Heritage Harbor: Smart Investors Choose Vacation Home Rentals

Heritage Harbor, in Ottawa, offers a marina, restaurants and proximity to other attractions when it entices vacation home owners and tourists to its shores.

Whether you’re looking for a vacation home as an asset with annual earnings or as a seasonal rental that supplements your income, you’ll want to visit Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, where a variety of home styles, a recreationally rich environment, comprehensive property management and a marketing program make for a solid investment.

“Heritage Harbor has all of the elements smart investors look for when making a vacation home purchase,” says Pierre Alexander, resort marketing manager. “Location. Just 90 minutes from Chicago and within close proximity of the buyer’s primary residence. A recreationally rich environment. Situated along the Illinois River, centered around a 182-slip marina and 15 minutes from Starved Rock State Park. A solid rental management program. The Harbor Inn handles marketing, bookings, check-in/out, cleaning, laundry, inspections, credit card and systems fees, appropriate hotel city and state taxes, homeowner statements of accounts and much more, thus providing a turnkey process.”

Several distinct neighborhoods, including Navvy Town, a new neighborhood of condominiums and cottages priced from $189,000, offer investor-friendly opportunities. One- and two-bedroom condominiums, starting at 580 square feet, are offered in the Canal Quarters with four units per building. Two-story cottages are also available and are 1,150 square feet in size with the option of finishing the full basement. Two-bedroom Carriage Homes will also be offered. Navvy Town also features a splash pad and recreation hall for games, movie nights and other family fun.

A recent Gallup poll found that 35% of Americans believe real estate is the best long-term investment option. Only 27% cited stocks as a better investment. In addition to generating additional income and diversifying your investment portfolio, rental properties give owners numerous tax benefits.

“About 25% of the homes at Heritage Harbor are currently under the Harbor Inn vacation rental management,” says Alexander. “Guests can book through our website, calling to make a reservation or through sites such as Airbnb, Home Away, VRBO, Expedia and more. Once confirmed, guests can check-in at our welcome center or follow the after-hours automated check-in process. We also have an on-site hospitality host who serves as a guest concierge seven days a week. Guests also receive a digital vacation home guide app with a variety of information for their stay, including offerings in the area and special excursion discounts.”

Neighborhood clubhouses and swimming pools, the Red Dog Restaurant, a Tiki bar, a beach, a dog park, on-site boat club and water sport rentals, and the Heritage Harbor activity director add value for those who rent these properties.

Nearby recreational assets such as the 2,630-acre Starved Rock State Park, known for its steep sandstone canyons and waterfalls, access to the 97-mile I&M Canal Biking trail, and the many shops, restaurants, craft breweries and other attractions in historic downtown Ottawa also draw would-be renters. Minutes from Heritage Harbor, visitors also enjoy the August Hill Winery and Illinois Sparkling Co. Tasting Room, Illinois River Winery, Utica Electric Bike Rental, LaSalle Canal Boat tours and the Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park.

“Investors have added peace-of-mind with our Harbor Inn property management team and the owner portal that allows owners to request repairs or updates,” Alexander says. “Vacation homes are also populated in our property management software, so owners can view their property and bookings through their personal login and block their own stay dates on the calendar.”

Investors can also choose from a collection of ranch and two-story homes, with main-level master bedroom suites ranging from 1,196 to over 2,287 square feet in the Port Place neighborhood. Prices start from $350,000. Homes in the West Peninsula neighborhood, priced from the low $400s, include unfinished, 9-foot basements and two-car garages.

Heritage Harbor is located at 111 Harbor View Dr., in Ottawa. For more information call (815) 433-5000, email [email protected] or see visitheritageharbor.com.