While Airbnb is not anything new to the vast majority of our readers (this agent uses them almost exclusively for visiting Alabama’s lakes) it may be an option you haven’t given a lot of thought to when it comes to your dream home on the water. Let’s dive in to why you should change your perspective on your next real estate purchase.
Airbnb, the property management company of choice for most of Alabama’s lakefront homeowners, is a fantastic way to make your dream home more affordable, and in many cases, even pay you to own it! But there are some things to consider before you turn your oars in that direction. Perhaps most importantly is the financing of these waterfront havens. If you’re not all cash, and opting to borrow the money for the purchase, you need to make sure that you’re not cutting your nose off to spite your face. Many lenders charge significantly higher mortgage rates for homes that will be used as Airbnbs. A good lender can tell you other options for keeping costs down. Insurance premiums are also higher by a degree.
Another thing to consider when purchasing your lakefront home is amenities for Airbnb guests. The biggest factor these days is connectivity to the digital world. Many guests are working while on the lake, and need quality internet service to make Zoom calls happen. You’ll also want decent internet coverage to make things like smart locks, thermostats and TV streaming devices work for you. Not all lakes are created equal. Some offer great internet service providers, while others seem to be in the stone ages speedwise. Connectivity infrastructure is such a big issue in many parts of Alabama, that owners are opting for Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service to bring otherwise remote lake homes into the 21st century.
Not the least important is also planning for things like cleaning services, local attractions and amenities. While Dollar Generals pop up everywhere one of their yellow bags hits the ground in the south, things like restaurants, Wal-Mart, and cleaning companies can be hard to come by. Check with your lakefront living specialist to see if your Airbnb dream is feasible in the area.
Enough of the cautions of Airbnb ownership! Let’s look at a prime example of an Airbnb property gone right. This gorgeous home was actually paying the former owners to enjoy it! That’s right. After the mortgage was paid and all utilities this amazing lake house on Weiss Lake was pure profit! The new owners are precious and already have several satisfied guests who’ve enjoyed it while they were away! A smart house to rival a Tesla, this home is wired to the gills with smart locks, garage door openers, and thermostats – one of the rare locales on Weiss Lake with excellent internet connectivity. The new owner has been working remotely all week!
If you’re in the market for your lakeside hamlet, talk to your favorite Lakefront Living agent about Airbnb as an option for making your dream home an even closer reality!
by: Clark Stewart, Alabama Lake Guru