Buying a house that serves as a vacation home can be a worthwhile investment if you choose a destination with a strong rental market and exciting attractions and activities to enjoy. Whether you like to escape to the Midwest or to the South for your vacation days, there are several cities with attractive housing and rental markets where you can pay off your mortgage sooner than you think.
Click through to discover affordable vacation houses worth investing in.
1. Michigan City, Ind.
The median home value of houses in Michigan City is just $83,500 which means you can get a great vacation home for less. Michigan City is home to several parks and beaches that are perfect for swimming, picnicking, hiking and bird watching. You'll also find outlet malls and other shopping venues for a fun weekend activity. While the monthly mortgage payment would be $712 for a $149,900 home, the monthly rental income would be $972, so you could pay off that home within about seven years and two months.
2. Galena, Ill.
If you enjoy outdoor adventures and want to spend time near the Mississippi River, set your sights on Galena. Galena Country boasts a number of historical sites, golf courses and world-class restaurants. The monthly mortgage payment on a property priced at $196,750 would be $915, and your monthly rental income would be $1,399 — which means you could pay off the home in about nine years and two months.
Decide Wisely: The Best Time of Year to Buy a House
3. Savannah, Ga.
Having a vacation home in Savannah means you can enjoy a relaxing vacation near Forsyth Park, visit the Telfair Museums and explore the Bonaventure Cemetery. The monthly mortgage payment for a $210,000 home in Savannah would be $972, and you could earn a monthly rental income of $1,143. This makes it easy to buy and pay off the vacation home in a little more than nine years.
4. Louisville, Ky.
Home to numerous concert and music festival venues, dozens of brewpubs and several museums, it's no wonder visitors flock to Louisville for a vacation year after year. Vacation home rentals are perfect for the casual visitor, and you could buy a vacation home for yourself so you have easy access to Old Louisville attractions and entertainment. Your monthly mortgage payment on a $180,000 home would be $846, and you would earn a monthly rental income of $1,031. That means you could pay off the home in just over nine and a half years.
Looking for a Unique Rental? Reasons Your Next Vacation Rental Should Be a Tiny House
5. Whitefish, Mont.
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Whitefish each season to explore the trailheads, go skiing or to enjoy original shows at the Alpine Theatre Project. Having a vacation home here can put you within easy reach of some of Montana's top recreational sites. With the right credit score and property in mind, your monthly mortgage payment would be $2,430 on a $519,000 property, and your monthly rental income would be $1,600. It would take just over nine and a half years to pay off this property.
6. Hot Springs, Ark.
A popular destination for families, Hot Springs boasts a water and theme park, an alligator farm and petting zoo, antique shops and a diverse dining scene. If you find a vacation home rental near the lake you would have access to state parks so you can enjoy boating, hiking and fishing activities. If you're interested in buying a vacation home, you'll be paying $912 each month for the mortgage payment on a $194,900 property and earning a monthly rental income of $986 which means you would be able to pay off the home in almost 10 years.
Historic and Within Budget: Travel Back in Time With These Affordable Historic Vacation Rentals
7. Omaha, Neb.
Host of the NCAA College World Series and other exciting events, Omaha is a popular destination for travelers and offers a wealth of opportunities to enjoy historic sites, family-friendly attractions and upscale shopping and dining experiences when you want to act like a local. Your monthly mortgage payment would be $1,020 on a $220,950 property, and you would earn $1,332 in rental income each month, which makes it easy to pay off this home within 10 years.
8. Oklahoma City, Okla.
Non-stop entertainment, a diverse arts and culture scene and an Adventure District filled with attractions like the zoo and botanical gardens brings in travelers from around the country. It can be a popular destination for extended-stay vacations that require a vacation home rental, and you could always use your home to enjoy a break in this diverse city any time of year. Oklahoma City continues to be an affordable place to live as you'll pay $859 toward the mortgage each month on a $182,500 property and earn $1,089 in rental income each month — meaning you could pay off the home within 10 years.
9. Ely, Minn.
The small town of Ely attracts visitors who want a taste of the boundary waters and Northwoods culture. It's the perfect spot to go canoeing, fishing, birding or golfing. Plenty of shopping and dining are available, too. When you're looking to buy a vacation home, you can expect to be paying $673 a month for your mortgage on a $140,950 property and earning $1,152 in rental income — so you would be able to pay off the home within 10 years.
10. South Padre Island, Texas
The resort town of South Padre Island is a popular destination for bird lovers and has aquatic centers where you can learn about the ocean and wildlife. You could invest in a beach house or other vacation rental near the water to attract visitors, like the many spring breakers who come looking to save every year. The monthly mortgage payment on a $299,000 property would be $1,351, and you would earn $2,225 in rental income each month which means you would be able to pay off the home within 10 years.
11. New Orleans, La.
From the French Quarter to the city parks, New Orleans offers plenty of exciting places to explore year round. Travelers all over the world head here to enjoy the wealth of restaurants scattered around the city and to get a taste of NOLA culture. You would be paying $1,409 a month for a mortgage on a $309,900 home and earning $1,402 in rental income; that makes it easy to pay off this home within 10 years.
12. Wildwood, N.J.
This resort city on the coast of the Garden State is a popular summertime destination so having a home here as a vacation rental can be a lucrative investment. Wildwood is home to Morey's Piers, designed as an old-fashioned boardwalk amusement park, and several outdoor recreation venues. Your monthly mortgage payment on a $239,000 property would be $1,147, and you would earn $1,747 in rental income — at that rate, it would be easy to pay off the home within 10 years.
13. Pass Christian, Miss.
Located near luxury resorts, casinos and event venues, this part of the Gulf Coast is a haven for travelers looking to get away from it all. Extended stays make sense here so there would be a high demand for vacation home rentals. If you head here on vacation, you can enjoy a dinner cruise, fishing trips and other water activities. You would pay $1,212 a month for a $264,450 mortgage and earn a monthly rental income of $1,192 which makes it easy to pay off this home within 10 years.