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Old Today, 01:51 PM
jon4pres's Avatar
jon4pres jon4pres is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Boat: 2005 205v
Location: Midwest
Posts: 70
Lake rental house

There is a house at my local lake for sale that I am interested in as an investment. It seems to be priced right and needs some updates that I can do and add some sweat equity.

My concern is creating some income to help pay for the house. I could try to just rent it or try to do a vacation rental.

I have other rental houses so I know that business but am not very familiar with the vacation rental. Does anyone have any experience to share? Or other ideas?

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Old Today, 02:01 PM
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CruisinGA CruisinGA is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Boat: '01 X9 330HP
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,968
Good friend of mine just bought a 2nd home on a lake- here is what I know second hand- They bought to enjoy, but are renting it as much as possible until it is paid off. It has rented almost every day in June/July/August. Also has the benefit of being in a mountain area so it is not just a lake rental but can also be marketed as mountain rental which offers more off season rental opportunity.
He has had better luck with VRBO than Airbnb. Different clientele, VRBO is more family vacation, AirBNB is more millenial party crowd.
His house is 100 miles away so having reasonably priced responsible local service providers is a big key to reducing his headache factor. Still seems like he has to make emergency trips fairly often but all in all I think he'd say that it is worth it.
'02 X-9
Lake Blue Ridge
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Old Today, 02:48 PM
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Ski-me Ski-me is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Boat: Mastercraft, Prostar 205, 1994, LT1
Location: Rocky Mountains....Colorado Springs
Posts: 2,801
We're in the first summer of our VRBO. It has been a learning process and does take time. Rather than a management company, my wife has been handling. It's definitely getting rented out but it took a lot of cash and time to get there. Depending on the house and expected clientele, it costs a bit to get it up and running.

It has to have a whole second set of linens/towels. Need a good cleaning crew, not just for inside but also outside.

We live 1200 miles away so hard to do any troubleshooting on things. Have to hire it out and try to get people to fix it for you. I could have done a lot, but living so far away I had to pay people.

Management company wanted about 30%....which was a lot out of our bottom line.

We're just breaking even but we did buy a LOT of items to get it up and running! You can find ours in the Rental Home section here on TT.
- Jeff

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Old Today, 03:31 PM
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mustangtexas mustangtexas is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Boat: 1989 MasterCraft Prostar 190
Location: North Texas/St. Germain, WI
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We have a cabin that we rent on Big St. Germain Lake in Wisconsin. We use a local rental management company and pay 30%. The rental company folks are great people and really watch over the place about like their own. The 30% covers them handling the reservations, cleaning, check-in, check-out, questions, general help etc. We pay the laundry and since it's only the bedding it runs about $12 per change over. We live 18 hours from the cabin so having someone watch the place and then handle the other items is worth every bit of the 30%. I do maintain a website for our cabin to help add to the marketing the management company does. The cabin is part of an association that we pay dues twice a year covering lawn care, spring and fall ground clean up, beach cleaning, dock maintenance and snow removal. All in all, so far, it's been great as it gives us a place to go when we can, if I remember to block out the dates. We have a positive cash flow, mainly due to it being a very desirable location and it's a nice nostalgic northwoods cabin, which really helps with annual improvements and repairs. The bottom line is we rent it not to make a profit but to insure it is watched, used and kept functioning. The profit we do make we roll back into the cabin thus increasing the desirability and it's value.
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Old Today, 05:42 PM
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jon4pres jon4pres is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Boat: 2005 205v
Location: Midwest
Posts: 70
The prospect property is 5 miles from my house so I should not need a maintenance company but our lake is not in a very desirable place. I can't really figure out why it is not a desirable place as it is a beautiful lake that is an hour from Kansas city, specifically Johnson County which is very affluent. We have seen in the past 5 years that property prices are on the rise and I hope that trend will continue. This is another reason for me to buy now as it may be much more difficult for me to do in the future.

My ultimate goal would be to move into the house but if I could rent it for a couple of years it would make it more affordable and also help me out with capital gains on the house that I currently live in.

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