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Investing in winter vacation rentals: The best places to buy and when to do it

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

The key to cold-weather vacation rentals

Looking to invest in winter vacation rentals? Then do it now. According to a new study, the best discounts historically happen between October and February — and time is running out.

Verify your new rate (Apr 24th, 2019)

Buying in the winter

According to new data from Vacasa, the biggest discounts on single-family properties occur in the colder season, with seven of the top 10 money-saving days in December alone.

On top of these savings, buying in the winter also allows visitors to see their properties in action.

“Visiting a winter destination at the height of the busy season creates an opportunity for buyers to experience little things that are a big deal to guests,” Vacasa reported. “It’s a time for future homeowners to explore considerations that are unique to the market, such as internet connectivity, cell reception, road conditions and access to activities, all of which can make or break someone’s winter vacation — and your reviews.”

Investing in short-term vacation rental properties? Focus on these high-ROI cities

Why (and where to) invest

Vacasa’s data shows that winter vacation rentals are booming. November to January occupancy of winter destinations is up a whopping 23 percent since 2016.

The best places to leverage that growing interest? According to Vacasa, Okemo-Ludlow, Vermont, is the No. 1 spot to buy a winter vacation home. Local investors average rental revenues of about $32K per year, and the median home price is just $273,600 in the area. The town offers easy access to the Okemo Mountain Resort — once named the nation’s best family-friendly ski spot by Parents Magazine.

How to use a cash-out refinance to buy another home

Mount Hood, Oregon, is another great ski town that’s primed for investment. Close to resorts like Timberline, Mt. Hood Skibowl and Mt. Hood Meadows, the skiing options are endless in this city. Investors enjoy about $31K in average rental revenues, and homes in the area sit right around $336,000.

It’s not just ski towns that are a great investment, though. Leavenworth, Washington, for example, is one of Vacasa’s top spots to buy. The town is “popular with guests seeking that cozy cabin feel and holiday activities” rather than a resort lifestyle.

Other cities high on Vacasa’s list for winter rental investments are Part City, Utah; Steamboat Springs and Pagosa Springs, Colorado; Big Bear Lake and North Lake Tahoe, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Stowe, Vermont.

Verify your new rate (Apr 24th, 2019)

Get today’s mortgage rates

Considering investing in a winter vacation rental? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Apr 24th, 2019)