Questions to ask when buying a vacation home

Investing in vacation home rentals

Yes, if you’ve got a sound investment strategy and a property management partner with the resources and expertise to optimize your investment. When you work with Vacasa, we’ll help you identify the perfect market, make an informed investment, and enter the short-term rental market with a vacation home that’s beautiful—and profitable.

Generally, coastal markets, mountain towns, and lake communities offer a higher vacation rental ROI because there’s demand for these areas all year round. When you’re shopping for a vacation home, consider how its location and key amenities can impact your home’s appeal to future guests. The greater the appeal, the greater your earning power. Read more on finding and optimizing a vacation rental, or contact our client success team.

Many real estate investors use a calculation known as cap rate. Others invest in a property that helps pay for itself as its equity appreciates. Other buyers look at cashflow and ask, with a given down payment, if their home can pay for itself after accounting for homeowner association fees, property management, maintenance, property taxes, debt-expense, etc. Run some numbers with our investor calculator.

There are a number of factors that influence your vacation rental’s earning potential. Naturally, to drive revenue, you’ve got to inspire guests to visit. That’s why location matters, as does your home’s visual appeal and key amenities. But, the day-to-day aspects of managing your property also factor into your profitability. Read more on finding and optimizing a vacation rental.

Absolutely! We have an amazing vacation home interior design team. Whether you have a well-loved home in need of a refresh, or you’re brand new to the world of vacation rentals, we’re here to help your vacation home stand out and earn the highest return. Learn more.

Buying a vacation home is a bit different from buying a primary residence. As you think about your budget, it’s important to be clear on whether your vacation home is a second home or a vacation rental. Then, you can consider the best loan option. If you already own one or more investment properties, you may want to take advantage of a 1031 exchange (when investors swap an aging income property in a like-kind real estate exchange).

Where to buy a vacation rental property

There are great properties in nearly every market, but our reports on the top 25 vacation rental markets and top winter markets detail some vacation destinations that generally carry a better return on investment (ROI). It’s also important you fully understand what regulations exist around short-term rentals in each market. Vacasa can help with that.

Thanks for your interest! That list is coming soon.

About Vacasa’s vacation rental property management services

With Vacasa, there’s no nickel-and-diming. You get seamless, transparent, full-service, end-to-end property management for one comprehensive fee. Plus, you get one dedicated point of contact, too. It’s that easy. We mean it when we say we’re here for you. You can count on us to take care of everything your home and guests need. Get the details here.

Regular vacation rental property maintenance is included with Vacasa. We handle things like new air filters, fresh light bulbs, and hot tub maintenance. However, replacement of bigger household items due to wear and tear over time (such as appliances and mattresses) is not included in your fee. Vacation rental investors also expect to pay for homeowner association fees, insurance, utilities, pest control, pool maintenance, landscaping, other maintenance, and property taxes. Learn more about what you can expect.

Yes, it is. Learn more about how cap rate is calculated.

For legal reasons, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with local regulations. However, as local experts, we take pride in our ability to help you navigate the regulatory landscape. Whenever and wherever we can, we handle permitting and licensing for buyers. We also make it our business to stay on top of—and pass along—local permitting, licensing, and tax requirements. We want you to have all the essentials, so your full-service property management experience is rewarding and easy.

Many urban markets are highly regulated, and it can be challenging for homeowners to secure the appropriate licensing. Vacasa Multifamily partners with developers and property management companies in urban centers to provide short-term rentals within apartment buildings. We continue to expand into major cities, working with local officials and businesses to increase occupancy and reduce stress, ensuring every Vacasa Multifamily property is in full compliance with local, regional, and state regulations.

Vacation rentals in the US (2018)

Vacation rentals in the US (2018)



Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Louisiana L.L.C. (licensed in Louisiana); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 947-800-5979; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC, P.O. Box 283, Conway NH 03818, Dave Grant, Broker of Record; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Colorado 720-727-9358, Idaho, and Oregon); Vacasa Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island LLC; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Suite 600, Lahaina, HI 96761; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Rickie Miller, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC.

*This document is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to provide “investment advice” or a “recommendation” regarding a course of action. The discussion is general in nature and has not taken into account your personal financial position or objectives. You should consult a licensed financial advisor or other professional to discuss your specific situation.

Estimated rental income figures and home sale prices are based on historical averages; for any specific property, the actual revenue, purchase price, and cap rate may differ materially from estimated amounts and depend on a wide range of factors outside Vacasa's knowledge or control, such as the property's condition, layout, and furnishings; expenses associated with the acquisition and ownership of the property (such as property taxes, utility fees, HOA fees, insurance fees, and mortgage-related expenses); rental calendar availability; existing and future regulations; current and future economic, social, and political trends and conditions; and weather and environmental factors. These estimates do not take into account the potential impact of state income taxes.

Vacasa makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the accuracy of this document. Furthermore, Vacasa has no obligation to update, modify or amend this document or to otherwise notify users in the event that any opinion, assumption, forecast or estimate set forth herein changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on statements in this document.