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8 Things To Look For In A Vacation Rental Property

Vacation rental properties can be safe, lucrative real estate investments as long as you choose wisely. Choosing wisely includes looking at many factors, some of which you may not have considered. There are several things that you should look for in a vacation rental property.

1. Stable Government

If you’re considering investing in a vacation rental property in another country, you should make sure the local government is stable. Problems such as corrupt government officials and civil unrest can lead to multiple difficulties, including loss of investment capital, property and more. Just as you wouldn’t want to bring your family on vacation in a dangerous locale, nor would prospective renters. You can quickly check the safety and stability of foreign countries at the U.S. Department of State website. In particular, you’ll want to read the latest U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet for the country in which you’re interested in investing.

2. Attractive Currency Conversion Rate

Currency conversion rates do fluctuate, but not as dramatically or as often as you may think. It’s a safe bet that if the currency conversion rate is attractive when you purchase your overseas vacation rental, it will remain so for many years. Attractive currency conversion rates will help boost the tourism in that country, which in turn boosts the vacation rental tenancy on your property. Look for countries that have good value for U.S. vacationers regarding currency conversion rates. One prime example is Belize, where you typically get about two Belize dollars for every one U.S. dollar. This alone is a tremendous driving force in the amount of U.S. tourism in Belize.

3. U.S. Currency Accepted

Some countries accept U.S. currency in addition to their own. While vacationers will still want to have their money changed pre-arrival, it’s convenient when merchants will take U.S. currency. This comes in handy if the vacationer runs out of local currency, or wants to make an impulse purchase and only has U.S. currency on hand. Countries that accept U.S. currency as well as their include, but are not limited to, Ecuador, Belize, British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.

4. Americans Welcomed

You’ve heard stories of places in the world where it’s best to hide your American accent. These places are renowned for not being very accepting of American citizens, and they make for an uncomfortable vacation spot. You would be wise to avoid such countries when looking for a vacation rental property. Why would you or your vacation renters want to spend valuable vacation time someplace where they may be treated poorly? Especially when there are so many other places where Americans are welcomed, or even revered? This is a tricky one to navigate, as much of your research will have to be done online, using anecdotal evidence. People will tell, though, if unaccepting behavior ruined their vacation by the locals. They will also say if a welcoming native population enhanced their vacation. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself, ideally with a personal tour of the area where you might be interested in investing in a vacation rental property.

5. Abundant Natural Attractions

Your potential vacation rental property investment should have at least a few natural attractions. These might include things like hiking or biking trails, zip lines, beaches, mountains, forests, lakes and so forth. After all, the features of your vacation rental property only go so far. Eventually, your guests may want to stretch their legs and explore a little. Ideally, the location will offer natural attractions that they can’t get at home, like the ones mentioned above.

6. Manmade Amenities

For a rental property to be attractive to renters, your vacation rental property could have manmade amenities like a hot tub, swimming pool access, maid service, airport shuttle service, kayak usage, motorboat rental availability and things of that nature. You can personally arrange to provide some of these things, or you could make things easier on yourself and operate through a property management company where these types of amenities are provided for your paying guests.

7. You Want to Vacation There

Of course, one of the most significant benefits of owning a vacation rental property is that you and your family can use it when it’s not being rented out. So first and foremost, you should choose a location where you would want to vacation. When you do, you’ll enjoy virtually free vacation accommodation. You’ll also get to see your property in person to ensure that the renting tenants are taking good care of it. If you have a property manager taking care of it, you won’t have to worry so much about that aspect. You’ll be able to enjoy your family vacation in the location where you chose your rental property investment.

8. Easy to Get To

Most people have limited vacation days, and they don’t want to spend them traveling. A long, laborious journey is often enough to dissuade people from going to specific destinations. To attract more vacationers, choose a vacation rental property that’s easy to get to from the mainland. Check to see which airlines might have direct flights into the country, or where it only takes a few hours to get there. The easier it is to get to, the better.

It’s likely that you’ll own your vacation rental property for many years. Your loved ones may even decide to keep it in the family for generations to come. Choosing where to buy is a decision not to be taken lightly. These considerations mentioned above should weigh heavily in your decision-making process. For more insight into vacation rental options in desirable locales such as Belize, please contact us today.


A previous version of this post appeared on on 5/17/2018