A National Association of Realtors study says more owners of vacation homes are renting their properties this year. (John Greim/Lightrocket/Getty Images)

Long before Airbnb entered the nation’s lexicon, many owners of vacation homes subsidized their purchase by renting out their properties when they weren’t using it.

Recent research from the National Association of Realtors'Investment and Vacation Home Buyers 2018” study found that more vacation property owners plan to rent their homes to short-term renters this year. Researchers found that 25 percent of vacation home owners rented their property in 2017 and 30 percent say they plan to do so in 2018.

Whether you plan to support your purchase with income from short-term rentals or want to consider the potential income you can earn before purchasing a vacation home, HomeAway, a listing service for short-term rentals, recently developed a tool to help you estimate that income. Known as “Earn,” the tool looks at specific cities to determine the average annual income for people who own a vacation home in that area based on the data found through rentals on HomeAway.

For example, the average income for owners of beach homes along the Delaware coastline is $30,500. You can also enter a specific address to generate an initial income estimate. For example, a townhouse near the beach in Chatham on Cape Cod is estimated to generate $13,000 to $17,000 in annual rental income.

For more information, click here.