What a time to be in real estate! As a vacation rental property management company, we work closely with real estate agents throughout Whitefish and we have to say, it’s been a busy time in this market. While many are making the move to our beautiful resort town, several home buyers are taking advantage of the market and purchasing properties they’ll be using as investment properties.

The idea of purchasing a home that can be used for both family vacations and a money-making opportunity is incredibly appealing, but with home prices going up it’s normal to wonder: is now a good time to purchase a vacation rental investment property?

At Vacay Whitefish, we’re here to help you decide! Let’s explore the pros and cons of owning a vacation rental investment property as well as what it looks like to purchase one in the current housing market.

First, here are a few items to consider before purchasing a vacation rental.

1) Are you prepared financially for the investment?

As with any home, unforeseen expenses can pop up at any moment. From regular maintenance to the breakdown of appliances, no home is free from upkeep. It’s important that these expenses are taken into consideration when factoring in the mortgage cost. At Vacay Whitefish, we invest heavily into marketing your property (at no cost to you!) and focus on maximizing your income. However, as we’ve recently seen, sometimes there are circumstances that can hinder a home’s booking potential. While this is rare for Vacay Whitefish, it is never a bad idea to have funds on reserve should your home not earn the mortgage for the month – regardless of who manages your investment property. Again, these instances are rare, but still something to consider.

2) Location. Location. Location.

It may be tempting to purchase a home based on a reduced price, but where is that home located? That answer alone can sometimes determine what your return on investment will look like. Is the home located in a popular area? How many vacation rental properties are in the area? Have you visited the area prior to finding the property? Before you fully commit to purchasing your investment property, be sure to do your research to ensure your home works for you and your financial goals.

3) Once you’ve found the ideal location, be sure to research what the off-season looks like.

In Whitefish, we’re incredibly fortunate to not have a big off-season. Between the incredible summers and gorgeous winters, there’s always something to do in Whitefish, Montana! However, if the vacation rental you’re interested in isn’t located in our lovely resort town, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the off-season so you can get an idea of what to expect financially. Be sure to speak to your realtor about the off-season as well as research local vacation rental management companies. Check out the properties they manage and take a look at their booking calendar.

4) Plans for managing the property.

There’s quite a bit of work that goes into properly managing a vacation rental – something to consider when making the leap. Are you in a position to dedicate a fair amount of time to ensure your home is bringing in the income it has the potential to? If not, have you looked into a property management company? A property management company will alleviate you of the responsibilities of vacation rental property management, giving you the opportunity to sit back, relax, and watch your return on investment grow!

To buy or not to buy?

It’s never a bad time to invest in your future. If you’re in a position financially and are prepared to make the leap, now is as good a time as any! If you’re looking for a vacation rental home, might we suggest looking in Whitefish, Montana? Here, off-seasons don’t last long as we have amazing weather almost all year long. In the spring and summer, the gorgeous weather allows for a wonderful outdoor getaway that includes hiking, kayaking, golf, cycling, and so much more! In the winter, the snow provides a picturesque landscape that’s perfect for world-class skiing, snowboarding, and an unforgettable Christmas vacation.

For more information on purchasing your first vacation rental investment property, or to talk to us about managing your vacation home and learn more about Vacay Whitefish, give us a call at 406.730.3060 or click here!

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