Finding the right recreational area for investment

My husband and I are completely new to the real estate investing profession - we have rehabbed and flipped our primary residence and built a spec home which we use as a short term vacation rental and which is on the market now, but we have never purchased strictly an investment property.

We have developed a model of investing that we want to go for, (we would really like to develop a portfolio of properties that we can use as short term vacation rentals) but am concerned about the realities of doing profitable investing in recreational areas. So many resort areas are priced waaaay too high to consider for cash flow - although you could invest strictly for appreciation, but that seems a little scary today.

Any thoughts on the viability of our model?

Any thoughts on good prospective markets? We would like to focus ourselves in the Rocky Mountain states and the Pacific NW, but are open to any good market opportunity.

We currently live in the boondocks, so we don’t have access to any real estate investing clubs and I am in serious need of some help/advice. I have been trying to invest in real estate for the last 8 years, because I have seen so many people successfully build wealth this way, and I think we have the skill set to do it. Clearly we suffer from analysis paralysis! 8 Years and still no purchase. Ugh.

I am also looking at a career change and want to know what people do for their main income streams until the investments can support them? I want to do something that will help me accomplish my real estate investing goals without consuming all of my time, thereby preventing me from investing regularly.

I know this is long, but any advice you experienced investors can offer would be very much appreciated. I am anxious to get started, but scared, too.

Thanks for your help!


My full time business is the rental property business. Like you, I would love to own some vacation rentals. I have looked at many of them and unfortunately I have not seen a single one that even comes close to having positive cash flow. I therefore decided that it is more practical to limit my business to profitable rentals right here in Ohio and let some other landlord with negative cash flow subsidize my vacation by renting his vacation rental to me.

Good Luck,


I have not looked at recreational real estate but have you guys looked at buying trashed out properties in vacation areas? They have to be cheaper than market prices.

I didn’t know vacation rentals were so hard to find. Heck, I didn’t even know they were such a big market until recently. If I had a place on the beach, I’d probably try and live there full time. :biggrin For now, I’ll take the subsidized vacation time.