A growing number of homeowners are discovering the joys and benefits of renting out their vacation home for short-term rentals. This can be a lucrative way to get your second residence to pay for itself. If you're starting down this path, it's time to get your rental house physically ready to host guests while you're away. Here's a handy guide to what to do.
Clean and Repair. The first step should be to ensure that the house is thoroughly cleaned—inside and out. If you live a good distance away, you'll probably want to contract with a local housecleaning service that can make sure nothing is missed. This also gives you the chance to build a relationship with a service that can perform cleanup after guests leave. As you clean the area, make note of anything that doesn't work or is dangerous—for example, broken outlets, dripping faucets, exposed wiring, loose railings, or uneven walkways. Have these things fixed properly.
Remove Valuables. While you want the home to feel cozy and comfortable, you don't want to leave anything of sentimental or financial value for others to handle. Replace art or knick-knacks that are important to you with locally flavored artwork instead. Go through drawers and cabinets to make sure nothing that identifies the owner or your family is left behind.
Install Sprinklers. Unless your home is in an area with a lot of rain all year round, it's a good idea to install an automated sprinkler system to keep the outside looking vibrant and healthy. Hire a local landscape service to help install a sprinkler system that includes large sprinklers to cover any grass and a drip system for flower beds, shrubs, and trees. Curb appeal is important when attracting guests to your house, so you may want to keep the landscape service in your Rolodex to consult with at least once per year.
Simplify. If you've been using your vacation home regularly, you may have filled it with furniture and objects that reflect your personality. Since you want the house to appeal to the largest number of potential guests possible, it may be a good idea to tame your decorating style a little. Consider the value of each piece of furniture and be willing to part with some of it. The same goes for accessories and decorations. Try to make the space feel comfortable but not claustrophobic and attractive but still somewhat neutral. The focus should be on the reason people vacation in the area, not your personal interests.
Stock It. Finally, you're ready to stock the house with amenities for your guests. Make sure the kitchen is equipped to make average meals and that the bathroom has plenty of linens and bath products. Keep some extra blankets nearby if it gets chilly, and provide a few movies or books in case the weather isn't so great. Your guests will also appreciate a few fun touches, like beach chairs and umbrellas, an outdoor grill, or local maps and restaurant recommendations.
By following these few steps when preparing your rental home, you can create a fantastic place to stay that will wow guests for years to come. Talk to a company such as Boehm Landscape Inc for more information.