What Size Cabin Should I Buy?

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One question that I am asked quite often is, “What size cabin should I buy?” This is definitely not a one size fits all answer.

Let me give you some insights and then some questions you should ask yourself.

I am often asked, “What rents the best?” It’s a little bit of a strange phenomenon… But the one and two bedrooms rent about the same, the three and fours rent about the same, the five and sixes… and the pattern continues. However, cabins with an odd number of rooms usually rent the strongest.

What cabin is the most popular for renters? A large one bedroom will have the most nights booked. That is because we are second to Las Vegas in destinations for weddings, honeymoons, and return celebrations of anniversaries. It is also true that a large one bedroom can sleep up to six people. So a couple gets married, stays in “their cabin,” then they have a child and continue to come and stay in “their” cabin until they have two or three children. Additionally, many people consider a large one-bedroom cabin recession proof since it is very cost effective.

However, a one-bedroom will not resell as well as a two-bedroom. The most popular resell cabin is a two or three-bedroom. Most owners want to have the option of bringing another couple or extended family.

What about very large cabins? We are a destination for sports tournaments, family reunions, club get togethers, and retreats. So a very large cabin can be highly lucrative. Also, our inventory is low for the larger cabins. Many of my entry-level investors started out with small cabins and have now sold them and own large cabins with up to 12 and 16 bedrooms.

Is there a size to avoid? Not really. There seems to be a guest for every size. It’s more important to focus on the amenities and the condition of the cabin. I would, however, be careful about placing a rental cabin with a rental company that has too many of a certain size. Otherwise, you might find yourself competing with too big of a pool of cabins. Remember that cabins with unique amenities will give you an edge.

Some questions to ask yourself when deciding what size is right for you:

What is the purpose of this purchase? Is it strictly investment? Or is family or company use important to you?

What size do you usually book when you come to stay? You might want to try out some different sizes. What are your patterns of vacationing? If you like to vacation as a couple 90% of the time, but every once in a while, want to bring the entire extended family, you might consider a smaller cabin and then book a larger one for that one event of the year.

Just a heads up! I can’t tell you how many times I have asked my investor clients (who have asked us to help them find a second or third investment property) which one of their cabins they are staying in, and they say, “Not any of them. We’re at a hotel… We just make too much money per night to stay in them ourselves!”

 Large cabins will require more patience in terms of wear and tear. Evaluate yourself as to whether your personality can handle that. You might be happy owning a one-bedroom honeymoon cabin that hardly shows signs that someone stayed in it. However, you might not be so happy with a large cabin that has a youth group retreat. I was a youth pastor and also taught middle school, so I am the perfect owner of a six-bedroom! When my rental company called and said my shower door was smashed to pieces outside my indoor pool room, I was relieved to hear the youth was not injured. I instructed my rental company not to put the glass door back but only use a shower curtain. Live and learn! I try to purchase indestructible furniture, and I throw out rugs regularly without so much as a thought. Match your personality to your guests so you can enjoy your investment.

I hope that helps narrow down the search a bit. Here’s the good news… There’s not a size that won’t rent well and be profitable as long as you’re checking the other boxes: location, amenities, quality, good condition, well-appointed, and the right Rental Company. Check those boxes and you’re going to make a great decision!

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