Friday, April 19, 2013

Now is a great time to buy Lowcountry rental property

April 14 Article in the Island packet
By Robert Stenhammer — Special to the Packet and the Gazette

Spring is in the air and now is the perfect time to consider purchasing a Lowcountry vacation rental property. With interest rates at historic lows and prices that still are in favor of the buyer, purchasing a vacation rental property could benefit you and your family for years to come. The short-term rental market in our area is off to a strong start in 2013 and positive growth over last year is expected for the remainder of the year. Acquiring your vacation rental property now assures you take advantage of the peak summer season for revenues and can help offset some of the real estate purchase expenses. Make a list of the priorities for your vacation rental property including your desired location, the ideal size of your new property, your budget, rental income expectations, if you are interested in a fixer upper, how often you intend to use the property, if you want a home or a villa, and whether you will retire there or eventually sell it. Be sure to share this list with your experienced vacation rental Realtor and, eventually, with your vacation rental manager. Your personal goals and objectives for purchasing a vacation rental property are the first things to consider. Next, be sure to consult your accountant and lawyer so that you understand the tax and insurance requirements, tax benefits, how to structure your mortgage loan, whether or not to set up an LLC and whether it makes sense for you to purchase a property out of your IRA. Getting these details worked out at the beginning of the vacation rental purchase process will make things much easier as you look for the perfect property. As you search for your ideal property, the ultimate considerations in the Lowcountry are access to the beach and access to activities such as golf, tennis and biking. The view is very important, so check this when visiting potential properties. Because rates are largely determined by the location and the view from the property, you'll bring in higher rental revenue with a great location and view.Vacation renters are looking for quality flat screen TVs and DVD players in the living room and bedrooms, Wi-Fi, a great kitchen, a grill and pool access. Ideally each bedroom will have its own bathroom. Rental properties should have a mix of king beds, twin beds and always a good commercial grade sleeper sofa. Avoid properties with too many stairs, as this will usually detract multi-generational travelers. If the property you are considering has been a vacation rental before, be sure to obtain the last two years of revenue intake so that you have an accurate picture of income potential. And finally, be sure to work with a local Realtor that specializes in vacation rental properties.