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My family live in Austin, TX and we are about 1 hour away to Horseshoe Bay, TX. For the last 3 years, we have
read books about vacation rental and doing online research about vacation rentals and we are now planning to
finally excuecute this plan. We choose Horseshoe Bay, TX (lake front house with boat dock) due to it being close
to where we live and it is on a constant level lake. The biggest concern I have now is when I see similar property
listed on homeaway or vrbo, the calendar doesn't reflect much activities in rental and I also talk to a local vacation
management company for rental history.. what they showed me was not very encouraging either (one of the best rental
history they have was 25 days in 2011.. 3 weeks in one year!!). Can anyone with expereince in this part of the country
shed some light?
The property I'm interested in purchasing is a 3bedroom 4bath, with private boat dock on open water. It is a town house and
very simiar to this listing:
I would apprecate any input or advise and I'm also planning to charge similar rate as the listing I found above.
PS. I have email some vrbo owner in this area in the past, but didn't have any luck getting any response.
Are you purchasing this as a vacation rental for yourself or purely as a business to make money off of rentals?
I echo your concerns about the lack of bookings. I did a search for June and July and most properties are completely open with the exception of one which is priced far below the competition. Another thing I noted was that there are management companies that are managing several properties in the complexes. I assume yours would be management company run since you live so far away. There is a lot of discussion on this board about renters preferring to work with owners and not management companies.
There is certainly a lot to choose from in your area and if you want to make money, you either have to be priced considerably lower than the competition or bring something to the table that other properties do not have. I also noted there are very few reviews if not none on most properties in the area. I think that is indicative of the amount of time these homes stay vacant.
IMO, if you need the revenue to offset the mortgage, I would think twice about purchasing. However, if you are purchasing it for your enjoymenet and don't need the rental income, I would go for it.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I wouldn't expect much help from other owners in the area as they see you as the competition and probably aren't happy that another property is coming on the market, especially if bookings are not that abundant.
Thank you Sophie,
The goal isn't to make money.. I like to break even or at least supplement most of th expenses... but according to the calendar bookings, it just doesn't seem it is possible. I am not sure if Feb being too early for summer booking. I review most of the lake house vacation rental in this area and they all have lots of vacancy. Thanks for pointing out the reviews as well (I didn't notice most of the listings don't have much review either).
Oh, I forgot to mention, I was planning to manage it myself.. per the book "Vacation Rental by Owner" written by Christine.. that's what inspired me into doing this and I thought Horseshoe Bay would be a good start for my vacation rental (retirement planning)...
Boc, I suggest you check several other online VR sites. I've had a big increase in inquiries & bookings from Flipkey.com recently. I'm not sure if it is how different sites advertise in different areas or what it is.I do kno w that many of my inquires and bookings from Flipkey come from folks in the Texas HIll Country area ( our VR is on Galveston Island). In addition, Flipkey offers a free period, and then gives you the option of paying by the month or year. Good way to test market , in my opinion.