A colleague suggested Christine Hrib Karpinski's excellent How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner. This offered a wealth of practical advice, and I highly recommend it. However, we were still left with a lot of questions related to our specific situation. How would managing a vacation rental by owner affect our own lifestyle? How much time would it really take us? How much of the vacation home running costs could we really cover by renting it? How would we find a cleaner? How likely was it that something would go wrong, and how much would we stand to lose if it did?
We made our first trip to Beech Mountain North Carolina in 2006. We had spent a lot of time in the North Carolina mountains but had never visited Beech Mountain. It was only the beginning of summer, but in Raleigh the temperatures were already hitting the 90s. During our stay on Beech Mountain it barely even hit the 70s. We loved it. We started looking at properties and making spreadsheets. We tried to estimate how often we would rent, and for how much. In the end we took the plunge. In October 2006 we took ownership of Beech Mountain Bliss.
- How much business do we get from each of the ways we advertise?
- How much time does it take to run our vacation properties?
- Was it worth setting up our own websites and our own blogs?
- What we've learnt about donating stays to charity
- How much do we spend and how much do we make from our vacation rentals?
- How important are repeat guests?
In the end these are just the experiences of a couple with a young daughter, renting by owner 2 vacation homes. There are a lot of other people that have been doing this longer, or have more properties. But we've rented Beech Mountain Bliss since 2006, and Sunset Beach Bliss since 2009. And along the way we've made some mistakes and learned plenty of lessons that we intend to share. We hope you will find these valuable. If you're just starting out then maybe the place to begin is where to buy a vacation home if you want to rent by owner?