It’s a season not to be missed for a vacation rental investment! The winter months aren’t just great for getting together with the family and celebrating the holidays; they are also a great time to buy a winter vacation rental property.
Many travelers actually flock to destinations where the weather is colder, allowing property investors to enjoy high occupancy rates. In addition, wintertime tends to be a great time of year to buy an investment property – there’s less competition, decreasing demand which, in turn, leads to lower property prices. Not to mention, a winter home will be a great addition in your portfolio as a real estate investor.
Related: Buying Rental Property: When’s the Best Time?
So, if you’re thinking of investing in short-term rental properties, don’t let the cold weather stop you. A winter vacation rental can be a condo or loft in a downtown metropolitan city, a secluded little cottage, or a cabin and family-sized lodge in a winter haven. Before deciding which type of investment property to buy, property investors must know the top locations for investing in short-term rentals that have high occupancy rates during the winter season. In such locations, you’ll enjoy an attractive rental income, positive cash flow, and a good return on investment.
Want to invest in a vacation rental property in the US housing market this winter? Take a look at the best destinations to pick from according to Mashvisor’s Investment Property Calculator.
#1 Gatlinburg, Tennessee
A mountain town in eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a gateway to the 520,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This winter destination offers outdoor adventures, 600 miles of hiking and skiing trails, and kid-friendly attractions that keep families, friends, and travelers coming back year after year. If you take a look at the Gatlinburg real estate market data below, you’ll see it has the highest Airbnb occupancy rate on our list! Other reasons to buy a vacation rental in Gatlinburg include the high inventory of vacation homes for sale, relatively low real estate costs, and few restrictions on Airbnb short-term rentals.
Related: Which Are the US Cities with the Least Airbnb Legal Issues at the Beginning of 2018?
In this town, a real estate investor will also enjoy a high rental income and a strong return on investment. All these factors make it one of the top destinations for short-term rentals in the US housing market. Here’s the data property investors need to know about investing in vacation rentals in Gatlinburg:
- Median Property Price: $300,402
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $171.57
- Airbnb Rental Income: $2,990
- Cash on Cash Return: 6.45%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 74.02%
#2 Minocqua, Wisconsin
Minocqua is a town located in the middle of Northern Wisconsin’s Lake Country. There are thousands of lakes, rivers, and streams that saturate the town, which is why it’s commonly referred to as “The Island City.” Vacationers have long been visiting the area – especially in the wintertime. This area is a top destination for winter sporting activities like skiing, skijoring, snowshoeing, ice skating, and snow tubing.
From cozy cabins to lakefront cottages, the Minocqua real estate market is home to a variety of vacation rental properties. Moreover, looking at the data below, property investors will reap great profits from renting out these investment properties as short-term rentals. Click here to use our Property Finder to find the best investment property in Minocqua in a matter of minutes!
- Median Property Price: $343,169
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $184.36
- Airbnb Rental Income: $3,042
- Cash on Cash Return: 5.86%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 46.25%
#3 Snowshoe, West Virginia
Our list would not be complete without Snowshoe, home to one of the most popular ski resorts in the region – Snowshoe Mountain. With 244 acres of skiable terrain, tubing hills, and parks for snowboarders, Snowshoe offers a wide range of activities for vacationers in the wintertime. Townhomes, condos, studio apartments, and homes are all available for short-term rent, according to HomeAway.com.
Furthermore, one thing that property investors will enjoy in Snowshoe is property prices that are lower than the national average. Combined with a good rental income, buying a vacation rental in this village is a smart investment decision to consider this time of year in 2018. Just take a look at the Snowshoe real estate market data estimated using our investment tools:
- Median Property Price: $258,283
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $193.30
- Airbnb Rental Income: $1,646
- Cash on Cash Return: 5.45%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 35.8%
#4 Big Sky, Montana
The name says it all – with 5,800 skiable acres spread across four mountains in the Northern Rockies, Big Sky is the BIGGEST ski area in the country and a world-class skiing destination in any season! Whether in the summer or winter, a vacation rental here is a smart investment. Occupancy rate is high in the area and vacationers will find unlimited access to outdoor family-friendly activities besides skiing such as zip-lines tours, sleigh rides, and ice skating.
Related: Vacation Rentals: Top Skiing Destinations in the US
Big Sky is also only an hour away by car to Yellowstone National Park, yet another popular winter destination in Montana with its unique geological features and rich wildlife. A real estate investor has a variety of property types to choose to buy and rent out as vacation rentals including luxurious homes, townhomes, condos, and cabins.
- Median Property Price: $804,837
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $428.17
- Airbnb Rental Income: $4,239
- Cash on Cash Return: 3.17%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 42.08%
Want to start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in Big Sky, Montana? Our Investment Property Calculator is the ultimate tool that you need. To learn more about it, read this: “Why an Investment Property Calculator Is Smarter Than an Investor”
#5 Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe has always been a top destination for vacationers in the summertime, but did you know that it’s a popular skiing destination when the winter comes around? That’s right, Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of California and Nevada, is not only known for its beaches but for its ski resorts as well. It attracts more than 3 million tourists all year round, making it one of the best places to buy a vacation rental in the US housing market.
Thanks to its high Airbnb occupancy rate, property investors in Lake Tahoe enjoy a high rental income and positive cash flow. Furthermore, the most popular types of short-term rental properties in Lake Tahoe real estate are Ski Leases – where a real estate investor rents out a property for a 3-5 month length of time during the wintertime. This type of vacation rental is ideal for homeowners who only use their properties during the summer. Here’s the data regarding short-term rental properties in Lake Tahoe:
- Median Property Price: $864,252
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $621.18
- Airbnb Rental Income: $3,867
- Cash on Cash Return: 2.9%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 51.67%
#6 Snowmass, Colorado
Looking for a place to buy vacation rentals in Colorado? You’ll find the best ones in Snowmass. Nestled in the Brush Creek Valley just outside of Aspen, this town is a family-friendly ski destination where vacationers come back year after year. With regards to real estate investing, Snowmass offers property investors the highest rental income on our list and a pretty good return on investment considering the expensive property prices. Moreover, you can choose from a variety of investment properties – from private homes to lodges to apartment buildings.
Snowmass Base Village serves as the beating heart of the ski resort, sitting at the foot of Colorado’s Elk Mountains. It’s far more laid-back than Aspen, which makes it a magnet for families during vacation season. Owning a Snowmass vacation rental this winter is definitely a great investment to make money in real estate.
- Median Property Price: $1,639,000
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $787.98
- Airbnb Rental Income: $6,679
- Cash on Cash Return: 2.05%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 43.18%
#7 Missoula, Montana
Missoula, nestled amidst five mountain ranges in the Rocky Mountain in western Montana, is a paradise for an outdoor enthusiast. The city has many beautiful natural forests with miles of hiking and biking trails nearby Big Mountain and Mission Mountains region – just minutes from Downtown. In the wintertime, Missoula is covered with a blanket of white snow, becoming a perfect winter destination for skiing, snowboarding, and ice fishing.
All of this attracts many winter-sports fans to Missoula short-term rentals during the winter months. As a real estate investor, you can invest in a vacation rental in the heart of downtown or the beautiful mountain area. Your short-term guests will enjoy a vacation filled with culture, history, and outdoor fun. Based on data and analytics from our Investment Property Calculator, investment properties in Missoula real estate market have a:
- Median Property Price: $411,107
- Price Per Sq/Ft: $196.59
- Airbnb Rental Income: $1,857
- Cash on Cash Return: 1.45%
- Airbnb Occupancy Rate: 65.2%
With the help of our Property Finder and other investment tools, any real estate investor will have a better chance of finding the best investment properties! To start looking for and analyzing the best vacation rental properties in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.
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