This Virginia Lake Town Was Just Named the Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home — and You Can Make $80,000 in Annual Rental Income 

Homeowners can make more than $80,000 a year in rental income.

Kayakers in front of a house along Lake Anna State Park
Photo: Scott K. Brown/Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation

With more than 200 miles of beautiful shoreline, Virginia's fourth largest lake is a haven for vacationers seeking a laid-back vibe and stunning waterfront views. During the warmer months, the area becomes abuzz with water sports enthusiasts, sunbathers, and those simply seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of nearby Washington D.C. (the nation's capital is a short hour-and-a-half drive). But as it turns out, a home on Lake Anna is also a pretty sound real estate investment; the area just topped Vacasa's latest report on the best places to buy a vacation home based on capitalization rate or return on investment.

According to the vacation home rental company, Lake Anna homeowners can expect to make an average of $81,293 in yearly rental income, which equals a capitalization rate of 12.2 percent.

A boat driving past homes on Lake Anna
Mike Zorger/Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation

"One of Virginia's most beloved destinations, it's no surprise that Lake Anna is so appealing to potential vacation homeowners with 17 miles of sandy beaches, a state park filled with wildlife, French-style wineries, and host of seasonal outdoor activities," Daned Kirkham, senior director of real estate for Vacasa, told Travel + Leisure. "For those looking for a high return on their vacation rental investment, Lake Anna attracts a myriad of travelers year-round, providing second home buyers with a steady stream of guests and vacation rental income."

What's more, the median home value in the area is $435,000, which is more affordable than other popular lakefront communities across the country. What makes the lake attractive to second homeowners is that it has a "private" side where no commercial activity is allowed and a public side where guests can enjoy waterfront restaurants and beaches.

Virginia state park panorama. Lake Anna
Joe_Potato/Getty Images

Lake Anna has long been a favorite retreat of families in Virginia and beyond. The freshwater reservoir was created in the 1970s to provide cooling water for a nearby power plant. As a result, the southern edge of the lake, known as the "hot side" among the locals, is much warmer than the northern shore, where the plant releases the water after cooling its turbines.

The best way to explore the lake is to rent a kayak, a canoe, or a stand-up paddleboard, and if you are traveling with a large group, a pontoon boat that fits up to 15 people. Water and Jet Ski rentals are also available for those looking for an adrenaline-fueled experience. Lake Anna is also a perfect place for fishing enthusiasts, who flock here for its plentiful striper and largemouth bass supplies. And a 3,127-acre state park with a large public beach is the perfect spot to soak up some vitamin D and have a family picnic while enjoying the beautiful views. There are more than 15 craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries in the towns surrounding the lake (Cooper Vineyards and Lake Anna Winery are two must-sees), which makes it easy to find something to do when not at the lake.

View of a beach at Lake Anna on a sunny summer day
Aschen/Getty Images

Other destinations on Vacasa's list include Port Aransas, Texas, which takes the second spot with a cap rate of 10.7 percent and $53,717 in rental income potential, and Palm Coast in Florida with 10.3 percent cap rate and $59,482 in potential income. See the full report here.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles