How to Make Your Vacation Home Pay for Itself

One of the biggest issues with owning a vacation home is that it is a full-time investment that you are only using part-time. The best solution is to turn your vacation home into a rental property. With a few steps, you can turn your vacation paradise into a money-making machine.

Look at the Numbers

Real Estate Numbers

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The numbers will show you that renting out your vacation home is a good idea. If you are paying $1,000 per month in mortgage costs and other expenses to keep your vacation home, then that adds up to $12,000 per year that you pay for a home you may use a month or two per year. With the right planning, you can rent that property out for $1,500 per month, on average, for the months you are not using it. Remember that vacation rentals can be done by the day, week or month, which means you can charge more.

Find a Management Company

Real Estate Management Company

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Most people live hundreds of miles from their vacation homes and it can be hard to maintain a property from that distance. The best solution is to find a local property management company that can supply you with all of the services you will need, including maintenance and repairs.

Do Some Remodeling


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Your vacation home is comfortable to you, but you will need to make it look immaculate if you want to rent it out. The better your home looks, the more you can get for it. You should also consider adding amenities such as a whirlpool bath and a swimming pool, if you do not have them. Your guests will gladly pay top dollar for a property that offers all of the comforts of home with all of the amenities of a luxury resort. A nice touch is to add services such as WiFi Internet access and cable or satellite television.

Take Care of the Business End

Business of Renting

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Some municipalities require you to have a business certificate to offer a rental property, which is easily obtained from the local government offices. You will also need to discuss your insurance needs with your insurance agent to make sure that you have all of the proper riders and coverage limits in place.

Don’t Forget to Move Out


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Be sure to remind your tenants that they will need to bring their own toiletries and any bedding beyond linen, blankets and pillows. Remember to remove personal items from the home such as valuables, pictures and clothing when you leave. If you decide to leave fresh food in the pantry, remind your tenants that the best approach for perishable foods is for them to bring their own. Remove any potentially dangerous implements from the home, including lawn equipment from the basement or shed. Have the property manager bring landscaping equipment to care for the property.

Your vacation home can be a source of revenue if you rent it out when you are not there. Stay active when it comes to recruiting tenants to keep the home filled for as much of the year as possible. The sooner you pay off the mortgage, the quicker you can get on to making more money from your investment.

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