If you’re the kind of person who likes to travel, you likely look forward to taking at least one big vacation each year. But what you probably don’t look forward to is paying for this trip. When you combine the cost of transportation, hotels, food, and souvenirs, you could be looking at thousands of dollars.
While a good budget will help with transportation and food, one of the best things you can do to save on accomodations is to buy a vacation home. This might seem counterintuitive since a vacation home is a huge investment. However, remember that it’s just that: an investment. This means you can actually make money on your purchase.
According to an article from one of the top property management companies in Houston, Green Residential, there are many opportunities for making money on your vacation rental, including accruing equity, saving on vacation travel, or buying in order to rent.
The motivation for buying these properties is usually “a combination of the three,” explains an article on their blog. “Most people want to invest in these properties for the purpose of building equity, increasing cash flow, and simultaneously enjoying a place to occasionally vacation and relax.”
With this in mind, many financially savvy individuals who also love to travel can’t resist the opportunity to purchase a vacation home. The next step is choosing where to buy. Consider these popular, yet often underrated, U.S. cities.
- Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach is a beautiful metropolis. The palm trees and white sandy beaches bring tourists from all over the world. It’s one of the best places for those who want to enjoy a beach vacation in privacy.
But more than that, this location is a prime destination if you’re trying to make a little money on your investment. The median home price is about $340K, which is pretty mild for Florida real estate.
Even better, the demand for private vacation homes on the beach is through the roof, so you won’t have trouble filling your rental. The average monthly income for a vacation rental in Panama City Beach is $2,575 per month or nearly $31K per year. That’s enough to cover the expenses of both your rental and permanent home each year!
- Thomasville, Georgia
Thomasville is the perfect vacation destination for those who are less interested in the beach and more excited about hunting and outdoor recreation in the hills. It’s best known for Bobwhite quail hunting, and avid hunters flock here during the season.
According to Ben McCollum of the Wright Group, a foundation that sells plantation legacy properties, the history is also a huge draw for tourists.
“During the late 1800s, Thomasville was the end of the railway. Instead of Florida beaches, wealthy Northerners and Industrialists came south here to escape the cold and ultimately fell in love with the pine-infused air, mild climate, and sporting life,” he says.
It was one of the first destinations to attract vacation home buyers in the state. These winter visitors bought estates and created sporting plantations for their yearly visits. It’s also an ideal destination for those who love food and history.
McCollum says it’s also attractive to many tourists who “want to refurbish a home in one of the historic districts. They fall in love with downtown and want a restored storefront condominium for $300,000.”
- Kansas City, Missouri
If you love BBQ, history, water features, and midwest/southern culture, Kansas City, Missouri has a surprising amount to offer. It’s actually on the world map for having the most working fountains, second only to Rome, which is why it’s called the City of Fountains. When you go there, you’ll know why. These gorgeous water features are everywhere you look.
When visiting Kansas City, you can check out museums, eat some of the best BBQ you’ve ever had, and enjoy a candlelit cocktail. Vacation home prices are reasonable, and it provides a unique atmosphere for you to enjoy your yearly trip.
These are three destinations you probably didn’t immediately consider when deciding on a vacation home, but you’ll probably enjoy them all the same. Good luck with your search for the perfect home, and enjoy your vacation!