Vacation rentals are becoming more and more popular across the country. This is certainly the case in the Bozeman and Big Sky areas. I own a few short term rentals and I absolutely love playing hostess to people visiting our amazing corner of the world. Today we’ll discuss what locations to consider when purchasing a vacation rental property.
Just like any other real estate transaction, the best vacation rentals are found in great locations. Be sure to do your research on an area if you don’t already know it well. Ideally, you’ll purchase in an area that has a year-round draw for tourists. Bozeman and Big Sky both fit the bill. Both are beautiful areas with a lot to offer a variety of people. Of course both are known to be ski destinations, which pulls a lot of people to the area from December to April. The proximity to Yellowstone attracts a lot of people much of the year, especially summer months. I always encourage people to steer clear of purchasing a vacation rental property in areas that thrive for part of the year but then die for part of the year. Consistency is the name of the game. Examples might be lake properties in cold climates or winter sport destinations without any kind of summer draw.
Another thing to consider is the price per night for similar properties. Some locations have very little competition from hotels and other vacation rental properties. Others are inundated with them. The price charged per night by properties on websites such as vrbo.com and airbnb.com will tell you how competitive the area is. You can also look at properties’ calendars on these websites to get a sense for how booked they keep their properties.
The ideal scenario is purchasing a vacation rental fairly close to where you live. Many people have successfully bought in areas far away. However, especially for those who have never owned a short term rental, being close to the property is very beneficial. It allows you to self-manage if desired. It also allows you to get a better feel for what marketing strategies are working and not working. Some people would rather clean the property themselves between guests while others would rather hire this out. Regardless of whether you take the diva or martyr approach, being within close driving distance is ideal.
If you’re excited to put on your host or hostess hat be sure to select a good location for your vacation rental property. It will give you a chance to play ringmaster in your own amazing circus. It’s a role I thoroughly love and encourage those who enjoy entertaining to consider!
Last week’s trivia question: Rank the following cities in order of median resident age: Bozeman, Missoula, Boulder, CO, and Jackson, WY. Answer: Bozeman (27.9 years old), Boulder (29.0), Jackson (32.3), Missoula (34.7). Source: city-data.com
This week’s trivia question: Shortly after naming the town after him in 1864, Bozeman’s residents grew weary of John Bozeman. They almost renamed the town. What name would it have been?