PoconosVRO member talks about the benefits of Vacation Rentals

June 29, 2023 8:25 AM | Mark Shay (Administrator)

My name is Mike Camino, I own a property I operate as a short-term rental, and I am a member of the Poconos Association of Vacation Rental Owners.  I am also an area resident who is raising his family here, as well a board member in Emerald Lakes. Emerald Lakes has a diverse community mixture of full-time residents, weekend visitors, full-time rentals, as well as Short Term rentals. Our budget varies year to year but on average we take in $680k-$800k in rental fees.

We have the same issues with neighborhood behavior as multiple other communities as well. Our community has strict rules and regulations which everyone is expected to follow including our rental guests. We back those rules up with strict fines. We have discovered a lot of our residents chose to move to Emerald Lakes after visiting it as a guest first. Short term rentals are a controversial issue for some, however their benefits if the owners, guests, and community work together are wonderful.

In our community we have a Real Estate Committee of volunteers who spend a significant amount of time talking to people from all sides of the issue and making recommendations to compromise a fair balance. This has helped the community to have a fair and open voice. We have seen a drastic reduction in bad behavior from guests and short-term rental owners both. We make sure members of the community are not disturbed by guests, and when there is an incident, we are quick to address it with both our code enforcement officer as well as our public safety teams. Our team-based approach has allowed good rentals to flourish and has encouraged certain non-compliant rentals to leave our community.

Property values have risen because these owners are fully maintaining their properties and upgrading them to resort quality homes. Guests do not want a bad experience with older homes in distress and as such there is a financial gain to both the rental owner and the community by older homes being fixed up and maintained to meet the high expectations of guests. Afterwards when these rental homes sell in the future, they bring good quality real estate to the market which is move-in-ready for other families, without the need for extensive renovations. These well-maintained rental properties improve the surrounding homes values as well. Overall, the rise of licensed short-term rental operations in our community has led to an overall improvement of the reputation of our Emerald Lakes as a place to live as well as vacation.

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