Successfully managing a vacation rental comes with a tangle of responsibilities: marketing, home repairs and maintenance, housekeeping, and even setting the best rates based on future demand, season, events, etc. The best vacation rental company will market your home across all the major sites (like Airbnb and Vrbo), take care of every detail imaginable, and actively work to protect your investment and make you a healthy profit—all while saving you precious time.

Hire the right vacation rental property manager >

A vacation home brings plenty of perks—and, of course, some hurdles—along with it. Luckily, we've done some of the research for you already! Check out our list of some top benefits (and most common pain points) of owning a second home.

Yes, beach houses can be high earners. Guests are often willing to pay a premium to stay at the beach, especially if you buy a property in a popular beach town or right on the shore. During peak season, it’s not uncommon for beach homes to be fully booked.

Want tips on buying a beach house that helps pay for itself? Read our guide >

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Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.


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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.

* Sources:
National Association of Realtors: Top Vacation Home Counties
National Association of Realtors: Vacation Homes are Getting a Pandemic Boost

This document is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to provide “investment advice” or a “recommendation” regarding a course of action. The discussion is general in nature and has not taken into account your personal financial position or objectives. You should consult a licensed financial advisor or other professional to discuss your specific situation.

The ability to rent out a vacation rental property is subject to local market regulations and restrictions.