Top 5 Places To Buy A Vacation Home - The Locations May Surprise You

The top 5 places to buy a vacation home may surprise you has selected the best and worst locations in the country to buy a vacation home this year. It takes more than a scenic view and beautiful weather to make a great vacation home.

According to the site's 2018 Short-Term Rental Income Report, the best place in the country to buy a vacation home is Panama City Beach, Florida. It was chosen for its combination of affordability, popularity, tax prices and maintenance costs, among other criteria. The city was also the best place to buy in 2016’s version of the report.

Best Places to Buy in 2018

1. Panama Beach City, Florida 2. Chicago, Illinois 3. Napa, California 4. Tulsa, Oklahoma 5. Memphis, Tennessee

Napa Valley, California

The inclusion of Chicago, Tulsa and Memphis continue the trend of more locations that are not typically “vacation destinations” Chicago and Napa are somewhat surprising; given the generally high cost of home ownership in these markets, which must have been outweighed by strong short-term rental potential.


For these two locations, demand and demand growth have outpaced supply and supply growth, which pushes up occupancy and nightly rental rates. Therefore, this increases ROI for both property managers and homeowners.

Of the 25 Best Places to Buy list for 2018, 15 were located in the Southeastern U.S. In the three reports issued to date, nearly three times as many Florida cities are included versus the next closest state, Tennessee with Texas following closely behind.

Many of these locations have reasonable real estate prices but strong rental potential for several reasons, such as attractiveness as a winter destination. Also, states like Florida, for example, have embraced the short-term rental market at the state level, and this reflects in our Best Places to Buy Reports. Short-term and vacation rentals inject funds into the community, local regulations are less harmful to short-term rentals than in other markets.

Within the Worst Places to Buy a Vacation Property

When comparing the 20 Worst Places to Buy a Vacation Rental Property for the past three years certain trends are seen year over year.

The worst places to buy a second home typically include multiple cities within states with housing shortages (California, Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado and New York) and states with the highest costs of living (Utah, Delaware, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, California, Hawaii and Virginia).

Five Colorado cities appear in the bottom 20 in 2018 and four states have appeared in the bottom 20 all three years: California, New York, Massachusetts and Colorado. Differing combinations of factors are typically responsible. In markets such as the Hamptons, New York and Nantucket, Massachusetts, high asset prices along with tough rental regulations and generally high property taxes drove down the ratings. In other locations, such as Oklahoma City and Palo Alto, the abundance of attractive job opportunities depressed property availability.

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