How Do I Choose a Great Vacation Home

This is a great question! We are asked this every day by people looking to own vacation rental property in the Smokies. Here are some of the tips we share.

1. Start by determining your goals

In fact, it would be great to write them down before you begin your search. When you are in the middle of the sea of logs and walls of glass and spectacular views and creeks that trickle through properties, its easy to lose your perspective. Some criteria to consider: Is this only an investment property or something you intend the family to enjoy every now and then? Is this a family legacy property? Determine how long you plan to enjoy it (think about the age of your children and the future move you might make that brings you closer or further away from us). Is this a tax write-off? Do you need a Tennessee address?

2. What are the top 3 important features in a cabin for you?

Location is the top feature to consider, and where vacation cabins are concerned, the location you’re looking for will be driven by your purpose for owning the property. If you want it more for vacationing with the family as much as possible and don’t mind a little longer drive into town, you might be okay with something a little further out. If you want it more for earning extra income, then you’ll need to be in an area that’s popular for tourists where the rental income is well established. Setting is very important as well, and again comes down to personal preference. Maybe you want to be in a resort, and if so then you need to consider if there are specific amenities you want your guests to have access to. Lastly, maintenance is something to consider. Are you a super handyman or woman? If not, you will need someone to help take care of that for you and that will determine the age or materials of your getaway!

3. To rent or not to rent?

I touched on this earlier, but it’s really the most important criteria for so many of our buyers. Do you wish to share the mortgage and utility costs with guests, or is it more important to have your own getaway that is pristine waiting just for you and your family.  Does rental history matter?  Every rental cabin can make for a fantastic personal vacation home, but the opposite is not always true.

4. Lastly, what are some items you might enjoy but could give up?

It’s a great idea to sort these out now. Don’t let a cabin that checks 9 out of 10 boxes deter you over that one item that didn’t make the list. With the right planning, it might be something you can add on later.

So those are the main things to consider when you start your search for your perfect vacation cabin. Being ready with answers to these questions from the start can help you find just the right vacation property and make the process a joy!  

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