INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The vast majority of buyers of Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate have their primary residence somewhere else. Since most real estate purchases here are discretionary and involve a vacation home, very often consideration is given to the possibility of earning rental revenue to help offset expenses. While searching for that dream vacation home one factor that many buyers take into consideration is whether or not to do short term rentals.
Once you have narrowed down the search to a selection of acceptable properties it is valuable to perform some due diligence and learn if there are any restrictions on your ability to do vacation rentals. When it comes to single-family homes, you can generally do vacation rentals because you have complete control of the property. However, this is not always the case with properties that are part of a homeowners association where there may be rules and restrictions pertaining to vacation rentals and short-term occupancy. So, if you are purchasing a condo or freestanding condo and contemplating doing vacation rentals, understanding the specific rules of the homeowners associations you're interested in early in the process is extremely important.
Generally speaking in the State of Nevada any rental of 29 days or less is considered to be a short-term or vacation rental. Several homeowners associations in Incline Village and Crystal Bay prohibit the renting of a property for less than 30 days. This type of restriction would pretty much preclude doing any type of vacation rentals unless your customers are willing to rent your place for an entire 30 day period or longer.
Some associations have greater restrictions prohibiting any rentals less than six months in length. This is specifically to maintain stability within the population of the community, minimize turnover of rental units and generally provides for a more quiet and peaceful environment. Full time residents of communities that have restrictions on vacation rentals rarely make an effort to change these rules. Very often the reason a buyer purchases in a community that prohibits short-term rentals is so they can be assured of enjoying the same environment they observed at the time they were first looking at the property.
If you are contemplating purchasing a property and looking to earn vacation rental income it's important that you advise your real estate agent as early in the process as possible. We have a tremendous variety of properties from which to choose in our community and there is no sense wasting everybody's time looking at properties that are unsuitable right from the start.
When it comes to purchasing a single-family home and doing vacation rentals there are a number of factors to consider. Location is critical since most renters do not want to be more than 2 miles from the beach unless they are getting a spectacular lakeview or some very special amenities at the property. Having a good floor plan that provides a large space for entertaining but also separate areas for kids and parents to enjoy themselves is a real benefit. Features such as a lakeview, big deck, hot tub, game room or pool table, outdoor space for kids to play, easy driveway access with lots of parking, etc. will make renting easier and bring in a lot more repeat business.
Just because you personally like the floor plan of a house or the location does not mean that the property will work as a vacation rental. Is the kitchen big enough to handle the traffic flow and several people doing food preparation at the same time? Is there a lot of road noise or a relentlessly barking dog next door that makes it impossible to enjoy the peacefulness of the Tahoe environment? You have to weigh all of the intangibles and put yourself in the mindset of a vacation renter; if you rented this place for a weekend would you want to come back here?
If earning vacation rental income is a consideration, while doing looking for properties at Lake Tahoe make sure that you and your agent dig deeply and research each property you are considering as thoroughly as possible. Some properties make great vacation homes but will not work as vacation rentals for one reason or another. Doing your research before writing an offer save will lot of time and aggravation. There is no sense trying to negotiate the purchase of a property if there are limitations that will preclude your dreams from being realized.
— Don Kanare is a Realtor at RE/MAX Premier Properties. Read his blog and weekly stats on his website at www.InsideIncline.com.