Are you thinking about buying a second home to spend some time in when you’re on vacation? Whether you’re picking up a small house near the beach or you’re looking at a ski-in/ski-out condo at your favorite ski resort, if you’re only going to be in the home for short periods each year you may want to consider renting the property out the rest of the time to generate some additional income.
In this post we’ll share a few tips for getting your property ready to rent to short-term visitors and how to get things started.
Preparing Your Home For Use As A Rental
Before you list your vacation property up for rent you’ll need to get it ready for your first tenants. Spend some time walking through the home to determine what’s missing and what might need to be upgraded.
Do you have a few spare sets of sheets and towels? Are all of the kitchen appliances in top condition? If you’re going to be supplying soap, shampoo and other toiletries, are you fully stocked?
Remember – your goal should be to impress each and every client to ensure they leave a positive review and come back again in the future.
Hiring Housekeeping And Property Management Services
Since you likely don’t live in the area around your vacation home, you’ll want to contract out the cleaning and management to local vendors who specialize in managing vacation properties. It should be relatively easy to find these companies with a quick web search, but be sure to ask for recent references so that you can rest easy knowing your home is in good hands.
Listing Your Rental On Popular Websites
Once your home is prepared and you have your team lined up, it’s time to list your property on websites such as VRBO, HomeAway and AirBnB. Browse through other local listings to see how your competition markets themselves and to get an idea of how much you should be charging on a nightly or weekly basis. Also, remember you’ll need to set up a PayPal account or figure out another way for your clients to pay for their stay.
According to the S&P Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index, Home prices rose by 0.20 percent in August. Three of the 20 cities tracked saw home prices drop, while Detroit, Michigan posted the highest price growth. The seasonally adjusted growth rate for cities tracked declined by 0.10 percent as compared to a decline of 0.10 percent in July.
Detroit led monthly home price growth with a gain of 0.80 percent. Dallas, Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada posted gains of 9.50 percent as compared to July. Cities posting declines in home price growth included San Francisco at -0.40 percent, Charlotte, North Carolina and San Diego, California at -0.10 percent.
Home prices increased by a seasonally-adjusted year-over-year rate of 5.60 percent in August, which was the lowest reading since November 2012. Year-over-year home prices grew by 6.70 percent in July. August home prices were 16 percent lower than their 2006 peak.
The Case-Shiller National Home Price Index posted a year-over-growth rate of 5.10 percent. This index covers all nine U.S. census regions.
Analysts note that slower growth in home prices will likely attract more buyers, but is a sign of overall decline in demand for homes. August home prices were 16 percent lower than their 2006 peak. As the jobs market continues to improve and if mortgage rates remain low, more buyers are expected to enter the housing market.
FOMC Statement: QE Ends, Labor Market Forecast Brighter
In its customary post-meeting statement, The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve announced that it voted to reduce asset purchases under its current quantitative easing (QE) program to zero. The committee’s decision concluded 37 consecutive monthly purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
FOMC cited “substantial improvement” in the outlook for the labor market since the inception of QE purchases, and also noted “sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy” as the basis for the committee’s decision. The demise of QE was no surprise as FOMC has consistently tapered asset purchases each month along with its advisory that it planned to end asset purchases under the current QE program this year.
The FOMC characterized the pace of economic improvement as “moderate,” but also said that “labor market conditions improved somewhat further with solid job gains and a lower unemployment rate.” Along with the stronger outlook for jobs, the Fed noted that “underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing.”
The committee held to its position that it would not increase the target federal funds rate for a “considerable time” after the quantitative easing program ended. Analysts following the Fed estimate that no changes to the federal funds rate will be made until June 2015 or later.
Whether you’ve decided it’s time for an upgrade or you’re moving on to a new city, if you’re selling your home you may be wondering how you can boost its value before listing it up for sale.
In today’s blog post we’ll share four ways that you can spend a bit of time and money upgrading your home before it hits the local real estate market.
Spruce Up Your Landscaping
You’ll want your home to make a great first impression, and as such a great place to start is by sprucing up your lawn, gardens and other landscape features. Your grass should be a healthy green, free of weeds and freshly trimmed.
If you can, look to add seasonal flowers in your front gardens as this can add a bit of color to your home. Keep any shrubs or trees trimmed away from the home so that buyers can get a good look.
Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint
Another excellent way to increase your home’s “curb appeal” is by applying a fresh coat of paint to the house, the trim around the windows and the front door.
Of course, painting a house is a big job so this might be one that is best left to a team of professionals. For added effect, replace the fixtures on the front door and pick up new house numbers.
Upgrade Your Kitchen Appliances
Many buyers will focus intently on your kitchen and the condition of everything from your flooring to your cupboards. If you have an older refrigerator or stove you’ll want to replace those with newer stainless-steel models.
You’ll also want to ensure that you have quality countertops – if you’re replacing them, consider going with granite as it’s popular with younger buyers.
Install A New Set Of Bathroom Fixtures
Finally, if you haven’t renovated your bathroom recently you’ll want to invest in modernizing your faucets, mirrors and other fixtures. The decor of your bathroom should match that in the rest of your home, but also stand out in its own unique way.
If you have an old bathtub with stained porcelain, consider replacing it with a glass-enclosed waterfall shower. Don’t forget about your light fixtures; if you find the bathroom is a bit dark, replace these with something that adds brightness.