USA Realty
Rick Golden
USA Realty - Pocono Office

The Best Place, Community, Spot, Neighborhood or Location to Buy a Short Term Rental in the Poconos

Glad you asked. First let you need to understand that I can help. My name is Rick Golden and for 18 years, I ran the largest and most successful rental business in the Poconos. As VP of Real Estate at Camelback Ski Corporation our company (USA Realty) managed 80 + rentals in the Central Poconos Mountains adjacent and near Camelback for Camelback Ski Resort as the exclusive agency.

I know where to buy, how to buy, what to buy and when to buy. Whewww... That took a lot out of my ego. So, now.. being a little more humble.....  A lot about your being successful depends on you. AND, the property we match you up with.

Your knowledge of the internet, marketing, real estate and the Poconos in general will be the determining factor. Some of this I can help with, like.. if you're managing the home yourself you will want to print out the information on our Poconos Professionals Page and keep it by your phone.

If you are going to hire a local management company you and I (or one of my agents) will have a discussion about which one is the best fit.

Now, on to answer some of your questions

Where's the best place to buy?

The general answer is ... As close to a ski resort as possible, with the caveat that a house close to a lake NEAR skiing may net as much as being close to the slopes. This criteria will narrow the community pretty quickly.

Past Clients have been successful in:

Northridge At Camelback

Emerald Lakes

Brier Crest Woods

Locust Lakes

Arrowhead Lake

Camelot Forest

And, a couple of other neighborhoods.

There is one important factor that is often used to guide a client to the right place and that is ...... What is important to your family? If you are buying as a vacation home with the goal of renting the home out to carry the costs, this needs to be weighed into the decision.

IF you are buying strictly for the ROI (return on investment), we can disregard the above factor and just look at the business model for the home. And, the ROI is generally driven by how close the home is to a ski resort (see.. nice circle back there)

There are, of course, some locations inside each community that might make for a better return, (close to pool, beach etc) And you will want to pay attention to this as you narrow your selection.

When to Buy a Home in the Poconos?

There are two major seasons and a third and a slow.

Winter next to a ski resort nets the most. This is the market of the top 4% income earners in the country they will spend to be close to the slopes.

Summer is next but it's a different market. With 2-3 times as many weekly visitors as winter there are many more guests visiting the mountains... BUT this is a blue collar market with the average per person $ drop being less than 1/2 of the winter season AND twice as much inventory for the renter to choose from. Because.... more homes are on the market not close to ski resorts (cabins in the woods, homes north of Lake Wallenpaupack etc)

Fall is festival time, so weekends can work just about anywhere with the driving factor to occupancy .... the theme of the furnishing of the home. While this is important in any market, the nicer theme the more likely it is to rent. And you'll want it to be "mountain" not contemporary "city grey" to attract this renter.

Good luck in spring.

There have been studies make that say "the average occupancy in the Poconos is 51-53%."  Don't use this as a guide. You can be at 40 % next to a ski resort in winter and net more than a 80% cabin in the woods at $40 per night.

ALWAYS look at the yearly gross, Use the yearly gross less costs to determine what works for you.

What to buy?

Log Cabin. There, I'm done.

No Seriously, Here's the general styles that do the best. The ROI, though can vary depending upon the furnishings. 

Log Cabin


Contemporary (Ask your agent (which I hope will be me, of course) about the Deepwoods Model which was designed by a skier for skiers.  And if they do not know what a Deepwoods is... get another agent.)

Any home with three levels.

A "cabin" style well themed.

Log cabins are hard to come by in the Poconos and are at a premium price. Most are well worth it for the return.

Chalets are what the market expects ... something with volume and different than the home they live in in the city or suburbia.

When to buy?

Anytime. Because the Poconos is a 4 (well, 3 +) season resort area, there really is no down time other than after Columbus day and before Thanksgiving. But even then skiers are of the mind to buy to be in for ski season.

How to Buy.

USE A BUYER"S BROKER. Do NOT trust the listing agent. Their job is to get the most money for the seller. They've been contracted to do this. A listing broker has NO loyalty to you and will use any information you give them to leverage for the seller.

A dual Agent, at least has the duty to treat both parties fairly and to not disclose to either issues of money or motivation.

But, your best representation is a buyer's agent. Bake the commission into the sale.

There ya go... Now you know 1/4 as much as I do about Buying a Short term rental in the Poconos.

Call or text me with your questions. 570-242-5412 - OR Fill Out This Form for a Written response.


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