Ask Your Agent: Purchasing an Investment Property

Lakefront living has its perks – gorgeous views, a place to cool off, an escape from everyday life – but it can come at a cost. As a result, many homeowners are looking to short-term renting to pay taxes or generate extra income.

If you’re in the market to purchase a lakefront home and are interested in making it an investment property, here are a few questions you should be asking your agent:

Has this home been rented before?

This is a great place to start. Homes with vacation rental history have the advantage of past and repeat guests, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Knowing a home’s rental history will also give you a better understanding of rates to set and revenue generated by the home, helping you know if this is a solid investment.

What are the local vacation rental regulations?

Working with a real estate agent that’s also in property management is a huge advantage. They will be up-to-date on any local vacation rental laws in place that might limit the return on your investment. For example, you could purchase a 6 bedroom house with a potential occupancy of 14 people, but a local law may limit you to renting out only 4 of those rooms. That effects your rental rate and your bottom line.

How close is this home to attractions?

The Finger Lakes region is a tourism destination, host to numerous festivals, graduations, weddings, and well-known events. The demand and rate for your vacation rental is directly impacted by your proximity to attractions and venues. While some guests may come to spend time on the lake, most are here for a specific experience and will pay more to be close to the action.

Can this home be used year-round?

Many lakefront homes are seasonal – they may lack heat or have a driveway that’s impassible in winter. While demand and rates peak in the summer months, there is still potential to profit during the off-season. Consider a location near a popular winter festival or ski resort, or transition to long-term renting to college students or professionals outside of peak season.

Do you have property management experience?

Work with a real estate team that has property management experience and leverage that expertise! Our Owner Services team works closely with our real estate agents to provide an analysis based on the criteria we use for homes in our vacation rental program. This helps you to compare properties and make the best financial decision. Plus, you have already have a team in place to help you manage your investment.


Our Real Estate team has over 25 years of experience in vacation rental and lakefront property management. Call (877) 211-5917 today to discuss your revenue goals and real estate investment options with our team!

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