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10 Places to Consider Investing in Vacation Rental

The pandemic fundamentally changed where people wanted to live and travel.  They still want to do plenty of both, just in different ways.  In fact, 2021 was a record best for the STR industry, with an overall occupancy that was 5% better than 2020’s and 10% better than 2019’s!

STR isn’t going anywhere, so others are looking to use the changing market conditions to get involved or broaden their existing portfolios.  Criteria might include:

  • Locations near national or state parks, forests, battlefields, monuments, wildlife refuges.  Americans have shown a marked interest in the outdoors after being ordered to stay inside.
  • A developing area or city.  NYC and LA are always going to be destination spots, but as remote workers fanned out across the country, lesser-known (but still awesome) spots started to get attention as regional travel spiked.
  • Favorable taxation and investability factors. As the exodus from various states to other states has indicated, people are finally pushing back against unfavorable legislation by voting with their feet.  That same criteria is likely going to be in place when looking at investment properties.
  • Personal use and repurpose.  Many investors are considering personal use and possible other uses beyond STR for properties they are looking at, giving them flexibility for changing economic circumstances or personal desires.

There are many places that are on people’s STR investment radar these days, but here are ten that caught our eye that we wanted to share with you:

  1. Southwest Harbor, Maine
  • Near Acadia National Park
  • Seaside cottages
  • Nearby alternatives include Bernard and Ellsworth
  • Seasonal crowd, but that season is expanding with people coming earlier and staying later
  1. Buffalo, New York
  • Famous for its wings and hard-luck sports teams, Buffalo is also near Niagara Falls and Lake Erie.
  1. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
  • Access to national parks, fjords, wildlife
  • Seasonal, but truly global interest during that season
  • Towns to target include Seward and Soldotna
  1. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Near national parks, battlefields, Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Trail of Tears
  • Nearby alternatives to target include Lookout Mountain and Dunlap
  1. Gulfport, Mississippi
  • Casinos, beaches, and legendary Gulf seafood  
  • Other nearby investable spots include Biloxi, Long Beach, and Ocean Springs
  1. Joshua Tree, California
  • Access to a national park and a more remote experience
  • Yucca Valley is an alternative
  1. Crystal River, Florida
  • Manatee capital of the world via Kings Bay
  • Great family destination
  1. Galena, Illinois
  • A small town with historic sites and architecture
  • STR are either cabins by the lake or downtown in historic 19th century buildings
  1. Brookings, Oregon
  • Mild climate year-round
  • Views and recreational activities abound
  • Popular with road-trippers
  1. Broken Bow, Oklahoma 
  • Wonderful trails and lake activities on Broken Bow Lake
  • Beavers Bend State Park, Hochatown State Park, and Cedar Creek Golf Course all beckon
  • If you prefer hills, the Kiamichi Mountain foothills are just a stroll away

While headlines may proclaim pending doom and gloom, here at MaidThis we tend to take a more bullish view of STR: it’s an idea whose time has come, and we’re happy to be here to support their investors and owners.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter.

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