Serenity on the Creek.
Credit: Molly Ford

Things To Consider

For many, a second home is a peaceful retreat to escape to on occasion. An oasis of calm. It can also turn into a drain on your finances. With an extra home comes extra bills, extra maintenance costs, etc. Many homeowners consider renting out their second property to help cover some of these costs. It is a tough decision to make and comes with many questions. This article is geared towards those who want to rent their home on the short term market, aka the vacation rental market.  

 Key Points to Consider 

 How often do you plan on using your home for personal use ?

If you plan on spending holidays and weekends at your second property, short term renting may not be a good fit. You need to have good availability in order to attract potential guests. If every weekend is used up, your chances of securing a rental drastically drop. Weekends and holidays are the most convenient times for people to get away, so be sure to consider your usage schedule first.


CalenderCredit: Pixabay

 Is your home located on scenic property or near a tourist destination ?

A very important factor to consider is location. Some of the most beautiful properties can be located miles from town and still be very succesful rentals if they offer something no other property can compete with. Sitting on the banks of a river, or decks that overlook a mountain view, are huge draws. On the other hand, accessibility to downtown areas of a touristy city are just as in demand. If your home offers no location or landscape benefits, it still could be a rental possibility but is will be up against stiff competition.

Oliver Creek in Ellijay, GeorgiaCredit: Molly Ford

 Will you need to hire a property manager?

Dealing with potential guests, answering phone calls, emails, and handling guest satisfaction can be a full time job if your rental is popular. Consider if you have the time to handle all aspects of this process. If not, a property manager will be able to handle these for your. Property managers typically handle all operations of managing your home for  a commission fee. Fees vary by location. Make sure to go with a reliable and recommended person or company. 

Property ManagerCredit: Pixabay

 Will you need to hire housekeeping? 

If you are able to handle the daily operations of managing your home, you still may need to consider a housekeeper. Depending on how close you live to your second home, a reliable house keeper can make maintaining your home a good deal easier. Again, it is vital to your success that you go with a trusted individual or company. Many times all it takes is one bad review or complaint to set your rental property back. 

CleanCredit: Pixabay

 Is your home comfortably furnished with all the standard amenities ?

The succesful rental home needs to be a "home away from home" for guests. Extra towels, sheets, and pillows make for a comfortable stay. A fully stocked cooks kitchen is also a standard for many short term rentals. Having brochures or books about the surrounding area makes day planning easy and enjoyable for your guests. Making guests feel relaxed and at ease is vital to success in this competitive market. Guests that had a truly enjoyable stay will typically write good reviews of your home, thus promoting it even further. 

Cozy and ComfortableCredit: Molly Ford

Renting your home is a major undertaking that can require months of planning and preparation. The steps outlined above are a very general guide to getting started. As with any business endeavour, be patient and do your research.