Owning a vacation property is a great investment, and can also turn into something of a secondary income stream. However, there are vacation homes – and there are fantastic vacation homes. The trick to distinguish your property as the latter is all in the renovation.
In article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about finding and renovating the perfect vacation home. If you want to maximize your rental opportunity and get the most out of your investment, read on.
Importance of Location
First of all, location is everything when it comes to vacation rental properties. You will need to think carefully about the area you choose and look into all the details about local tourist trade and opportunities.
The position of the home is also important. While you might find a beautiful home in a great place, if it’s off the beaten track, you might find other rental properties are more popular. It’s important to think carefully about mainstream wants and desires whenever you invest in a holiday home for the first time.
Is it near the beach? Does it have access to local amenities? Do the views do it justice? Of course, the more options you tick off, the more expensive the property will be when you buy. But, you will make more returns on your investment. Head over to our guide to buying the perfect vacation property for a closer look.
Decide on your Market
You will also need to have an understanding of who you want to target for renting out your vacation home. It’s important to do this at an early stage so that you can start your planning phase in the right way.
Let’s say you are targeting older couples and seniors. You will need to provide comfortable furniture, and maybe specialist equipment for your guests. But, if you think you have the perfect location for younger families, then hard wearing and durable furniture will be a must. Young professionals might have different requirements altogether.
So, for example, installing a hot tub, swimming pool, and sauna can be a big draw for them. So, before you get started with your renovations, have a long, hard think about they type of guests you think will make use of your vacation home.
Once you have bought the home, the quicker you can put it on the rental market, the better. So, your first step is to evaluate what needs doing, and how to turn the home into a luxury product. Start with the key areas, first. Your best bet – especially for rental properties – is to plump for a classic design that will stand the test of time.
Think about the furniture you use, too, and try and go for items that will suit your guests. Again, it’s important to ask yourself – who is the target market? Curb appeal is vital – you want to wow people as soon as they arrive, and also make your marketing photos stand out from the crowd. Think about the facilities you want to provide, too. Wi-fi access is becoming standard these days, and a flatscreen TV is essential. Of course, all these little extras soon stack up – but with sound financial planning, you can include all these costs into your rental price.
Starting the renovating process
It’s a wise idea to include the costs of decoration in your original budget for buying the property. A rental property doesn’t work well as a DIY project, and you should use professionals to come in and do the job as quickly as possible. If there is any significant work to do, get it done first. Most building firms focus on larger jobs more than smaller ones, as they tend to be worth more money to them. Think about what you can bring to the area that isn’t already there. For example, there could be dozens of similar rental homes in your location, but none of them have a swimming pool. Can you fit one in? If so, it will bring a touch of luxury that will set your property apart from the rest.
Regarding the interior of the home, the biggest projects tend to be in the bathroom or kitchen, so sound financial planning is needed. Older kitchens and bathrooms can be a turn-off to prospective guests, so it might be a case of stripping everything out and starting again. Concentrate on the master bedroom, too. It is a showpiece of the property, and you should consider making it as comfortable and luxurious as possible. Think about taking down walls, or opening up windows to maximize the view. Your guests will need a lot of storage, too, so think about walk-in-wardrobes. In fact, anything that can give your guests something they don’t have at home will work in your favor – en suite bathrooms, for example.
Finally, make sure that you make the most of the living space. If you have a lot of bedrooms, then there should be enough room for all your guests to sit comfortably – and invite people around for meals. Again, if it’s a case of expanding out or knocking through walls, do it if it makes financial sense. Check the local planning laws, of course. But, communal space is so important for your guests, so do what you can to provide them as much space as possible.
The Finishing Touches
Once all the major building work is finished, you can move on to the decoration. Again, it’s best to use professionals, as they will do a neater and more professional job than you will. Most importantly, though, they will complete their task in a speedy manner, meaning you will get the property to the market much quicker.
Keep paint colors neutral if possible, unless you are targeting an especially young market. It’s also worth thinking about the time of year when your home will be most popular, and in most cases, it will be busier during the summer and the hot season. So, cooler colors will help your guests feel more comfortable with the temperature.
Choose wallpaper and paint wisely, however. Eggshell and satin paints are much easier to wipe clean, and don’t stain as much as other varieties. You should always keep one eye on the cleaning costs when you decorate. It will add up over the course of a year, especially when you have new guests coming in every week.
Don’t forget about painting the exterior of your property, either. Industry experts Collegiate Painters has more details on some of the benefits of making your home pop from the outside. Never forget that part of the whole experience of being a guest is the excitement of walking up that driveway for the first time. If your home looks dingy and dilapidated, it’s going to give them an instant fear. They will be a lot more critical when they get inside, and won’t start their stay on the best foot. Luxury isn’t just about the fixtures and fittings you provide; it’s about the whole experience.
The Final Steps
This is where you can start to make a difference in your property, and make it stand out from the competition. However, it isn’t easy: the combination of luxury and durability are is a tricky balance to pull off.
While you want to give your guests something they don’t usually experience at home, you also need to think about the costs of maintenance. We would recommend that you invest in high-quality ovens and white goods, to start with. The better they are made, the less you spend on keeping them in good condition.
We would also say it’s a good idea to leave instructions. AGA ovens, for example, can be tricky for those that have never had one before. Of course, because you are marketing to a luxury audience, there is a good chance that good behavior and common sense will accompany them. But, you can never be too sure – so make it easy for your guests to operate anything that they will use.
Think about making your property as homely as possible, too. The idea of luxury for most people is a home from home. Little touches like artwork and photography on the walls can make an enormous difference. Ensure that you have plenty of things for them to do, too. Books, magazines, tour guides and a games room can all add that little extra to their experience
Finally, if you want to give your guests the ultimate luxury, concentrate on your bedding. The more comfortable they are, the more your guests will be able to relax. Invest in high-quality mattresses, pillows, and cotton sheets. It’s the little things in life that make the difference – and luxury, almost by definition, means comfort above all else.