South Lake Tahoe Real Estate Tip: Buying A Vacation Rental

Summer has ended and you may feel like you don’t want the fun to end. Enter in the idea of buying real estate in South Lake Tahoe for the purpose of a vacation rental. It is perfect! You can stay in it and then rent it out when you are gone. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, not so fast. Buying South Lake Tahoe real estate for the purpose of a vacation rental isn’t the same as buying a primary residence. Here are some “know before you go” tips. 

1.) A Vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe usually requires a bigger down payment compared to real estate in South Lake Tahoe, unless you are paying cash. Depending on the property, your credit and your financial status, the typical non owner occupied property requires 20% to 30% of the sales price. Of course, every situation is different, so consulting your South Lake Tahoe realtor is important who knows the ins and outs of both the South Lake Tahoe real estate industry AND the South Lake Tahoe vacation rental market is huge. As the president of the board AND the owner and broker of Pinnacle Real Estate, which also happens to manage vacation rentals and long term rentals, this is an area I take a lot of pride in. 

2.) Your real estate in South Lake Tahoe will need to go through the new VHR rules and regulations set forth by the city. Meaning, you will need to apply for the permit, get an inspection, make any changes the city requests and then wait to see if any of your neighbors within a 300 ft radius protest you using your real estate in South Lake Tahoe as a vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe. Once again, using a qualified South Lake Tahoe realtor is important as there are changes that take place in regards to the VHR. 

3.) You need to account for the additional costs that come with buying a Lake Tahoe vacation rental, like furnishings, textiles, houseware, etc. The whole reason people book a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe over booking a hotel is because it is a “home away from home”. They can basically walk into a South Lake Tahoe vacation rental and have everything they need at their fingertips and it doesn’t cost extra like at a hotel. If you don’t adequately furnish the property, it can have a negative impact on your future bookings. 

4.) You will need to have someone on speed dial for emergencies if you don’t live near your South Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Life happens, and it seems like it is always at the most inopportune times. Let’s say it is the middle of winter and there is a ton of snow and the roof on your vacation rental in Lake Tahoe starts leaking, or worse. The guests need someone to call in the event of an emergency. Which means, this is someone you will be paying. Speaking of people you will be paying, you will need to have someone who can go to the property and clean between bookings as well as perform routine maintenance, snow removal, trash, etc.  

If you are looking to buy a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe, you will need to consider these aspects. However, as a full service company that not only manages vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe, long term rentals and real estate, I’d love to help and answer more questions. 

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