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Profit from Charm: Investing in A-frame Vacation Homes

Dive into the world of A-frame vacation homes! Learn about their unique appeal, investment benefits, cost factors, and how to choose the best locations. Get tips to make your A-frame rental stand out and attract guests.


By Derick Hargrave

Published on July 12, 2023

Stemming from the rustic charm of Alpine architecture, A-frames have a distinctive edge in the vacation rental market. Beyond triangles set in picturesque landscapes, A-frames embody a timeless charm equally attractive to the modern traveler seeking a unique experience. As an investor, stepping into the A-frame vacation home space opens up opportunities. A-frames are adored for their aesthetics and the prospect of higher rental yields they can offer. Their unique design appeals to a broad range of guests and often comes with lower maintenance and repair costs than traditional homes.

Are you curious about the various types of vacation rental properties?
Our overview of different Airbnb property categories can get you started.

What’s Special about A-frames Vacation Rentals

A-frames stand out in the vacation rental market because of their distinctive architectural style, compact design, and eco-friendly characteristics. Here are three compelling reasons to invest in an A-frame property: Unique charm: A-frames’ geometrical simplicity and rustic feel can attract guests seeking a unique experience. Ease of maintenance: Thanks to their straightforward design, A-frames generally require less upkeep, which can translate to more savings for you as an owner. Eco-friendly appeal: Many A-frame homes are built with environmentally friendly materials and practices, a feature that appeals to a growing segment of eco-conscious travelers.

Types of A-frames House Vacation Rentals

A-frames are Despite their characteristic triangular silhouette, A-frame houses come in a variety of styles, each adding a unique flavor to the vacation rental market. Here’s a closer look at the different types:

  • Classic A-frames: The iconic image of an A-frame often corresponds to the classic A-frame design, which generally includes a simple, triangular structure, often with one or two floors, and an open-plan interior layout. The walls are typically steeply sloping, meeting at the top to form an “A” shape, hence the name. Classic A-frames usually come with a cozy loft for sleeping, a comfortable living space on the ground floor, and large, front-facing windows to maximize light and scenic views.
  • Modern A-frames: The modern A-frames take the classic silhouette and bring it into the 21st century with contemporary twists. They often incorporate large glass windows for a more light-filled, airy feel. Their designs might also include flat roofs instead of pointed ones, sleek lines, minimalistic interiors, and metal or concrete materials mixed with traditional wood. Modern A-frames may also feature luxurious amenities like hot tubs, designer furniture, and smart home features.
  • Rustic A-frames: The rustic A-frame homes emphasize the structure’s natural, earthy charm. They often feature exposed timber or log construction, stone fireplaces, and furnishings that echo the surrounding landscape. You’ll likely find these homes in woodland, mountainous, or lakeside settings, where their natural materials blend seamlessly with the environment. Rustic A-frames may also include vintage or reclaimed decor, and they often come with outdoor features like fire pits, wrap-around decks, and outdoor grills for a complete wilderness retreat experience.
  • Luxury A-frames: At the higher end of the market, luxury A-frames offer guests an elevated vacation experience. While they maintain the characteristic triangle shape, these A-frames come with all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a luxury rental. This might include spacious outdoor decks with incredible views, high-end kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances, en-suite bedrooms with deluxe bedding, and spa-like bathrooms. Some luxury A-frames might have additional amenities like home theatres, game rooms, heated floors, outdoor hot tubs, or private swimming pools.

A-frame vacation homes are often found in places known for their natural beauty. Here are some U.S. cities known for their beautiful A-frame homes:

  • Leavenworth, Washington: A Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth offers a unique vacation experience.
  • Big Bear Lake, CA: Offers A-frames surrounded by forests and a picturesque lake.
  • Helen, Georgia: Helen is a Bavarian-inspired town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a unique blend of southern hospitality and German culture.
  • Pocono Mountains, PA: Renowned for its A-frames that offer a cozy retreat amidst nature.
  • Flagstaff, AZ: Offers unique desert-based A-frames.
  • Bend, OR: Known for its modern A-frames set against a mountainous backdrop.

Common Amenities for A-frame Vacation Rentals

Though A-frames might be compact, they can still offer the essential amenities that guests appreciate. Many feature open-plan living areas, cozy lofts, and panoramic windows to maximize natural light and views. Some may even offer private hot tubs, outdoor fire pits, and spacious decks for a touch of luxury.

However, some unique amenities can make your A-frame stand out:

  • Outdoor hot tub: Offers a luxurious spot for guests to relax while enjoying the surroundings.
  • Large, panoramic windows: Maximize natural light and offers stunning views.
  • Loft bedroom: A cozy sleeping area that adds character to the property.
  • Wood-burning stove: Enhances the rustic charm and offers warmth in colder months.
  • Wrap-around deck: Provides additional outdoor living space and a great spot for relaxation or dining.
  • High-end kitchen appliances: A-frames can still offer a gourmet cooking experience despite their compact size.

Activities and Attractions Near A-frame House Rentals

Depending on the location, your A-frame can offer guests a range of unique activities. Some might include:

  • Hiking: Many A-frames are located near hiking trails, providing guests with an outdoor adventure.
  • Boating/Fishing: If your A-frame is near a lake, boating, and fishing can be great draws.
  • Wildlife Viewing: A-frames often provide an opportunity to spot local wildlife.
  • Skiing/Snowboarding: A-frames located in mountainous regions offer winter sports options.
  • Local Art and Craft: Many A-frame regions are known for their unique local art and craft scenes.
  • Food and Wine: Nearby vineyards or local food scenes can be an attraction.

How much does an A-frame vacation home cost?

The cost of an A-frame vacation home can greatly vary based on location, size, and amenities. Here are some price ranges for popular cities:

  • Leavenworth, Washington: $300,000 to over $700,000
  • Big Bear Lake, CA: $250,000 – $500,000
  • Helen, Georgia: $200,000 – $400,000
  • Pocono Mountains, PA: $150,000 – $350,000
  • Flagstaff, AZ: $200,000 – $450,000
  • Bend, OR: $300,000 – $550,000

What factors affect the cost of A-frame vacation rentals?

The cost of A-frame vacation rentals can vary greatly based on a multitude of factors. These aspects can influence not only the initial purchase price of the property but also the ongoing costs of maintenance, renovations, and operations.

  • Location: Just like any real estate investment, location is key when it comes to A-frame vacation rentals. Properties in popular vacation destinations, scenic locations, or close to amenities and attractions generally command higher prices. For instance, an A-frame home with a lakefront view or direct access to ski slopes will likely cost more than one inland or less popular location.
  • Size and layout: The size and layout of the A-frame also significantly impact the price. Larger A-frames with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, or additional living spaces are typically more expensive. Similarly, unique or efficient layouts that maximize the living space and provide comfortable accommodations for guests can also command a higher price.
  • Amenities: A-frame homes that come with attractive amenities can also be more expensive. These can include modern appliances, high-end finishes, outdoor spaces like decks or patios, or unique features like hot tubs, fireplaces, or access to private docks in waterfront properties.
  • Historical rental income: If the A-frame has been previously used as a rental, the property’s historical rental income and occupancy rate can also affect the price. A property that has a track record of generating consistent income might be priced higher due to its proven earning potential.

How to make your A-frame rental property stand out to guests

To make your A-frame rental stand out, consider adding unique touches, offering exceptional services, and marketing your property effectively. Here are a few ways you can elevate the guest experience:

  • Stargazing kit: If your A-frame is in a remote location, offer a telescope and stargazing guide. Cost: $100 – $500.
  • Custom Local Guidebook: Create a guidebook featuring local secrets, like the best hiking trails or local artisan shops. Cost: Minimal.
  • Outdoor Entertainment: Provide a fire pit with a supply of firewood for guests to enjoy. Cost: $200 – $800.

Our Thoughts

Embracing the A-frame market in vacation rentals presents a unique opportunity for property owners. With their distinctive charm, low maintenance, and appeal to eco-conscious travelers, A-frames make a strong case as a profitable investment. By understanding the various factors impacting cost and rental success, you can ensure your A-frame vacation home is a hit among guests.

Written by

As a content writer passionate about travel and hospitality, I have a unique perspective on short-term rentals. With years of experience creating engaging, informative content for various clients, I enjoy communicating the benefits and appeal of short-term rental properties. I've been an Airbnb host for the last three years, consistently providing my guests with a high level of hospitality.