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If you’ve got the rental bug, you may be ready to invest in a new property. Whether you want to buy nearby or in another city or state, you need to do your research first. Luckily, there are dozens of resources available, making it easy to research right from your home, before signing on the dotted line.

By making your decision with the facts to hand, you can to get the most out of your investment and keep renters moving through the property for high returns. Use these tips and ideas to find the perfect property for your next rental!

Quarterly and Annual Rental Reports

If you’re looking to buy your next rental property in a new city, you will want to know what the potential rental income might look like in that area. The best way to find that out is to dive into the reports available to you — and there are many.

Start with a report like this one from Lending Tree, which shares vacation rental trends and top cities for short-term rentals. If you’re not tied to one particular location, you can choose between the locations that have been found to offer the greatest ROI.

Don’t forget to check out apartment rental reports too – like the quarterly rent report from Abodo. As someone who invests in real estate, you know that markets can change quickly and without notice. If your vacation rental falls flat in the new area, it’s good to know you have a revenue-producing backup plan: renting to long-term tenants.

Industry Trends

Like rental reports, many organizations publish annual vacation trends that can provide insight on what move you should make next. Start with the vacation industry trends to watch report, which provides valuable insight for anyone looking to update their property or buy a new one. For example, knowing that beach houses will remain as the most sought-after type of rental is helpful in making this decision.

Remember to check trends reports created for consumers as well. The 2018 report from WEX, for example, suggests that “bleisure travel” will continue to grow in popularity. This may indicate that investing in property in up-and-coming business areas like Austin, Texas could be a wise decision.

Local Experts

Connect with local experts to get all the important details, even if you’re looking in an area near your current home or rental. Start by connecting with a realtor who can provide insights into home prices and best areas for vacation rentals, suggests Fit Small Business. Perhaps one strand of the beach in that area tends to get most of the foot traffic, making it an optimal location to invest in.

It’s also important to connect with local housing authorities. Rental regulations vary a lot from state to state, and even city to city. Knowing what’s expected of you as an owner, and what your rights and duties are, will allow you to decide if the area is a good fit or not. To get more detail on how these regulations vary from location to location, check out Bizfilings helpful guide, 5 Legal and Regulatory Considerations for Short-Term Rentals.

Lifestyle Research Tools

What do people on vacation want to do? Indulge in delicious food, explore the area on foot and take in the history and sights. Choosing a vacation rental that makes these things possible would be a great investment. For many vacationers, location is everything, so being in a centralized area makes your rental more appealing – and likely, more valuable! The good news is: your rates will reflect that value.

To do your own lifestyle research, use the following tools:

  • Walkscore: What is the walkability score of your potential rental? Type in the address neighborhood or city and find out. You can also browse walkability reports for major cities.
  • Soundscore: When people are on vacation, they want to relax. Use this tool to get a sound score for the areas that interest you. You can search using address, neighborhood or city with this tool as well.
  • Nextdoor: This is a social networking app for neighborhoods. As a prospective buyer, you can put in the address and see what’s been reported and talked about in the area. Residents report issues, opportunities and more.

Personal Travel

The best resource for finding your next rental is you. If it’s possible for you to travel, visit the areas you’re most interested in and live like a local. This will give you a better idea of everyday life in the area and allow you to speak directly with a realtor and residents.

When you’re familiar with the way the city hums, how residents feel about short-term rentals and what potential renters can do when they stay at your property, you’ll have a much better overall impression to help make your decision. Keep this in mind as you plan upcoming trips. If you only travel annually, consider spending just a few days in the potential location before heading off to your final destination.

Time to Find Your Next Rental

There are so many resources available if you want to purchase a new rental home. Keep these reports, tools and ideas in mind as you embark on finding your next location. You’ll be more likely to find a lucrative, long-term investment opportunity when you do your research — and with the amount of information readily available to us online, it’s easier than ever.


About the Author

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and spent the last five years in marketing. After stepping down from a senior marketing position, she’s focusing on growing her own startup and consulting for small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels.

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