Buy a vacation home

Lake Chelan, WA

Lake Chelan, WA

Lake Chelan is the largest natural lake in Washington State, stretching more than 50 miles from the Cascade Mountains down to the Columbia River. Most of the northwestern portion of the lake falls within the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, and the small town of Stehekin on the head of the lake serves as the gateway to North Cascades National Park. Vacation rental guests travel to Lake Chelan from near and far to experience world-class outdoor recreation, boating, and wineries. The region pledges 365 days of fun with 300 days of sun a year, and that’s more than a motto—it’s a way of life in the valley.

Jet skis in Lake Chelan

Insider tip

A three-hour drive from from Seattle, Chelan is a popular destination even in the off-season (with the average vacation rental commanding 70 percent bookings all winter long). The city of Lake Chelan is only a few blocks, and all the tourists coming for weddings and wineries have few lodging options beyond vacation rentals. Commanding prices upwards of $2 million, waterfront homes are the most expensive properties in the area. Some investors anticipate that lakefront property will have greater long-term appreciation due to the limited supply, but a house on the hill with a view and a pool will likely deliver higher ROI. In Chelan, a hot tub or pool can help a $500,000 vacation rental investment earn $100,000 a year. Look for homes that can be made into summertime retreats with a swimming pool, lake views, and access to family activities.

Learn more and compare Lake Chelan with other top markets in our insider's guide to the best places to buy a vacation rental.

Market size

500+ rental units

Median annual rental revenue


Median home price


Cap rate


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*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.