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10 things to know about buying a short term rental in Savannah, GA

10 things to know about buying a short term rental in Savannah, GA

Buying a short term rental in the Savannah area is complicated. However, buyers who have a full understanding of the licensure requirements and know how to plan their rental strategy (short-term, medium-term, long-term) will be very successful as this little known market appreciates on the back of the fast growing Port of Savannah.

  1. There is a licensing requirement for Savannah’s Historic District and also Tybee Island. You have to purchase a property with a certificate in place (STVR) to be able to legally run a short term rental in these locations. 
  2. The MLS doesn’t have a way to select STVR Certificate (Short Term Vacation Rental), so buyers have to read every listing description when searching in Savannah’s Historic District and also on Tybee Island. 
  3. Buyers can get a new STVR Certificate in the Historic District and Tybee Island if the property is zoned Commercial. 
  4. Buyers who plan to live in the Historic District of Savannah and will be making the home their primary residence on their tax returns can also get a new STVR Certificate IF the home is multifamily and IF the owner occupies the main unit. 
  5. Areas of Chatham County that are NOT in the city limits CAN get a Chatham County STVR certificate fairly easily by applying with the county.
  6. Some web sites say that some areas of the Historic District haven’t met their STVR quota yet. This is categorically untrue. There is a 3 year waiting list for a new STVR certificate.
  7. For investors who are patient and really want a short term rental in Savannah’s Historic District, investors can buy a property in the 31401 zip code and rent it long term. Once the property has been acquired, they can put the property on the waiting list for a STVR certificate. If the investor is lucky enough to make it to the top of the list, the property will become 20-30% more valuable with the STVR certificate in place.
  8. Both Savannah and Tybee Island take these certificates as very serious sources of tax revenue. Be aware that if you purchase a property with the certificate in place and you do not rent the property enough to provide the city with the expected tax revenue, the property will be on probation for a year and the STVR certificate will be removed and handed to someone on the waiting list if the tax revenue isn’t levied.
  9. Savannah has an 11 month market for short term and medium term rentals. The slowest time of year is typically between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  10. Tybee has an 8-9 month market for short term rentals. When the temperatures drop below 70 degrees, the beaches tend to sit fairly empty

Are you interested to learn more about short and medium-term rentals in Savannah, GA? Reach out anytime for more info on the great investment strategies in Savannah and the surrounding areas.

For a quick way to see if a property is outside city limits, please watch this video: