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Own Your Mammoth Lakes Dream Home & Make Money Using VRBO & AirBnB

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There is a growing trend in the hospitality industry that’s changing how people travel and turning the tourism business upside down:  AirBnB and VRBO.  Travelers love them; hoteliers hate them.  They aren’t going anywhere, especially with many CAP rates coming in higher on residential rentals vs. commercial properties.  So how does a person buy their dream vacation home, use it occasionally, make money and manage the renters?

juniper-springs-lodgeHere in Mammoth Lakes, we enjoy year round visitors.  Winter months attract skiers and snowboarders to Mammoth Mountain.  Summer time draws the outside enthusiast.  Mountain biking, hiking, day trips to Yosemite, fishing, festivals like Bluesapoolsa, and beautiful sunny days keep the summer visitors busy for months.  Although Mammoth Lakes began as a town centered around a ski resort, our summers are now busier than our winters.

What does this mean for a person wishing to buy an investment property?  Year round income!  There are many things to consider when purchasing your first vacation/investment home:

  • What is your budget? If you’re getting a loan, a 25% down payment is typically crucial to obtain financing.  Keep in mind the loan process can take 45-60 days, so patience is necessary during the escrow process.
  • Location: Although Mammoth Lakes is small; 4 square miles to be exact, the locations vary greatly and will attrsan-sierraact renters for different reasons.  For example, Canyon Lodge is very popular in the winter with skiers and snowboarders, but it’s pretty quiet in the summer.  Summer visitors want to be in town where all the action is.
  • How often will you, the owner, use your property? If you’re planning on using your vacation home every Christmas, New Years, President’s Weekend, etc, you’re missing out on top rental income.
  • How are you going to manage the renters? AirBnB and VRBO are both very user friendly with apps on smart phones, allowing you to book renters 24/7 and from anywhere in the world.  Question is, do you have time to get back to them, manage issues during their stay and organize housecleaners?  If not, you may be better off with a reservation company.  Problem is, these companies charge anywhere from 28% – 50% of your rental income to manage your property.
  • Insurance, taxes and town ordinances: Do your research before buying a vacation home.  Is it zoned for nightly rentals?  If there are CC & R’s, do they allow nightly rentals?  Are you prepared to pay the Town of Mammoth Lakes 14% occupancy fee?  What are the ordinances to ensure the safety and comfort for all renters?  Does your insurance policy cover nightly renters?
  • Renter Access and Cleaning Companies: Many owners can manage renters on AirBnB and VRBO very successfully, but how to you give them access to your property and who is going to clean it?  There are many resort lock companies out there that codes can be managed directly from your phone or computer.  You simply plug in your guests’ dates and a temporary code is emailed to them.  Mammoth Lakes offers plenty of cleaning companies to hire after every renter has checked out.  Many provide mini shampoos, conditioners and cleaning supplies that renters appreciate.
  • You wish to buy your own property and you don’t have time to manage it, but don’t want to use the expensive reservation companies who offer little to no exposure on AirBnB and VRBO? Ready 4 Rentals is a Mammoth Lakes based company that only charges 10% with maximum advertising on all the popular websites.  Ready 4 Rentals handles the entire investment process for you.  As licensed Realtors, we represent you from identifying the best properties for rental income, a smooth escrow process, setting up your property for renters, advertising on all the top rental sites and managing the entire rental process from check in’s to departures and cleanings

Cynthia Fleming
Ready 4 Rentals
(760) 914-4444

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