6 Investment Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

DWA Team


Owning a vacation was once the exclusive province of a select few. Now, in the wake of the pandemic–when people were prohibited from traveling–more and more investors are searching for a vacation property. Indeed, the sale of vacation homes reached an unprecedented high in 2022 as people increasingly pursued ways to make the most out of life and turn a profit while they were at it.
Purchasing a home–either as your primary residence or your holiday home–is a thrilling but significant decision. To ensure you don't experience buyer’s remorse, entering the process equipped with as much information about purchasing a vacation home as possible is crucial.

With this in mind, the experts at Diane Williams and Associates pulled together a list of the top vacation home purchase tips you should consider as an investor.

1. Location is single-handedly the most substantial decision to make

‘Location, location, location’ may be a cliche, but nearly every truism holds a kernel of truth – and nowhere is this more apparent than the importance of location in real estate. True, your idea of the ideal vacation may be in an ultra-remote outpost in the Alaskan tundra, but as an investor, you will likely want to ensure your property holds massive, widespread appeal so that it can be used not only as your place of escape but also as a profitable short-term vacation rental.

To this end, consider what vacationers typically search for when they go on holiday. Usually, this comes down to places near or on the water, affluent cities, mountain towns that offer an abundance of outdoor activities, and tranquil villages that rest on a body of water.
Some of the best places to invest in a rental property are:
  • Joshua Tree, CA
  • Smoky Mountains, TN
  • Coachella Valley, CA
  • Temecula, CA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Destin, FL
  • Austin, TX
  • Hudson Valley, NY
What do these locations have in common? Extreme beauty, colorful, charming atmospheres, and proximity to several of the largest cities in the nation.

2. Gain a complete understanding of the area’s climate

As an investor, you will want to continually pull in a passive income by using your vacation home as a short-term rental. Such an investment succeeds in places that see perennially delightful weather, such as Hawaii and the desert oasis that is Palm Springs and its surrounding enclaves. Other locations, however, may have optimal weather only for a short span of time per year, meaning that the adorable cabin you purchased in the Sierra Nevada mountains is left empty and unused once the snow melts off the ground and skiers and snowboarders head back home. Be sure that the location sees visitors throughout the year and enjoys a perpetually lively, inviting energy.

3. Consider the amenities on-site and within the vicinity

Intrepid travelers may love the notion of hiking to a cabin, drawing water from a well, surviving without electricity, and cooking their meals over a campfire. But such tourists are few and far between, and vacation rentals of this kind seldom earn a handsome profit. Indeed, modern travelers prioritize amenities when they ignite their search for a vacation rental – both within the residence and in the surrounding area. A fully-equipped kitchen, a washer and dryer, multiple bedrooms, ample storage space, and luxury amenities such as a pool or a hot tub will increase your vacation home’s appeal and afford you the ability to charge a higher-per-night fee.
Visitors are, by and large, keen on being near the area’s leading attractions, whether a world-class beach or the site of a globally renowned music festival. The home’s proximity to other conveniences, such as restaurants, bars, markets, shopping, medical facilities, and the airport, should also be taken into consideration as you explore vacation homes.

4. Purchase a home rather than land

There is something admittedly dreamy about purchasing a piece of land and building a home from scratch, with every last detail determined by you.
However, there can be enormous delays between the time of buying a vacation property and seeing your well-designed home come to fruition – particularly as we find ourselves still in the throes of complications and disruptions within the supply chain (and continue to see labor shortages across the states). As a result, it may be years before you will be able to enjoy your investment on your own, let alone see an ROI by utilizing it as a vacation rental. Now is the time to purchase a turnkey-ready vacation-ready home as we continue to watch the travel industry thrive.

5. Ensure your investment can be legally rented

Countless vacation hotspots across the nation have strict rules and regulations when it comes to short-term rentals and may be completely prohibited in the neighborhood you have elected. Further, long-term rentals will prohibit you from using your vacation home when you please, and long-term rentals typically don’t pull in as lucrative of a passive income as short-term rentals. These are all issues that will be fully discussed if you heed our advice with the next tip.

6. Work with a seasoned realtor

It is vital to partner up with a skilled and experienced local realtor when it comes time to purchasing your vacation home. They will work diligently on your behalf to find you the vacation home that meets your wants and needs and help you navigate the intricacies of turning your home into a vacation property. Similarly, they will put you in contact with the professionals you will require to safeguard your investment and streamline the rental process, from house cleaners and contractors to property managers and marketers.

DW & Associates is the expert team to turn to if you are searching for a vacation home within Coachella Valley – an area that is teeming with splendid vacation homes and brings in more than 13.6 million visitors annually. Specializing in Palm Desert real estate and Rancho Mirage homes, they will guide you on how to invest in a vacation home and steer you toward an investment that may pay off in spades. With their knowledge and exceptionalism, they will provide you with an unparalleled experience.