Is buying a cabin a good investment

Buying a Cabin: Is it a Good Investment?

Beyond the usual inflation of summer season vacations, people are hitting the road and heading for the great outdoors. The rise of outdoor travel isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, making it a great time to consider what cabin investment options there are.


A simple Google search will reveal that cabins are all the rage right now. Some of the top hits include:

Is buying a cabin in Big Bear a good investment?

Is buying a cabin in Broken Bow a good investment?

Is buying a cabin in Gatlinburg a good investment?

No matter where you’re located or looking to buy, the answer is yes! Now is the best time to buy a cabin rental property, and we’ll tell you why.

Is a rental cabin a good investment?

Rental property of any kind is sure to be a good investment but investing in a cabin rental has a particular appeal. As of 2019, 82% of the North American population lived in cities. The urban population is enormous and continues to rapidly grow every year. Spending the majority of their lives hustling and bustling through big cities, many people are looking for their great, wooded escape. The growing popularity of nature retreats makes a cabin rental investment an enticing endeavor.

Is a cabin a good investment

You can be sure that a cabin rental would be profitable, but not just monetarily speaking. You’d have a private escape of your own for when you need a getaway. When you use cabin rental software with a built-in calendar feature, you can easily block off your personal days in the synchronized calendar and indulge in your own mountainous fun!

Pros and cons of owning a cabin

The imagery of a peaceful retreat in a thickly wooded space filled with chirping birds and luscious greenery probably has you already searching for cabin rentals to buy in your area. Don’t get carried away just yet! A cabin rental is worth the investment, but make sure you understand all the catch-22s before making the big purchase.

Pro: Popular location and high demand

The outdoors is a place where travelers will never grow tired of exploring. As urban spaces continue to sprawl, open-air space will get more and more limited. Your cabin rental location would be considered a gem in the eyes of urbanites and suburb-dwellers alike. A popular location such as the mountains and countryside means that guests will be eager to book a stay regardless of the price tag.

Cabin investment properties

When your vacation rental is located in an attractive area, you not only get more bookings in general but more money for those reservations. Let the location speak for itself and reap the benefits of owning a cabin rental investment.

Con: Difficulty with property management

If you are one of the many people who doesn’t reside near your vacation rental property, you’ll find it difficult, but perhaps even more challenging than the average. Commuting distances to rental cabins tend to be a bit further out (hence the off-the-grid feel), making it difficult to manage from far away.

Fortunately, it’s not impossible to remotely manage your rental property. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly popular to manage your rental from afar. With the right tools, you can virtually care for your cabin rental. If you still prefer to undergo some of the everyday property management tasks in person, then you might find the distance to be an extra challenge.

Pro: Cost-effective vacation rental property

As the adage goes: location, location, location! When you invest in a cabin rental, you’re really just investing in the area. Of course, guests want a cozy place to stay too, but the main focus should be geared towards the surroundings.

Is a cabin considered an investment property

Buying a cabin itself is the most costly part. Once you have the land and property, you wouldn’t have to invest much more. Interior design and fancy amenities aren’t typically the biggest selling points for cabin rentals, so you can save that money for your cabin rental tools or even buying more picturesque properties!

Con: More maintenance

On the other hand, some of that money saved might have to be put towards maintenance. Because your property would be weathering the wilderness, cabin rentals are more prone to repairs and maintenance associated with the location. Snow removal or salting the roads due to ice might end up being a costly expense for colder cabin rentals.

Well-wooded properties are beautiful but come with their own host of maintenance issues. If trees fall around your property, you’ll have to resolve the problem quickly. Many cabin rentals must also consider the damaging effects of tree sap and how much the removal and cleaning costs would be.

pros and cons of owning a cabin

Mother nature is beautiful but not a force to be reckoned with, at least not financially speaking. The costs associated with cabin rental maintenance can add up, so keep it in mind when you’re considering purchasing a log cabin rental.

Pro: Easy profits

Maintenance aside, the overhead of cabin rentals can be relatively low. You don’t need a huge team of staff to run a cabin rental, so it’s mainly pure profits. As mentioned, guests are coming to connect with nature, which is, fortunately for you, free!

To maximize these profits and minimize internal costs, you can market things in the area and cabin perks that are low to no cost for you. Having board games on hand, providing hiking trail maps or binoculars for the whole family are low-cost ways to sell your cabin while raking in the profits.

Con: Pest control

In the depths of nature exists a variety of creatures and critters. Keeping their homes separate from yours can be quite the task. Pest control is a must if you have a property in the woods. Customers will rate their guest experience based on a number of factors, including cleanliness. If your property is ridden with insects, travelers will assume your property isn’t clean and steer clear.

To make your guests feel comfortable, you’ll need to practice pest control more than the typical property. It’s not always cheap, and if your property is in a remote location, you can accrue additional costs just for the distance.

Add pest control to your cleaning checklist and see how it plays into the grander scheme of making a cabin rental investment.

Cabin rental income

With all the great pros we listed above, you can see how profitable a cabin rental would be, but let’s talk numbers. The amount of income you earn is going to largely depend on your initial cabin rental investment. If your loan options weren’t that great and your mortgage consists of a high-interest rate, it might take a while to see a high net income.

Cabin rental income

The price-to-rent rate will play a major role in determining your cabin rental income as well. You can calculate this by dividing the median house price by the median rent by year to get the ratio. This helps to determine how much money you’d actually make off booking profits compared to the home’s value. Ideally, you want this ratio to be under 15 when buying.

Let’s explore an example. The Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular cabin destination. The median price of a 3 bedroom house in that area is $319,950. Let’s say you have a fairly normal mortgage set up and you put down an initial investment of 20% with a 15-year loan. Assuming your monthly payment is on the low end at $1,600 a month, you could expect to net $1,257 based on average nightly rates and revenue. Imagine how much more it would be once you pay off the mortgage!

Although this ratio is typically reserved for landlords over vacation rental owners, it’s still useful in determining how much value you would get out of purchasing a cabin rental.

The reality is, your cabin rental income will vary depending on several factors such as seasonality, availability, location, service, and the overall experience you provide for guests. Consider the expenses you’d have to subtract from your earnings, such as utilities, booking fees, and mortgage payments, then try to get a feel for how much profit you could get from buying a cabin investment property.

Key takeaways

Investing in a cabin rental is always a good idea, especially as people start to seek authentic stays and the desire for more rugged experiences surges. If you still have lingering doubts surrounding the question, Is buying a cabin a good investment?, let us be the first to tell you: yes. Consider the value, potential income, lowkey maintenance, and overall perks of owning a cabin rental.

Pretty soon, you’ll be searching for cabins from the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to Big Bear Lake, California. The options are endless and owning a cabin rental can be pretty fun! Kick off your adventure by finding the perfect property and immediately implementing cabin rental software. You’ll get out what you put into your investment, so make sure you’re using a professional product to manage all your cabin needs.

Keep track of your reservations from wherever you are and transition between adventurous travelers smoothly with Lodgify’s software product. Investing in a cabin rental might be one of the best decisions you make, while choosing Lodgify would be a close second. Don’t believe it? Test out our cabin rental tools with a 7-day trial today.


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Show Comments (2)
  1. Enjoyed the comments and tips about the cabin. There is a certainly a strong demand in Tahoe this summer and winter. I am seeing a higher than usual demand for my cabin this summer. My gut tells me that 2nd homeowners are staying in there cabins longer than usual do to the pandemic which is lowering supply.

  2. We have a log home in snow country. Six feet standing in the yard is about normal. We don’t salt our driveway…that would kill the trees. You hire snow removal services. Ours is our lawn care company…mowing by summer, plowing by winter. Why would you remove pitch from your cabin? Especially a log home? It took two years for us to source service companies and we pay dearly for those middle of nowhere services so cleaning fee is high to guests. And now we are renting VRBO, our slightly upscale riverfront cabin property is getting clients that NEED high speed internet for work-cations. So keep internet availability in the mindset while shopping homes…it also costs more in the middle of nowhere. And furnishings…there are no “shopping” opportunities for 150 miles. We had to make very calculated choices from a distance and hope for the best. That distance for us is two states/500 miles away from our primary home. Shipping furniture in worked but return shipping was a hassle and a half. With short term rentals, if furniture gets broken or ruined you need a quick fix…I’m not sure how I’d replace a sofa or a mattress quickly. Vacation properties are money pits and forced labor camps for owners. BUT after four years we have it dialed in, just how we want it and now generating a tidy income. Beginning the search for the next property project and the next forced labor camp for ourselves.

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