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Best Places in Every State to Get a Vacation Home

Gabrielle Olya

If you’re thinking of buying a vacation home as an investment property, it’s important to take into account not just the appeal of the location, but also how profitable the investment will be.

To determine the best place to buy a vacation home in every state, GOBankingRates looked at the top vacation destinations in each state and cross-listed those locations with the median home value and the median rent for each destination. Keep reading to see where you should get a vacation home in your state.

 

Data and pricing is accurate as of Feb 20th, 2018, and is subject to change.

Alabama: Gulf Shores

Median home value: $240,600
Rental yield: 6.97 percent

Alabama’s Gulf Shores boasts 32 miles of white-sand beaches and attractions such as golf courses, nature trails and water sports — perfect for retirees. The average annual rental income in the area is $16,764.

 

Alaska: Anchorage

Median home value: $298,300
Rental yield: 7.43 percent

The average rental home in Anchorage can yield $22,152 in annual income. Tourists are drawn to the Alaskan city for its metropolitan amenities and its convenient location. It’s just a short drive away from glaciers and natural parks.

Arizona: Lake Havasu City

Median home value: $237,800
Rental yield: 6.68 percent

Lake Havasu City, known as “Arizona’s playground,” has 400 miles of coastline, 300 days of sun each year and 60 miles of navigable waterways. People flock to the area for the numerous activities available, which include boating, hiking, biking, fishing and golfing.

Arkansas: Hot Springs

Median home value: $117,100
Rental yield: 10.1 percent

Hot Springs has the sixth-highest rental yield percentage of all the areas featured in this study, and an average annual rental income of $11,832. The area is known for its healing thermal waters and is a popular spa destination.

California: Palm Springs

Median home value: $316,900
Rental yield: 8.08 percent

Owning a rental property in Palm Springs can add an average of $25,608 to your annual income. The Southern California desert city has 360 sunny days every year, and its vibrant downtown area has many chic restaurants and shopping destinations.

 

Colorado: Steamboat Springs

Median home value: $463,000
Rental yield: 6.25 percent

Rental homes in Steamboat Springs provide an average annual income of $28,920 — the second-highest annual income of any of the areas included in this study. The area is a popular ski destination, with 165 trails and 18 ski lifts across 2,965 acres.

Connecticut: Mystic

Median home value: $401,200
Rental yield: 6.12 percent

The shoreline community of Mystic is filled with New England charm, and it’s home to numerous mom and pop shops, restaurants, museums and various other attractions. The average annual rental income in Mystic is $24,564.

Delaware: Rehoboth Beach

Median home value: $490,000
Rental yield: 3.95 percent

The mile-square community of Rehoboth Beach is the largest beach resort in Delaware. Its boardwalk dates back to 1873, and the town still maintains much of its historic charm.

Florida: Kissimmee

Median home value: $174,600
Rental yield: 8.97 percent

A rental home in Kissimmee typically pays for itself in about 11 years. The area is located just minutes from Walt Disney World and the other Orlando theme parks, and has its own attractions as well, including outdoor adventures, museums, outlet shopping and golf courses.

 

Georgia: Savannah

Median home value: $126,300
Rental yield: 10.86 percent

Savannah has the third-highest rental yield percentage of all the areas featured in this study, and an average annual rental income of $13,716. The historic coastal city offers visitors a wide variety of activities to explore, from architectural tours to the bustling City Market entertainment hub.

Hawaii: Honolulu

Median home value: $686,900
Rental yield: 4.18 percent

Honolulu provides one of the highest annual rental incomes of all the areas included in this study, with an average income of $28,692. However, keep in mind that the houses are very expensive compared to the other areas.

The cosmopolitan capital city of Hawaii is home to Waikiki Beach, as well as historic landmarks and fine-dining establishments.

Idaho: Coeur d’Alene

Median home value: $247,400
Rental yield: 7.17 percent

The scenic lake town of Coeur d’Alene is a year-round tourist destination, with both ski slopes and water adventures. The average annual rental income in the area is $17,736.

Illinois: Galena

Median home value: $153,600
Rental yield: 10.93 percent

Galena is a smart place to invest in a rental home, as the area has the second-highest rental yield. The area has a number of four-season tourist draws, including historic attractions, renowned restaurants, outdoor attractions, golf courses, shopping and spas.

Indiana: Michigan City

Median home value: $83,500
Rental yield: 13.97 percent

Michigan City is the best place to have a vacation home of all the areas included in this study, with the least expensive homes and the highest rental yield. The area has plenty of dining options, numerous parks, outlet shops and more.

Iowa: Ames

Median home value: $175,200
Rental yield: 8.94 percent

Ames’ attractions include craft breweries, the Main Street Cultural District, and bike trails and parks. The average annual rental income in Ames is $15,660.

 

Kansas: Overland Park

Median home value: $268,100
Rental yield: 8.86 percent

A rental property in Overland Park will take approximately 11 years to pay off from rental income. The family-friendly destination is home to rural farms but also metropolitan amenities such as restaurants, coffee shops, museums and more.

Kentucky: Louisville

Median home value: $119,500
Rental yield: 10.35 percent

Louisville boasts the fourth-highest rental yield of all the areas included in this study. The home of the Kentucky Derby is also a year-round destination thanks to attractions such as the Bourbon Trail, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Muhammad Ali Center.

Louisiana: New Orleans

Median home value: $174,600
Rental yield: 9.64 percent

Tourists come to New Orleans for its festivals, haunted tours, jazz clubs, live music, historic areas, restaurants and more. A rental home in the Southern city brings in an average annual income of $16,824.

 

Maine: Boothbay

Median home value: $247,700
Rental yield: 7.36 percent

Boothbay is the boating capital of New England, and visitors come to the peninsula to explore the historic village, sail, play golf or tennis, or to just relax. The average rental home in Boothbay will pay for itself in less than 14 years.

Maryland: Ocean City

Median home value: $240,900
Rental yield: 6.37 percent

Ocean City is a popular vacation destination, thanks to its 10 miles of free beaches, a three-mile boardwalk and hundreds of restaurants. The city attracts both couples and families, and there’s plenty to do for people of all ages, including playing golf, taking part in water sports and shopping.

Massachusetts: Dennis

Median home value: $340,700
Rental yield: 6.43 percent

Located on Cape Cod, Dennis offers tourists a little bit of everything, from antiques shops and restaurants to nature trails and golf courses. The average annual rental income in the town is $21,912.

Michigan: South Haven

Median home value: $176,300
Rental yield: 8.42 percent

Visitors come to the Lake Michigan town of South Haven for its beaches, one-of-a-kind restaurants, wineries, shops, nature trails and scenic surroundings. A vacation rental in South Haven will bring in an average annual income of $14,844.

Minnesota: Ely

Median home value: $140,200
Rental yield: 9.86 percent

The average annual rental income in Ely is $13,824. The area is known for its natural beauty, and tourists come to the Minnesota locale to canoe, hike and explore the wilderness.

Mississippi: Pass Christian

Median home value: $153,100
Rental yield: 9.34 percent

The Mississippi Gulf Coast community of Pass Christian is a popular retreat for people who want to experience a relaxed and laid-back way of life. The area has antiques shops, cruises, shooting ranges and more.

Missouri: Osage Beach

Median home value: $202,400
Rental yield: 6.98 percent

Osage Beach is located along the Lake of the Ozarks and offers tourists numerous activities, including canoeing, zip-lining, golfing and shopping. The average annual rental income in the area is $14,136.

 

Montana: Whitefish

Median home value: $188,000
Rental yield: 10.21 percent

Whitefish has one of the highest rental yields of all of the vacation areas included in this study. The area is home to spas, live theater, nature trails, skiing and more, making it a destination that appeals to tourists.

Nebraska: Omaha

Median home value: $161,000
Rental yield: 9.93 percent

In addition to being one of the most affordable places for retirees, Omaha is known for its world-renowned 130-acre zoo, “dive” restaurants, craft beers and unique neighborhoods. The average annual rental income in the city is $15,984.

Nevada: Las Vegas

Median home value: $239,500
Rental yield: 6.46 percent

Rental homes in Las Vegas bring in an average income of $15,480. The city is known for its casinos, of course, plus nightlife, entertainment, restaurants, spas, golf courses and shopping areas. It attracts close to 43 million visitors every year.

New Hampshire: Conway

Median home value: $181,100
Rental yield: 8.32 percent

Conway attracts visitors year-round, thanks to its picturesque landscape. It’s surrounded by 700,000 acres of protected White Mountain National Forest and is home to the tallest peak in the Northeast. Rental income typically pays off the cost of a Conway home in 12 years.

New Jersey: Wildwood

Median home value: $219,100
Rental yield: 9.57 percent

Wildwood is home to 5 miles of free white-sand beaches and 38 acres of boardwalk with rides, attractions, dining and nightlife destinations. The average annual income from a rental home in Wildwood is $20,964.

New Mexico: Taos

Median home value: $271,000
Rental yield: 5.61 percent

Tourists visit Taos to experience its art colony, ski resort, Taos Pueblo — a World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark — the iconic St. Francisco de Asis church and the sustainable Greater World Earthship Community. The average annual income from a rental home in Taos is $15,216.

New York: Saratoga Springs

Median home value: $329,700
Rental yield: 8.11 percent

Visitors to Saratoga Springs come for proximity to winter sports and the ice bars in the winter, horse racing at the Saratoga Race Course and top-flight entertainment at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the summer, and the mineral springs throughout the year. It takes an average of about 12 years for rental income to pay off a home purchase in the area.

 

North Carolina: Wrightsville Beach

Median home value: $837,000
Rental yield: 5.84 percent

Buying a home in Wrightsville Beach is a large investment, but it also provides a large return. The average annual rental income in the area is $48,888 — the highest of any area included in this study.

North Dakota: Minot

Median home value: $208,900
Rental yield: 4.41 percent

Vacationers come to Minot for its galleries, museums, performing arts, restaurants and nightlife. The average annual income from a Minot rental home is $9,204.

Ohio: Put-in-Bay

Median home value: $292,100
Rental yield: 7.6 percent

More than 750,000 visitors come to Put-in-Bay each year to learn about the island’s history and visit its wineries, historic homes, museums, caves and parks. A rental home on the island destination brings in an average of $22,212 each year.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City

Median home value: $132,500
Rental yield: 9.86 percent

One of the best big cities for renters, people come to Oklahoma City for its top national and world championship horse shows. But it’s also home to numerous other attractions, including museums, festivals, performing arts, outdoor recreation, shopping and more. A rental property in Oklahoma City will usually pay off its cost in about 10 years.

Oregon: Lincoln City

Median home value: $243,000
Rental yield: 7.01 percent

Lincoln City is located on the Oregon coast and attracts many visitors to its 7 miles of picturesque beaches. The average annual income from a Lincoln City rental home is $17,028.

Pennsylvania: Pocono Pines

Median home value: $212,800
Rental yield: 8.31 percent

The resort town of Pocono Pines will appeal to families who want to rent a home in a scenic area with activities such skiing, tubing and water parks nearby in the Pocono Mountains. A home in Pocono Pines will bring in an average annual income of $17,676.

 

Rhode Island: Newport

Median home value: $433,700
Rental yield: 5.95 percent

The seaside city of Newport is home to numerous attractions, including the historic Fort Adams, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, mansion tours, vineyards, museums, beaches, fine dining and natural wonders, which all add up to major tourist appeal. The average annual rental income in Newport is $25,824.

South Carolina: Hilton Head

Median home value: $282,000
Rental yield: 7.49 percent

Hilton Head Island was voted the No. 1 island in the continental United States by Travel + Leisure, so it definitely has tourist appeal. It takes an average of about 13 years for rental income to pay off the cost of a house in the area.

South Dakota: Rapid City

Median home value: $180,000
Rental yield: 8.47 percent

Just 30 miles from Rapid City is Mount Rushmore, which hosts nearly 3 million visitors each year. Families also enjoy visiting Dinosaur Park, an attraction in the city since 1936. Rapid City rental homes bring in an average annual income of $15,240.

Tennessee: Nashville

Median home value: $244,800
Rental yield: 7.78 percent

Nashville is known as Music City, thanks to all of the music that is written, recorded and performed here. Tourists come to enjoy the 24/7 music scene, as well as the city’s cuisine and historic sites. The average annual rental income in Nashville is $19,056.

Texas: South Padre Island

Median home value: $290,000
Rental yield: 9.21 percent

South Padre Island appeals to people looking for a relaxing beach vacation, as well as those who want a little more adventure, with available activities such as zip-lining, skydiving, ATV rides, snorkeling and more. A rental property on the island usually pays for itself in less than 11 years.

Utah: St. George

Median home value: $242,600
Rental yield: 7.17 percent

St. George has milder winters than much of the rest of the state, so it appeals to locals as well as out-of-towners. Attractions include golf courses, Zion National Park, theaters, a historic downtown and a thriving restaurant scene. A rental home in St. George earns an average annual income of $17,388.

Vermont: Stowe

Median home value: $410,200
Rental yield: 6.67 percent

As the ski capital of the East, Stowe appeals to the winter sport enthusiasts. It also is a hub for outdoor recreation during warmer months and attracts people who want to see foliage during the fall. Rental homes in Stowe earn the fourth-highest average annual income of any of the areas included in this study.

Virginia: Virginia Beach

Median home value: $258,700
Rental yield: 7.35 percent

From the remote beaches of Sandbridge to the downtown Town Center area, Virginia Beach has a little something for everyone. Owning a rental property in Virginia Beach will add an average of $19,008 to your annual income.

Washington: Pacific Beach

Median home value: $153,000
Rental yield: 8.01 percent

Rental properties are relatively affordable in Pacific Beach, a coastal community that is home to eight state parks and a National Wildlife Reserve.

West Virginia: Charles Town

Median home value: $220,000
Rental yield: 8.01 percent

Not to be confused with the state capital of Charleston, Charles Town is an historic city founded back in 1787. The median rent is close to $1,500 a month, making for a higher-than-average rental yield overall.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dells

Median home value: $161,000
Rental yield: 8.33 percent

Families often visit Wisconsin Dells because of its world-famous indoor water parks. In fact, it’s known as The Waterpark Capital of the World. A rental home in the Wisconsin Dells area will bring in an average annual income of $13,404.

Wyoming: Jackson

Median home value: $820,200
Rental yield: 5.56 percent

Like North Carolina, Wyoming’s top city to own a vacation home requires a big investment. But the earnings can be huge as well. With a median rent of approximately $3,800 a month, annual rental income adds up to a whopping $45,600.

More on Real Estate

Methodology: GOBankingRates used TripAdvisor to generate a list of top vacation destinations in every U.S. state. These places were cross-listed with available Zillow data on: (1) median home value and (2) median rent. The median rent data available on Zillow doesn’t exclusively include data from vacation rentals. Trulia and RentJungle were used for rent or home value data if that data was not available on Zillow. To determine the best place to own a vacation home, GOBankingRates calculated how many years it would take earning the median rent as income to pay off the value of the property by dividing the median home value by annual rental income. We also calculated the rental yield by doing the inverse, dividing annual rental income by median home value, with higher percentages being better.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Best Places in Every State to Get a Vacation Home