21 Dec 2020
Owning a second home on the Outer Banks comes with all the perks of living at the beach—beautiful location, great restaurants, local culture, unique history, and a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a while. But it also comes with its on set of challenges, particularly of the financial nature. Many homeowners feel that they could offset the cost of owning a vacation home with the income gained from using it as a vacation rental when they aren’t using it themselves. This is a great way to earn some extra money to cover the home’s expenses (including the mortgage, taxes, insurance and upkeep) while simultaneously bringing joy to the other families who choose to spend a week in your home. But getting your home ready to share with others isn’t as simple as just posting a few photos on the internet. Here are our tips on how to turn your home into a vacation rental:
1) Remove Personal Items
As much as you may love waking up to your wedding photo on your nightstand, a vacation rental home is not a place for deeply personal mementos. While you may want to keep some furniture and decorative pieces, any item that identifies the home as yours may be better suited in your primary home or a locked owner closet. You don't want visitors to feel like they are invading another strangers space.
Think about the last time you stayed in a hotel and make sure your house is cleared the same way. Sure, you may have kept extra clothing and personal items like medicine, photos, toiletries, etc. for when you visit, but now that you’ll be sharing your space with others, those items should be removed from all public use areas.
When you open your home to the public, anything and everything in your home will be at their disposal to use and touch. Because of this, you may even want to change out furniture pieces and other objects that could potentially become damaged. Of course, you still want to make the home look nice for your guests so instead, opt for décor and furniture that is visitor friendly—durable, simple, and practical. For ideas, check out these 6 Interior Design Tips to Help You Get More Bookings!
2) Dedicate an Owner Space
Since you will still be using the home on occasion, we understand why you’d want to keep some of your own items in the house. The best way to do this is to designate a specific owner space and keep it locked. This can be a closet or two, a small room, a garage, or any other place that the guests won’t really need to access. Purchase a lock and use this spot to store your personal items, clothing, extra furniture, tools, etc.
3) Conduct a Deep Clean
Preparing your home for rentals will take more than removing personal items and re-decorating. You should also conduct a thorough deep clean of the entire house. A deep clean is a detailed and systematic cleaning of every inch of your house from the interior to the exterior. From wiping down cabinets and drawers to scrubbing baseboards and ceiling fans, all dirt, grime and dust should be removed from all surfaces. Couches and other upholstery should be scrubbed, individual blinds should be wiped down, and even vent covers and garbage cans need to be washed. In the kitchen, sinks, counters, and all appliances (microwaves, ovens, stovetops, refrigerators, toasters, etc.), all need to be cleaned to a like-new state. This process can take several days so you may want to consider hiring a local professional who is familiar with deep cleaning vacation homes.
4) Meet with a Property Management Company
From setting up your property and maintaining the home to creating a listing and managing your calendar, running a successful vacation rental can take a lot of work and countless hours. In fact, managing a vacation rental requires someone to be available to assist all of your guests or handle issues 24-7. It may be in your best interest to hire a property management company to handle these tasks for you. Seaside Vacations has various programs available that can be tailored to your home’s individual needs. If you’re thinking about turning your second home into a vacation rental, learn more about the benefits of partnering with Seaside Vacations!