Many of You Reading this Own Investment Cabins.
As a matter of fact, several of you started with one cabin and now have two or even three! Congratulations, that is a blessing! You have been making money each year letting the more than 10 million visitors to the National Park help to pay your mortgage bill on those investment cabins.
As the experts on investment cabins in the Great Smoky Mountains region, our team of agents is always on the lookout for the latest trend in the rental investment industry. We are always pushing the envelope on what these cabins can do in rental income.
Amenities that Vacationers Look for
To start with, the amenities in investment cabins are so important to vacationers who stay here and enjoy our area. Some of the top choices for amenities among those who rent investment cabins here include:
- Indoor Swimming Pools are fantastic! In fact, this one is the top item on the list these days. While the average cost of putting in a pool is about $30,000, it can increase the rental value by about the same amount over the course of one year. We’ve seen pools added to cabins of many different sizes, so if it’s something you think you might like to do, its worth checking into to see if it is feasible. You might be surprised!
- Fire pits/fire places on the deck never go out of style! Always a popular item at cabins, guests love sitting around the warmth of a cozy fire!
- Theatres – Much like swimming pools, this is an increasingly popular feature in cabins. If you just don’t have the space, at least upgrade your electronics to as big a screen television as you can fit. When it comes to size, the bigger the TV, the more appealing your cabin will be to potential guests.
- Golden Tee golf games, arcade games, and other forms of electronic games – These have been and continue to be an all-time favorite attraction in cabins. Kids love these, and even big kids like Golden Tee and so it makes for the perfect environment for a family vacation!
Some other amenities that continue to prove popular (and thus increase rental income value in investment cabins) are pool tables and hot tubs, granite counter tops with stainless steel or black appliances, log furniture or upscale European country designs, and pillow top high-end mattresses.
Amenities that Renters Do Not Like
On the flip side, we also know what renters don’t like, and trust me – they will choose to stay at other investment cabins over ones with amenities like these! I like to call this my list of “don’ts” when I help new buyers pick out the right investment cabins to purchase. This list also offers you a heads-up on what is going out of style (maybe not completely- but don’t put one in or pay extra money for this!)
- Whirlpools out in the middle of the floor of a bedroom are not attractive to prospective guests. We see this frequently, where a whirlpool tub is located in the bedroom.
- Green carpet that looks like a putt-putt course, or for that matter, carpet throughout the cabin. Stick to hardwood floors as much as possible, and stay away from soft wood materials like yellow pine. Soft wood scuffs easily as furniture gets pushed around by guests.
- Pastel silk flower arrangements are a definite turn-off for potential guests booking their stay at a vacation cabin.
- Televisions that are fat and heavy can also have a negative impact on rental value. You know the ones I mean. Replace those outdated sets with modern flat screens, and remember – bigger is better.
- White appliances create the same issue silk flowers do. Definitely replace them with black or stainless steel as soon as you are able.
- Furniture that looks like thrift store or hotel furniture will absolutely drive down your rental income potential.
- Mattresses that have a big valley in the middle. Replace mattresses that are worn out as often as necessary. No one wants to stay at a cabin with a mattress that is difficult to sleep on.
- Cheap mini white blinds should be replaced with more durable blinds, not just because they affect the rental potential, but also because they can and do break easily with excessive wear and tear.
- Vinyl flooring that doesn’t have a wood look to it, or carpet everywhere need to be replaced with something that is more in line with the types of flooring I mentioned earlier.
Work with a Person that Can Help You Make the Right Decisions
Lastly, it’s important to remember that everyone has different tastes. I often tell my clients I love red, but I know that if I painted the walls of an investment cabin the shade of red in my office, I wouldn’t generate the level of rental income other investment cabins of similar size, location, and amenities will do. So it’s important to make sure before you make changes that you are working with someone who can help you make the right decisions to increase your gross rental income.
If you want to learn more about this topic, I would love to meet with you at your convenience. Call my office at 865-654-2111 or 865-765-6157 to set up an appointment.