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How a Vacation Rental Can Be a Smart First Investment



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Getting started in anything new can feel pretty complicated, especially when your hard-earned money is involved. If you’re considering a vacation rental as an investment property, there are a handful of strategies to keep in mind. Read on for how to ensure your initial investment is a sound one.


Are vacation rentals viable?

The last thing a first-time investor wants is to sink money into a trend that’s a flash in the pan. However, when it comes to vacation rentals, these short-stay properties are proven long-term investments. As Forbes explains, vacation rentals are here to stay, and the industry is expected to continue to reinforce its grip in the marketplace, showing strong and steady growth. There is no better time than the present, all you need is a great property, in a great location, that runs like a top.


Look for a prime location

When you’re investing in a short-stay rental property, it makes the most sense to select a location which draws routine visitors. With that in mind, Orange County is a top-notch choice because it offers a bit of everything, from surfing or whale watching at Huntington Beach, to the stunning views and many wellness centers in Laguna Beach. Visitors can play in the warmth of area beaches or take the family to Disneyland. Thanks to Orange County’s powerful appeal for tourism, it’s easy to see why Turnkey says it’s a prime location for establishing a successful vacation rental.


Evaluate potential properties

Location is always a priority when investing in real estate, but since you plan to appeal to an audience outside yourself, do some exploring and view properties through the lens of a vacationer. Think about the qualities of different prospects, and do some serious evaluation.

For example, is the location difficult to get to, especially for someone who doesn’t know the area? If so, it could be to your advantage to avoid properties that reinforce that opinion. Is the property close to any key attractions? Again, ease and convenience can make a big difference in your guests’ experiences. Does the property offer any unique amenities, or luxurious touches? For instance, an inground pool or hot tub can add a resort-like atmosphere guests will want to savor again and again. Of course you’ll need to consider costs as well because home prices (with a median sale price of $2.08M) in the Laguna Beach area are high.


Remember your responsibilities

It’s important to consider your own needs relating to the rental. For instance, if you plan to keep up cleaning and maintenance, will the location be convenient for you? There are plenty of apps available to help streamline processes for you, like receiving bookings, payments, and so forth, but the nitty gritty includes more menial things like cleaning between guests (cleaning services average $232 in Laguna Beach), changing air filters, trimming shrubbery, and stocking the coffee supply. Many vacation rental owners elect to hire a property management company to tackle all that for them.


If you decide to go that route, bear in mind that whomever you hire will represent you, and can make or break your success. Research prospective property managers carefully, getting referrals, investigating their experience, and examining properties they currently handle to see if you feel they’re up to snuff. Once you narrow your selection, prepare a list of appropriate questions and interview prospective candidates. A well-chosen property management company will not only ease your workload, they will represent you in a professional manner, making you look amazing, and helping your investment thrive.


If you’re considering getting your feet wet in real estate investing, the time is ripe for vacation rentals. Choose a top-notch location with plenty to offer guests, and run it well. Your investment will pay off in no time!

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