If you’re in the early stages of planning to buy a vacation home, you’ve probably already scoured the internet for available properties. You may have come up short, or perhaps you weren’t impressed with the inventory or would rather have more control over your options. Whatever the case, it’s never a bad idea to build your own vacation home. This way, you can ensure it meets your family’s current and future needs while becoming a sought-after rental.
Here are a few steps that can get you closer to achieving your dreams.
Step 1: Plan It Well
Your first priority is to decide where you want your property. Ask yourself how close to local attractions you’d like to be, what type of view you would like to have, and whether you want neighbors or would prefer seclusion and solitude. Next, take a look at floor plans. Your layout matters, especially when you want to have a view. Some cabins, for example, have high windows, making them perfect for mountain views. Others may have a wraparound porch to help you get the most out of your outdoor space.
Once you have the location and home design nailed down, it’s time to plan for security, furnishings, and ease of use. Look for a home security system that fits your needs and budget. This can be difficult, especially in the internet age when reviews can be bought and ads aren’t always truthful. High Security Home offers tips on what to look for in a security system and asserts that looking for the “best” system doesn’t mean the most popular. Also, pay attention to the furnishings you select and make sure they are comfortable, cleanable, and durable.
Step 2: Make the Most of Maintenance
All successful vacation rentals have one thing: they stay clean. Whether you choose to do this yourself or outsource the work to someone else is a matter of personal preference and logistics. If you don’t live nearby, it’s best to find a reliable cleaner who can do it for you. The Penny Hoarder explains that most charge around $25 an hour. This individual or company may also be able to serve as an emergency point of contact for your guest, and they can also help you stay abreast of any potential issues with the property.
While your cleaning company will likely have many of their own supplies, it will be up to you to stock your rental with the essentials. One thing that is often overlooked is the air filter. Unless you live in an area with a constant comfortable temperature, your vacation home will be heated and/or cooled. A filter subscription will ensure that your maid service never runs out and that your rental always has clean air. Make sure to have a commercial-quality vacuum and a high-quality dishwasher. A large-capacity washer and dryer will ensure that your maintenance service can wash linens on site and will be an asset for your guests.
Step 3: Keep an Eye on the Competition
Hotels and other large vacation properties don’t pull pricing out of the air. They use industry reports to make revenue management decisions, including rental fees in each market. Access to this data is exponentially expensive, but you can get the job done simply by checking your competitors. Look at VRBO.com and local property management sites and plug in the specs of your own rental. Keep in mind your amenities, number of available beds, and location when making comparisons. While you don’t have to price exactly the same as everyone else, going too low may look suspicious, whereas pricing too high can reduce your pool of renters.
There are many things to consider when designing your personal vacation retreat. If you want to use it as an income property, it pays to plan ahead. So, pay attention to your floor plan, security, and pricing and make the most of your maintenance.
Image via Pixabay
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. She created happierhome.net