A vacation property construction boom over the past few years has boosted the overall number of vacation homes, but falling home values have made renting out these homes for extra cash an appealing option.
The result is a glut of places to spend a vacation. One expert is urging home owners who want to rent out their properties to consider off-season business.
The second and third weeks of September and the third and fourth weeks of October are going to be great weeks especially in Florida; Georgia; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Hilton Head, N.C.; the Tennessee mountains; and Branson, Mo. and the Ozarks, predicts Christine Karpinski, author of How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner.
Karpinski has this advice for home owners considering the rental game:
- Post lots of photos and information on your Web page. Make sure the information you provide is complete and accurate, and don't exaggerate. That will help avoid disappointment from renters who expect more than there is. "I, as a consumer, would not rent a place without seeing photos of each bedroom and the living room," she says.
- Replace the furniture often. The normal wear and tear on upholstery and linens can prove a turn-off for vacationers. They're much more satisfied when everything is crisp and new.
- Hire a caretaker. You need someone on-call nearby if there's distance between you and your rental property. That way, if there's a problem — the heat goes off, the oven won't light, etc. — there's someone who can offer quick problem solving.
Source: BusinessWeek Online, Maya Roney (07/18/07)