Vacation rentals are a big trend right now with companies like AirBNB, HomeAway, and many others offering services for homeowners to list their properties as up for grabs for people who want to get away for a few days. For those who own homes here in Central Florida, this is an especially lucrative business as it is summer year around. And thanks to our close proximity to some of the best beaches in the country, large-scale attractions like Disney World, and the plentiful sunshine our northern neighbors are looking for at this time of year. For liability purposes though, and for safety, many homeowners who regularly list their home, especially those who rent it out for long periods, want to make sure their insurance coverage is adequate for this venture, and that could require an up-to-date inspection before they can get the protection they need. When it comes to insurance inspections, Residential Inspection Consultants is the top choice for residents in and around the Lakeland area. We’d love to help you achieve your goal of making profit from your home. In addition to the need for adequate coverage (and the inspection required to get it), consider these tips before listing your house as a rental…
Focus on your bathroom space. Few things will make a space feel luxurious like a renovated bathroom. By re-doing a bathroom to accommodate renters and/or vacationers, you can up the value of your rental space by a significant amount. Aim for plenty of natural light and clean, crisp colors to make the space feel contemporary and fresh. If you are going to need significant upgrades to make this happen, be sure to hire a quality contractor with proper licensing and insurance. It will make a huge difference in your own inspection and coverage process, and you’ll be less likely to get flagged for shortcuts often made by unqualified contractors.
Keep guests in mind when designing the bedroom(s). Have plenty of storage for them, and again use clean colors that will open up the space and make things feel bright. Use natural light when you can, but have plenty of additional light sources like overhead lights (and fans) and attractive lamps placed strategically. If possible have both a sleeping and sitting area in the bedroom, especially if you are only renting out that single, small zone. This will let your guest have some privacy for using their computer, reading, talking on the phone, etc. without sitting in bed the entire time.
Vacation Goes Beyond the Bedroom. If you are renovating a large area (like an over-garage apartment for example) to rent out for vacationers, you will also need to keep them in mind for kitchen and dining areas, and even for outdoor patios and porches. If you are on vacation, you want everything to feel like a luxury, not a chore, so kitchens should have as many convenience options as you can afford. At the very least, opt for good-quality appliances (including a dishwasher) and try to stock your cabinets with the basics in cooking equipment (like a good set of pots and pans, several place settings for dining, etc.). This will go a long way in getting good reviews from renters and will help you make more money! For your outdoor areas, think about the overall experience of being in and around your home. If you have a good view, maximize it with a sitting area and perhaps a fire pit. Have a pool? Add some tropical plants in corners or around the perimeter to offer some shade/privacy, have plenty of outdoor seating nearby, and have pool towels ready to go in an attractive storage solution. These touches are a huge hit with guests!
The best news is that once you feel your home is ready, our inspections cover everything from the plumbing to the pool, so you can be confident that your insurance company will be able to cover you and help make your dream of property management and profit from your home come true. Planning to purchase a new piece of rental property? We handle that too! We offer pre-purchase inspection as well as inspection for those preparing to sell a home, and our easy-to-read, detailed reports (with pictures included!) make it a smoother process for everyone involved. Give us a call and see what we can do for you!