prefab log cabin exterior with covered porch

Is a Rental Cabin Investment Wise?

A Guide to Rental Cabin Investments

You know money does NOT grow on trees, right? Of course… Even though, in pure honesty, you may have caught yourself at times wishfully lingering beside a tree imagining its branches weighed down by 100-dollar bills $$$. 😉  However, you are onto something by considering a close runner-up to “money growing on trees”, a rental cabin investment.

Naturally, you want to make money, and you like the sound of becoming a property investor. You have what it takes, yet perhaps you feel a bit of trepidation or uncertainty at how a rental cabin investment can become a money-making reality for you. You may wonder the following…

Is it a wise financial move in 2021?

What are the Pros?

What are the Cons?

How do I get started?

Your questions hold merit deserving of reliable answers. We understand the beginning struggle or tension of getting from point A to point B, which is why this rental cabin guide was created to empower your rental cabin investment journey.

You got this! Now let’s get started!

Is Investing in a Rental Cabin Smart?

prefab log cabin exterior with covered porch

The true answer. It depends. However, armed with stable finances, an attractive piece of land in mind, and steadfast patience, a rental cabin is a smart investment move.

You may be wondering though, is it a wise financial move right now, in 2021?

According to MASHVISOR,“ While it’s still early to be able to accurately predict what the 2021 US housing market will look like, we can make educated decisions with the information at hand. So far, the trends are telling us that buying a rental property mid-pandemic can prove to be a smart endeavor considering what we know about 2021. Our advice? Aim to buy a rental property by the end of 2020 and become a landlord by 2021.”

Even though 2021 has begun, it is not too late! Why? Well, the fact that you are combining a rental property with a cabin puts you a step ahead of the game. Cabins are exploding in popularity and while they may be a trend, the healing power of nature is enduring!

During the pandemic, Americans all over the country broke out with an intense “cabin fever” as nature beckoned as one of the safest options for getting out of the home. As Americans were “forced” outdoors, the healing and soul-satisfying powers of nature were unearthed and found to be golden.

An article done by CNBC confirms this “cabin fever” as true, “Airbnb said it is seeing tremendous growth in people interested in cabins. Cabins are the second most searched listing type by guests in the U.S., the company said, with 20% week-over-week growth. The category ranked sixth last year.”

Check out the full CNBC article, American’s Vacation Habits are Changing as Cabin Fever Sets In.

Now, with the “Cat Out of the Bag”, investing in a rental cabin would indeed be a wise move.

A smart one at that!

Let’s move onto other questions surrounding the question of, Is a Rental Cabin Investment Wise?


What is the Difference Between an Investment Property and a Second Home?


This question is important and affects the process by which you go about starting your rental cabin. Some people think the two are interchangeable…however, there is a HUGE difference! Let’s answer it to clear up any possible confusion.

The distinction between an investment property and a second home is determined by the amount of time the property can be rented out, taxes, and loans.


Let's break it down further. The truth is in the details!


Investment Property

  • Rented out for most of the year.
  • Mortgage rates are higher (more of a risk for lenders).
  • Rental income is taxable.
  • May qualify for rental expense deduction.


Second Home

  • Rented out for a max of 14 days a year.
  • Mortgage rates are a bit lower.
  • Rental income is exempt (if kept within the 14 days allotted for renting out).
  • Do not qualify for rental expense deduction.


You can dig deeper into the differences by checking out Second Homes vs. Investment Properties.

However, if you are thinking rental cabin and looking forward to substantial rental income, it is best to begin this process as an investment property rather than a second home.

Both investment properties and second homes have a few extra hurdles to jump through; however, the hurdles required for an investment property are worth the work if your goal is to own a rental cabin.


What are the Pros and Cons of Rental Cabins?

Almost nothing in life is ALL a bed of roses and rental cabins are no exception. 😊 However, comparing the pros and cons of a rental cabin offers you the chance to decide if the good outweighs the bad in your situation.


The pros of a rental cabin.

  • Earns you $$$ money as a passive side income.
  • Helps your land appreciate.
  • Provides you certain tax deductions and benefits.
  • The enjoyment of being a SUPER host.
  • A spot where you can get away “for free”😊 for about 14 days out of the year.
  • Offers you an alternative or diverse way(s) of investing your money (besides just stocks).


The cons of a rental cabin.

  • Potential for unexpected costs – Such as weather damage or damage incurred by tenant.
  • Expected Expenses – Rental property has initial starting costs, plus sustaining costs, like maintenance, repairs, etc.
  • Potentially risky – Any investment comes with risks depending on the stability of the economy.
  • “Hovering” House sitting – You may have to stop by your rental cabin often to get it ready for the next guest or tenant.

Bottom line of the pros and cons of a rental cabin…most good things in life takes hard work. A rental cabin will require work. However, if you patiently stick with the process eventually you will enjoy the benefits of passive income with little work.


How Do I Get Started with My Own Rental Cabin?


Are you equipped and ready to take the rental cabin plunge? If so, the following steps provide you with a base for how to get started on your very own rental cabin.


  1. Write out a rental cabin business plan & financial plan– This is crucial and helpful even to determine whether this is the right investment for you, your time, and finances.
  2. Choose your money-making strategy – You will need to decide whether your rental cabin will be long-term or short-term.
  3. Acquire a rental property and/or cabin – If you do not have any property or a cabin research to find the right spot (location matters) and the right cabin. Note: You do not have to build a mansion-sized cabin for guests to be interested. Small, cozy cabins are attractive and highly sought after.
  4. Get your cabin ready for guests – Do not be afraid to invest for your guests. Quality furniture and clean, simple, yet luxurious décor and home commodities will leave a good lasting impression. Amenities such as Wi-Fi, smart TV, and even a washer or dryer earns your rental cabin brownie points.
  5. How Much is Your Cabin Worth? – Decide on how much you will charge your guests or tenant for staying a night or a month.
  6. Make people aware of your cabin! – Connect with Airbnb,, HomeAway, or Vrbo and get your cabin out in the open. These rental platforms offer you ways to get your rental cabin in front of thousands of interested eyes with already trusted sites.
  7. Network with others – If your finances afford it, partnering with other business-related professionals, for example like cleaners or bookkeepers, can help you manage the property if you have a lot of other money-making responsibilities.
  8. Provide Quality & Updated Pictures – People appreciate knowing what they are getting when they choose to stay at your rental cabin. Whichever way you choose to advertise your rental cabin, take the time to give good pictures of each interior room and the exterior as well.
  9. Enjoy the Growing Pains – The beginning stages can be tedious. However, if you remember your present investment will reap greater future returns, the growing pains are not so bad.


Check out Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Cabin Rental and Starting a Vacation Rental Business – Investor’s Guide.


What Makes a Good Cabin for an Investment Property?


A good investment cabin involves more than just size, it can be small or large. More important is whether the cabin is well maintained, beautifully furnished, CLEAN, and in an enjoyable location..


How to Save “Millions” on a Good Rental Cabin?


You do not need to spend “millions of dollars” on a cabin. In fact, the whole idea of an investment property becomes more realistic and affordable when you go smaller than larger. Keep in mind the Less-Is-More affect.

The concept of cozy, small cabins, aka tiny cabins, are especially attractive nowadays. This is especially true if you choose a short-term rental cabin strategy, like Airbnb, etc. The key though with smaller cabins, is choosing a small cabin that is high quality built and lavishly designed. If the interior is beautiful, cozy, and clean, people will think less of its size and more about its intricate, rustic, and classy loveliness.

Get Ready to Be Floored!

Check out the following beautifully crafted and quality built small cabins from Westwood Cabins. Plus, enjoy a real to life example of one of these tiny cabins used as a rental cabin through Airbnb.

wood siding on modular log cabin with wood accents on covered porch     white exterior and wood accent modular cabin with red door

By the way, try to remember that these cabins are small as you get blown away by their stunning beauty. Here is the link to Westwood Cabins on Airbnb and here are what guests are saying:


“We loved our stay! Super cute, private, spotless, and with everything we needed. I’d love to visit again!” - Lucy

“Wonderful stay at the tiny Cabin! The cabin was spacious, comfy, clean, and in a great location for exploring Greenville. We would definitely recommend a stay there!” - Annie


Partner with Westwood Cabins for Your Rental Cabin Success!


Are you ready to take the rental cabin plunge and bring in another steady cash flow?

You have what it takes!

And Westwood Cabins has your back when it comes to helping you choose your ideal rental cabin. Allow us to partner with you in making your rental cabin investment a reality!

Whatever you need, whether that includes special customization requests or answering any of your cabin questions, Westwood Cabins stand ready and equipped to walk this exciting cabin journey with you.

You are the boss, and we are at your service. Lead the way.