Your Vacation Property: What You Might Need to Replace Every Year
Your vacation home is your pride and joy. You love sharing it with renters and hope they enjoy it as much as you do. You’ve marketed your property, and it’s booked for the season! To help renters enjoy it, and keep them coming back so you can enjoy the income, you may need to replace things more often than you would at home. That tattered rug in your kitchen that you don’t even really notice? A renter, stepping into your beach house for the first time after a long car trip, might see it differently. When you’re deciding what to replace every year, try to see your place through a renter’s eyes.
Make sure you consider:
Rugs, pillows, bedding, and upholstery
You certainly won’t have to replace these big-ticket items every year, but take a look and make sure they’re clean and free of worn spots and tears. When choosing textiles for your vacation place, look for things that will withstand a lot of wear and tear.
The drawers in the fridge, the lazy susan in the microwave, and the toaster oven tray
And all those other things like that. I went to a vacation home once and the door shelf in the fridge was cracked. The previous tenant had attempted a duct tape repair, but that was not enough to save our orange juice. These kinds of things, because of the extra wear and tear on a rental home, may be more likely to break. And little things like that can add up to a lot of irritation for your tenants.
Anything damaged by weather
If your vacation home is near the ocean, salt water can get into everything. Check the porch and boardwalk every year, and make sure to replace the boards that need it and hammer in nails that have popped up. Replace screens or repair them if they've been damaged in a storm. Own a condo in a ski resort? Look for wear and tear in your mudroom and make sure the windows and doors will keep out the cold.
Blinds and window treatments
Venetian blinds are an inexpensive option for a rental house, but they can break easily. make sure all your window treatments are still hanging at the end of the season.
Dishes and flatware
Though you won’t have to buy a whole set every year, make sure you have some semblance of a matching set, enough to feed as many people as can stay in your place and a few of their dinner guests. Pro tip: If you find a deal on boxed sets, buy as many as you can store and replace as needed.
In addition to making sure they’re all in working order -- don’t forget to check any outside lighting, too -- make sure you leave a few extra bulbs where renters can find them.
Brooms and other cleaning tools
At home, you may be more careful with your broom, using the outside broom only on the walkway and reserving a separate one for inside tasks. And you probably empty the bag on your vacuum cleaner pretty regularly. The scrubber by your sink gets run through the dishwasher a few times a week. But on vacation, not everyone thinks of things like that. Help your renters keep your place in good shape by making sure they have the tools. While you're at it, replace the basic cleaning products, too.
Though you may not provide bed sheets and towels, you probably do have a few dish towels and bathroom rugs around the house. Unlike sheets and towels, those things can’t usually be rented for the week. Make sure they’re replaced as soon as they start to show wear.
Puzzles and games
No one wants it to rain on vacation, but it happens. This one isn’t required, but it sure is nice. Try to have several decks of cards, to increase the chances of their being at least one full deck. Every time you visit the house, check the Monopoly pieces, count the Scrabble letters, and make sure that huge thing of poker chips found at every single vacation home is still there. (Maybe you can skip that last one. What do people even do with those chips?)
The most important thing is that your home feels warm and inviting to guests, so they’ll want to return, year after year. And recommend it to their friends. Every year before the season, check your place and make sure it’s perfect!