Finding and optimizing your vacation rental

When you’re shopping for a vacation home, consider how location and key amenities will impact its appeal to your future guests—and how much you’ll earn. For example, there’s a significant difference between how much you can charge for an oceanfront home compared to just one a few blocks away. And if you buy a home where it’s impossible to install a hot tub, you might undercut your earning potential before you even start renting.

Here’s what we recommend you keep in mind:

Vacation rental location

  • Views: Most people don’t have a sweeping vista of the ocean or mountain range in their primary home, so they’ll pay a little more for a great view on vacation.
  • Ski-in/ski-out: In a winter market, nothing is more valuable than immediate access to the slopes.
  • Beach access: A coastal home will be more appealing (and make a lot more money) if it has immediate beach access.
  • Parks: Vacation homes within easy reach of amusement parks are a huge draw (whether that’s a quick drive or a shuttle in a resort community). And if you’re considering buying near a national park, choose a property close to a prominent year-round entrance to maximize your marketing appeal.
  • Seasonal appeal: Make sure that the home you are choosing is in an area that draws guests year-round, and that the home is easy to access regardless of the time of year. For example, Telluride is an excellent vacation rental town because it offers year-round recreation (an excellent ski resort in the winter and a very active festival season in the summer). Hawaii and the Gulf Coast are two other great examples, since the weather is relatively pleasant all year.
  • Seasonal access: If you do choose a home in a seasonal market, make sure it’s still fairly easy to reach. For example, a cabin tucked away in the woods is charming in theory, but not if the roads are impassable December through March.

Vacation rental amenities

Dog-friendly: It pays to allow four-legged guests—we see an average of $6,500 in increased revenue for dog-friendly rentals. While shopping for your second home, ask about any HOA or community pet policies. And remember that special touches like a fenced yard could make your home especially appealing to travelers with pets.

Hot tub: When our owners ask how they can earn more income, our first recommendation is to add a hot tub—we'll even help finance and install them for most Vacasa homes. Guests search for hot tubs more than any other amenity, other than pets. (This applies in most markets, but if you buy a second home in an area with year-round warm weather, a hot tub won’t pack the same punch!)

Internet: Modern travelers expect Internet access, even in remote mountain cabins, and we recommend providing it whenever possible. If you're buying a secluded getaway, remember to ask about connectivity.

Other popular perks include swimming pools (private and community), fireplaces, and washer/dryers, so if you're looking to earn the most possible rental income, add those amenities to your wish list.

Read our 10-step guide on how to make money on a vacation rental.

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly and through licensed subsidiaries, including Vacasa Real Estate LLC; Vacasa Alabama; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa Florida; Vacasa Hawaii; Vacasa Louisiana; Vacasa Michigan LLC; Vacasa Montana; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC; Vacasa New Mexico LLC; Vacasa New York; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Tennessee; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa Resort Rentals of Hilton Head Island LLC; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC.