The Poconos have been a popular vacation destination for generations. Vacation communities continue to be built for second homes and investment properties and the practice of renting them for short periods is as old as the manmade lakes which were built around. The rental business has surged in recent years with the rise of booking platforms like VRBO and Airbnb which have put additional properties into the rental market and brought younger owners and investors to the area. The influx of this new version of the old rental model has spurred a round of rules and regulations which at the core are designed to help maintain a quality-of-life balance between permanent residents, vacation homeowners, and their guests/renters.
Finding the right place to start your STR business can seem overwhelming. Clients ask me for recommendations which is why I created a list of short term rental friendly communities in the Poconos. There are 30 planned communities on that list, and even in today’s tight market there are at least 50 properties for sale at any given time. In a more balanced market, there should be 200 or so properties for sale. Some of my clients all have their own preferences for home styles, layout, proximity to their favorite things, but many don’t. They want a nice place that will be a successful STR business venture and therein lies on of the biggest challenges, do you focus on the individual house, or the community?
The choices can be overwhelming, especially if you are not from the area. Communities, like neighborhoods in cities, have a reputation based on the size and quality of homes as well as the amenities that the community offers. With HOA/POAs the amenities become something that may affect your marketing and your average room rates. Communities that have higher HOA fees will likely have nicer and more abundant amenities or have extra services like lawn care. My professional licensing states that I cannot go further in labeling communities, but you might want to start forming your own opinions as to the type of community you want to invest in. It may help you narrow your search.
As a starting point, here are some HOA communities that seem to have STR friendly policies and that have a lake:
Bear Creek Lake
Big Bass Lake
Brier Crest Woods
Indian Mountain Lake
Locust Lake Village
Pinecrest Lake and Country Club
Pocono Country Place
Stillwater Lake Civic Association http://www.stillwaterlakescivic.com/slc/home.asp Towamensing Trails
Wallenpaupack Lake Estates
In addition, each community has a different policy when it comes to registering renters. Everyone does it a little differently, some will have gate passes or wristbands or parking permits, others won’t. Links to most of the association websites can be found here: https://poconovacationhomesales.com/2021/07/22/short-term-rental-friendly-pocono-communities/ I suggest you get a bit more familiar with the communities, their amenities and their policies as the next step in your search for a vacation home/investment property. If you need help with this, give me a call and I can set-up an advanced search in my MLS system.