Is there are “right time” to purchase a vacation rental property at the Lake of the Ozarks? If so, when is it? The answer to that question honestly depends on the property.
If you find a Lake of the Ozarks vacation home or condo that is “rent ready,” then you should purchase between January and March so that you’ll be ready to roll with rentals by the end of April. However, if the property you’re looking at purchasing needs a little work, then you would be better off purchasing it between October and January, to allow time for remodeling and repairs. National statistics show that generally housing prices are typically lower in the Autumn and Winter, so keep that in mind as well.
While the main rental season here at the Lake of the Ozarks is between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the main booking season actually runs January through June. This year, Your Lake Vacation booked about 80% of all rentals during the first six months of the year, on our way to our second consecutive year with over $1,000,000 in rentals! Therefore, having your property ready to rent, with great pictures and an awesome web presence, earlier rather than later, is absolutely key to having a great year.
If the vacation property at the Lake of the Ozarks you purchase is rent ready, you will just need to concentrate on staging your pictures (we have on on-staff photographer to help you) and building your web presence, through your own website (or ours if you hire us to manage your property) and through advertising on various vacation rental platforms such as VRBO, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, etc (all of which we utilize when you join our program). From those platforms, we see about 40% of all our rentals booked.
If the property you choose to purchase is not rent ready, then you will need to purchase earlier and take care of everything to get it ready for photographing. This could take several months, so plan accordingly. We’ve had some owners in the past who wanted to save some money by doing the work themselves, but either didn’t have the time or expertise to get things done in a timely manner. Therefore, the $1,000 they saved by doing the work themselves actually cost them around $2,000 in lost rentals.
The worst time to purchase real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks would be during the rental season, especially during the months of June or July. If you purchase at the beginning of July and it takes 30 days to close and another two weeks to get the property ready for pictures and then another couple of weeks to get it posted on the web or listed with a Lake of the Ozarks vacation rental manager, then you are close to Labor Day and the end of the rental season. You will now have to wait 6-8 months before seeing any significant rental income. Ouch!
Russell Burdette is the owner of Your Lake Vacation, with more than 15 years of vacation rental management experience. If you are looking for a vacation rental manager or just looking for some friendly advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 573-365-3367. Happy Renting!
Nightly Vacation Rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks:
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4571 Osage Beach Pkwy, Suite A
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Local – 573-365-3367
Fax – 573-365-5076