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10 Best Cities to Buy Your Vacation Home Coast to Coast

  • Corey
  • Jun 24, 2016

With home sales booming and house prices rising all across North America it would take an aggressive buyer to purchase a vacation home in the middle of summer. However, with interest rates projected to rise and with inventory becoming increasingly tight the time to purchase a vacation home is now.

Interest rates will begin to rise soon to cool off the hot market. Vacation home sales rose 57 percent between 2014 and 2013, to 1.3 million properties, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In fact, vacation home sales accounted for 21 percent of all real estate transactions in 2014.

“Last year’s impressive increase reflects long-term growth in the number of baby boomers moving closer to retirement and buying second homes to convert into their primary home in a few years,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Now that we established 2016 is the best time to buy a vacation home the only question that remains is where?

 

Waterfront View Vacation Homes

Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Median home value: $94,400

Median monthly rent: $961

Known as “the world’s most famous beach”, vacationers can enjoy over 23 miles of sandy beaches. If you’re looking for a lively and exciting place to buy a vacation rental then Daytona Beach is the perfect spot for you. The nightlife attracts many tourists, as does the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts February’s iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race. During Spring Break it is also one of the most popular destination in the US for student party goers. Fishing, boating, golf, or simply strolling on the boardwalk are just some of the activities you’ll enjoy doing in Daytona Beach. If you’re looking to rent out your vacation home then you will want to do it during February and March, when Daytona 500 and Spring Break are happening.

 

Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Median home value: $120,600

Weekly rental average: $843

The city is located along the northwest shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (aka Lake Toho) and is surrounded by amusement parks as it is just South of Orlando. In Kissimmee you’ll be nearby attractions include LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Disney World and Universal Studios. Orlando-Kissimmee is a popular destination year-round, making it a great place for a first-time investor. With many activities available around Kissimmee short term rental are very common. You’ll find many property management companies willing to take care of your property at very affordable rates and you’ll also find many weekly rental bookings and cleaning services, making it a great investment for long-distance landlords.

 

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Median home value: $125,100

Weekly rental average: $951

Known for its casinos, boardwalk and beach Atlantic City is the perfect destination for a vacation. And the average home values make it even more appealing for those who are looking to purchase a vacation home. One interesting fact is that the board game Monopoly used many of the streets in Atlantic City for inspiration to name their neighborhoods. With so many things to do and a beautiful waterfront, Atlantic City is the perfect spot to purchase a vacation home.

 

 

Port Salerno, Florida

Port_Salermo,_Florida

Median home value: $136,000

Median monthly rent: $1,472

Port Salerno is a hidden gem of only approximately 10,000 citizens that is best known for its “World Fishing Tournaments”. Port Salerno is perfect for both golfers and beach lovers, making it the perfect spot for a vacation home.  Properties on the coast offer gorgeous waterfront views and they are very close to beautiful sandy beaches near Hutchinson Island Beach and Jensen Beach.  For those who love to golf, there are dozens of nearby courses.

  

 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Median home value: $139,000

Median monthly rent: $858

Although Myrtle Beach metropolitan area has a population of 465,391 as per a 2013 estimate, it is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US attracting approximately 14 million visitors each year. This is in large thanks to its gorgeous beaches, many golf courses and the fact that Myrtle Beach hosts a variety of conventions, events, and musical concerts. The city also includes a number of amusement parks, an aquarium, shopping complexes and over 1,900 restaurants. Beachfront condos are common, and get their highest rents during July and August.  For example, a modern two-bedroom condo directly on the beach can easily rent for $1,500 weekly throughout the summer.

 

Mountain View Vacation Homes

Lake Arrowhead, California

Lake Arrowhead, California

Median home value: $241,000

Median monthly rent: $1,393

Formerly known as “Little Bear Lake” until around 1920, a group from Los Angeles, the Arrowhead Lake Company, bought the lake and the land surrounding it, and changed its name to Arrowhead Lake. Arrowhead Lake is a big tourist attraction that brings in more than 4 million visitors each year. The outlet shops, summer concert series, Oktoberfest, car shows, Antique Wooden Boat Show, bike races and other events keep attracting tourists. The $241,000 average home price here makes cabins and condos very affordable by California standards.

 

Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

Median home value: $181,000

Median monthly rent: $1,012

 

The Great Smoky Mountains span across the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The National Park is formed of lush forests and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round, making it the perfect destination for those that love hiking, biking and camping in the mountains and being surrounded by nature.

The Great Smoky Mountains have been named as one of the Top 5 vacation rental locations in the United States by TripAdvisor users. Although the Great Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina side lack Dollywood and other attractions that are typically found on the Tennessee side, the home prices are much more affordable giving you the best of both worlds.

 

Thousand Palms, California

Thousand Palms, California

Median home value: $185,400

Median monthly rent: $1,470

The city of Thousand Palms is a small city located in the Coachella Valley, a 20 minute drive from Palm Springs. Vacationers can explore the nearby mountains or desert as it is located in the perfect location close to everything. Area attractions include the Canyons of the San Andreas Fault, the Joshua Tree National Park and the Indian Canyons.

 

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

 Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Median home value: $119,600

Median monthly rent: $1,224

Located in the heart of the Poconos, northeastern Pennsylvania, Stroudsburg is a very popular destination for hikers, skiers and ATV enthusiasts. Home values in this area took a heavy hit during the housing crash of 2007 and prices have remained relatively low ever since, making Stroudsburg a great investment opportunity for those looking to buy a vacation home in the mountain side.

Peak season for vacation rentals is from December to March when most vacationers go down for winter sports, especially skiing and snowboarding.  An updated 3 bedroom chalet can easy rent for $2,000 weekly or more during peak seasons so if you prefer to go to your vacation home during the summer months and enjoy the fresh air and make an extra buck during the winter months then this is the perfect investment for you.

 

Catskill Region, New York

Catskill Region, New York

Median home value: $115,000

Median monthly rent: $1,095

The Catskill Region, from a geographical standpoint, is known as a 700,000 acre (2,800 km2) forest preserve protected from development under New York state law. The Catskills have long been a haven for artists, musicians, and writers because of its untouched natural beauty. Most recently though, the Catskills have become a haven for vacationers looking to visit museums, the old Woodstock music festival site, sample the local wines, take zipline tours, hike the low mountain ranges or find peace at a Buddhist monastery. Teeming with campsites, historic sites and outdoor activities, the Catskills are a great place to escape the city and be at peace.

The Catskill Region was named as one of the top destination for vacation rentals by the users of TripAdvisor.

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