Short-Term Rentals in New Buffalo: A Visualization

The City of New Buffalo recently posted the addresses of those homes who also rent the homes on a short-term basis (under 30 days). This is in prep for the new short-term rental ordinance that passed this spring. Inspections for those homes that are used as a short term rental will begin in August. Interesting things to note about this map.

First, the current number of reported homes is at about 110. Next, the amount of houses that are on the non-Lake side of Buffalo street are considered to be in an R-1 area (residential). There's been some discussion about limiting or decreasing the number of allowed short-term rentals in residential areas. Note that the elementary school and the middle/high school sit on either end of the residential area.

Historically, New Buffalo's been a vacation town - and it still is. Second home owners pay a higher tax rate than residents, and the bulk of those taxes fund the school system. What's interesting about this set-up is that if the number of short-term rentals was to decrease, the City, in essence, would continue to receive the higher taxes from the second home owner. In turn, the school district would also receive these their share of funds for the school system.

If the short term rental market decreased in New Buffalo, and the owners of these homes decided to sell, one of two things could happen.

1. Another second home owner purchases the home, thus paying the higher tax base

2. A long term resident purchases the home, adding to the community and population of New Buffalo

We hope this map will help the City and residents get a better sense of where things are.