What You Need to Know About Vacation Property Investments in Blue Ridge, GA
Have you ever considered purchasing a vacation rental or short-term rental (Airbnb/VRBO) property? You’ve probably heard many others talk about this. If you’re like me, what you’ve heard about these properties sounds too good to be true, but you may have also heard others having terrible experiences with these investments. Short term rental opportunities are starting to diminish, yet if you’re going to enjoy your purchase in addition to renting it, it’s a lifestyle investment. While interest rates have increased and made payments higher, will it be worth more if you intend to hold for 7-10 years?
We have researched many areas and discovered that Blue Ridge, Georgia offers the most benefits for short term rental investment for buyers in the Atlanta area. Here are my top six reasons for why this could be.
1. Blue Ridge has year-round rental appeal. There are activities to enjoy in every season. Summer: Lake Blue Ridge, world-class whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River, or fly fishing on the Toccoa River are popular attractions. Fall: Foliage brings guests to the area and local festivals draw large crowds. Winter: Light Up Blue Ridge festival, Santa Express on the Blue Ridge Railway. Year-round: Trout Fishing – Fannin County is the Trout Capital of Georgia. There’s also mountain biking year-round with an abundance of trails from easy to difficult. Mercier Orchards is the largest orchard in the south. The orchard draws visitors year-round, peaking during apple picking season. Hiking: There are over 300 miles of trails and 16 beautiful waterfalls in the area.
2. Over the holidays, there’s strong demand for cabins where family and friends can come together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays in a group setting. Year-round, there is an abundance of hiking. There are over 300 miles of trails in the area! The panhandle/30A area is popular with Atlanta buyers looking to host; however, it is very seasonal and generally limited to spring break and a few months during the summer. It can be extremely difficult to ever turn a profit.
3. Taxes: Fannin County property taxes are much lower than taxes in other counties and especially less than in the state of Florida.
4. Downtown Blue Ridge: The town is a draw for many reasons. The Historic Blue Ridge Railroad, dining, shopping, and nightlife all draw crowds. There’s an artsy vibe with many galleries. The Blue Ridge Railroad offers seasonal trips as well, such as the Firecracker Special and Santa Express. The appeal of downtown Blue Ridge is broad reaching and not reliant on one attraction. This ensures you have guests interested in visiting at all times.
5. Wineries: There are very nice wineries in the area. There are also winery tours (and craft brew tours, too). From a short-term rental benefit perspective, this brings in groups of friends coming for a fun weekend to tour the wineries, who generally will rent a cabin together.
6. Blue Ridge supports tourism. Some local governments look to control or even eliminate short term rentals by adding restrictions or large fees. The Blue Ridge economy is driven by tourism and the local government supports it. Currently, Blue Ridge requires you to obtain a Short Term Rental Certificate. The cost is minimal at $25 per year.
I have personally invested in both beach and mountain vacation properties, and Blue Ridge has been the best for us. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall — the Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful. We wanted to confidently help our clients invest in Blue Ridge as well. To do so, we have partnered with Tracy Krohn. Tracy has a wealth of local knowledge, having grown up here and worked in the area extensively. Tracy personally owns a vacation rental in Blue Ridge and she can help you understand recent rental income trends and operating expenses so you can make an informed investment decision. If you want to explore the area and learn more, connect with us and we’ll connect you with Tracy to get started!