Nothing is free, of course, but I want to show you how easy it could be for you to pay for a vacation home in McCall by renting it out just 10 days a month. Then have it for yourself the remaining 20 days of the month!
Here are the steps to take — and the math to show you it’s possible:
First, decide if McCall is where you want to be. National Geographic just named McCall the #1 Best Secret Ski Town in North America. Record snow levels this year at Brundage Mountain are off the hook. Plus, McCall isn’t just a winter adventure getaway — it’s summers on Payette Lake and year-round views of our iconic Idaho landscape. (Sure, Ketchum is awesome too, but so few can afford their prices, and they don’t have that gorgeous lake.) If you make regular trips to McCall but find yourself renting or staying with friends, it may be time to consider another option.
Next, identify what is available in the McCall area. There are quite a few options; it comes down to what is important to you. I can’t answer for you, so here’s what’s important to me: A) A secure and safe location (there’s not much to worry about in McCall, but if there was a gated or private area where I could build something, that would be my preference); B) Obviously, I would want a good deal on the land and an affordable builder so I could get good quality without getting raked over the coals; C) I would want a quiet place where I could literally walk out the door and find a walking or biking trail, because I drove all the way up there and I want the great outdoors at my doorstep. Personally, I don’t feel the need to be “in town.” I can’t afford to be on the lake, so I’d rather find a quiet spot that is a short drive to anywhere I want to go in McCall.
Once you identify your ideal place in McCall, see if it’s something you can afford or want to spend you money on. I said at the beginning there was a way to have a free vacation home in McCall. What I mean by that is I can show you how to get the home to pay for itself — which is like having a free place. I worked up a real example so you could see how this works:
My favorite place in McCall is Blackhawk on the River. It’s about 5-10 minutes outside of town, but right smack on the Payette River, and it has a wildlife preserve right through the middle of it. Owners even have access to privately owned trails and hunting areas. The lot prices in Blackhawk on the River are still very reasonable, and since we’ve helped other buyers interested in building a vacation home/vacation rental, I can share numbers to show you what you can do. (Keep in mind we spoke to six builders before narrowing it down to two that were priced right and well-respected among builders in McCall this subdivision pulls higher rents then then many others in McCall.) The attached spreadsheet is for a four-bedroom cabin that is very nice, not over-the-top tricked out, but something you would walk into and say, “Wow, this is nice.”
Click on Image to Download
Look through the spreadsheet for more specifics, but here’s a quick breakdown for a brand new four-bedroom home in a private gated community in McCall that sells for $380k. Put 20% down and finance the rest. Based on rent numbers currently being obtained inside the community, you would only need to rent the home 8-10 days a month to break even on cash flow, yet still be making 5% cap rate on your investment. Not to mention you would have your own place to go play and party for 20 days a month in McCall. Sounds pretty good to me. Of course, you don’t have to rent your home — you could allow your friends and family to stay there so long as they pay the cleaning fee and chip in for utilities, etc.
Having a vacation rental is not as complicated as you might think. Some owners in Blackhawk use sites like VRBO and rent out the place 15+ days a month. In the example, I budgeted for a property manager to take care of everything: booking, dealing with customers, managing the cleaning service, etc. You just tell them when you plan to be there and they will try to rent it out the remaining days.
There are a couple of agents in my brokerage who run the sales for Blackhawk on the River, so if you ever want a guided tour of the community just give me a shout and I’ll hook you up. If you have questions about the spreadsheet, just reply back to the email.
Cheers to fun in McCall — hopefully I’ll see you up there!