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The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY

How do you decide if it’s worth buying a farmhouse or cabin in Upstate NY to rent out as an Airbnb? The short answer is, it depends on your income and the amount of time you want to spend managing the property in addition to your job, family, and regular activities. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether you should buy an Upstate NY vacation rental property…

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY – by Dino Alexander, NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker

The Advantages
Being near so many things to do is great because it gives you tons of options for outdoor activities. If you’re staying in one of these areas, you can get to hiking spots, biking trails, skiing slopes, and everything else Hudson Valley offers within just a few minutes. Plus, if your farmhouse has a private lake or pond on it, even better—many people will pay extra to be near water (and not have to worry about paying extra fees at public parks). Also: Catskills. Can’t go wrong with Catskills. There are countless lakes up there that are perfect for boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming—you name it. You’ve got downhill skiing 10 minutes away from your property! What could be better than that? (OK…that was a lie; the only thing better would be wintering in Puerto Rico.) Lastly: Variety. It’s nice being able to offer something different when people stay with you vs staying at a hotel.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY – Photography by ALLUVION
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NYAirbnb Photography by Photographer Maxwell Alexander / ALLUVION MEDIA

The Disadvantages
Construction – If you buy an existing house for vacation rental purposes (i.e., Airbnb), it’s likely that it needs renovation done before people can stay in it without making problems. This is going to cost money, so if you don’t plan on getting renters right away, don’t even think about buying one! There are also zoning laws that limit what kind of activities can take place at different times during certain hours which could affect whether your tenants can use their full schedule while they rent. A business advisor may be needed depending on how many properties you get. How do guests check-in? How do they pay? Is check-in late possible? Do they need parking passes? Can they bring their pets? Are their more detailed rules beyond what Airbnb provides by default?

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY – Photography by ALLUVION MEDIA
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NYAirbnb Photography by Photographer Maxwell Alexander / ALLUVION MEDIA

What is Airbnb like in the Hudson Valley / Catskills area?
By far, Airbnb is one of my favorite ways to travel. If you aren’t familiar with Airbnb, it is a peer-to-peer network that allows people to rent out their space for temporary stays. When I lived in New York City, there were tons of great options throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn—but it was always difficult to find something affordable. However, once I started traveling to upstate New York on weekends from Manhattan (about 2 hours north), I learned about an entire world of remote rentals across New York State that were incredibly affordable—and beautiful!

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY – Photography by ALLUVION MEDIA
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NYAirbnb Photography by Photographer Maxwell Alexander / ALLUVION MEDIA

How Airbnb Has Changed Things
The rise of Airbnb has given people even more options when it comes to finding places to stay. The process for renting rooms or entire houses is extremely streamlined, making it much easier for vacationers to decide where they want to spend their time. And Airbnb gives people who own these buildings—whether they’re cabins in Montana, farmhouses in New York State, or cottages by a lake—another source of income that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY – Photography by ALLUVION MEDIA
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NYAirbnb Photography by Photographer Maxwell Alexander / ALLUVION MEDIA

Should You Invest In A Hudson Valley / Catskills Property?
Owning a second home is common for people to have. It doesn’t matter if you are renting it out to other people, using it yourself as a weekend getaway from city life, or if you are simply spending more time there than your own home. There are many factors to take into consideration before buying a farmhouse property, including zoning restrictions, taxes, and regulations that could affect what you want to do with it. There may be benefits or drawbacks depending on how you use your vacation property.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NY – Photography by ALLUVION MEDIA
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Farmhouse or Cabin in Upstate NYAirbnb Photography by Photographer Maxwell Alexander / ALLUVION MEDIA