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We are in the process of building a lakeside home that will be our permenant residence but we plan to rent it out for periods of time throughout the year. We would like to incorporate secured areas throughout the house that would allow us to simply lock up our belongings when we rent the property. Does anyone have suggestions as to where those secured areas would be? I would like to make it as easy as possible to secure things for a long rental weekend or week by being able to quickly lock away everything from food to clothing. I would appreciate any advise or insights.
We use the "coat closet" near the front door in our rental and we have a separate cabinet in the garage for the maid service. Our rental is in Florida and we don't have much use (nor do our guests) for storing actual coats. There's adequate closets in the master and second bedroom for guest storage. Since we only visit a few times a year, this is adequate for us.
We have a locked closet which is in one of the master bedrooms - there is a large closet just for guest use in the room also. The cleaner has access to it and we keep her supplies and extra linens in it on one side as well as our things on the other. You may need/want a couple of closets if you are living there part of the year, which we don't do. Perhaps it would make sense to have one dedicated closet or storage for your cleaner and another larger one on each floor for your personal things in out-of-the-way spots?
Several discussions about this are on this forum and most people agreed that you need a deadbolt lock on the door to which only you (or you and the cleaner) have access.
Building the house, you can suit yourself, which is great!
We have a typical "owner's closet", like stjvilla, in the master bedroom of our vacation rental. There is a second closet for guests. We do not live in our rental part time but do visit often for long weekends and holidays. We only live three hours from our vacation rental and are able to load up the car when we visit - we don't need much on site locked storage space.
I would consider what you want to store and plan your storage needs based on the type, size, and volume of items.
If you plan a full basement, it offers you many options for placing storage bins or cabinets, provided tthe lakeside climate will be conducive to storage. We are an ocean property and have found that some items are ok in the basement and others must be stored above ground.
Thanks for all your great feedback. Since we will be living there full time and only renting it for a few weeks during the summer months I am wondering how you handle food in the kitchen. Obviously we dont want to have to empty the food pantry everytime we leave. We were wondering if we shouldnt build a second food pantry that we can keep locked. Any experience out there with that? We would certainly leave condiments and other neccessities accessable for the renters.
I'm a storage freak. If you're starting from scratch, you have loads of options. Is your property in an area with a lot of other VRs? You need to consider the resale value of the extra storage you'd be building in. If it's mainly a neighborhood with full time residents, you'll want to go minimal on the extra storage, just what you have to have to "move out" for short periods of time. In our area which is over 90% VRs, homes are sold with all the furniture and kitchen equipment in them including china and silverware. If I were building here, I'd add an extra foot to more than one side of the house and rather than plain walls, I'd have shallow cabinets built floor to ceiling on the floor where the kitchen and living area are. I'd have the same type of cabinets, maybe even shallower up the walls of the stair cases. My daddy did this back in the '50s when he built a house in VA Beach. They were only as deep as the wall studs and were perfect for canned goods. You can see what we did in the living room of the cottage we bought in 2007 which was built in 1985 here. I did the same cabinets at each end of our long dining room that holds canned goods, liquor, and other non perishable foods. They're not shown in the upper two pictures, but you can see in the lower pictures where they were built. Because we don't spend more than a week or two there at a time, we're not concerned about storage of clothing, but I've seen somewhere here that somebody has double deep clothes closets divided halfway with a locking door for the back portion. Pretty easy to move clothes from the front closet to the back leaving the front for guest use. The back closet should also have shelves above the clothes pole for storage. If it's just the two of you, you could simply build locking cabinets in your extra bedrooms behind where guests' clothes would hang for extra storage even when you're at home.
You'll want an extra fridge (a used one should do fine) to put in a locked storage area. You can get locks specifically made for them even if you don't have a locked area big enough. That's what we do.
Now if you're in a residential neighborhood, you'll need to decide if the hassle of renting your permanent home out is really worth the extra income and headaches. I personally would never do it. You'll also need to find out if you're even allowed to rent a house short term in that particular neighborhood.
I'd like to know where your property is and what kind of neighborhood it is, also how much time and for what periods you're considering renting it out.
I've yet to have anyone go through my underwear drawer or sock drawer! And in the bathroom, we remove and lock up all our OTC and Rx meds. I have a set way that I arrange my countertop with my hair styling stuff, and for the most part, its not used or even moved! Maybe the women open my makeup drawer, but there is nothing of value in there, as its all used items.
Since this is our personal home, there is now way that I would want to remove all of our "stuff".
There is no way I would leave my cosmetics or hair styling products anywhere that a guest could find them. If I opened a drawer and found this in a property that I was renting my first thought would be "ick" and that the place is not clean. You may not have gotten any feedback about this, but there are sure to be many people that feel the same way.
As I have stated below. I don't agree at all. If you are renting from a property manager, you might expect that there would be nothing stored in the home. However, if you are actually renting from an owner that makes it clear that they do actually use their home I think people are quite understanding. I don't leave make-up, only because I am not there long enough, but I do have aloe vera, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bug spray, bubble bath, etc. If someone wants to use mine instead of their own...I am fine with that. In fact, my website says to use whatever is available as they desire.
When I go to others homes, I don't use their personal items, unless they have specifically stated that it is there for my use.
We have stayed at a VR in Brookings, OR a couple of times now and they have food in the refrigerator and in their cupboards. We never intrude on their things. We purchase our own food and leave whatever they have in the home alone for their use.
I think that if you make it clear that you are sharing your home and there may be items left in the refrigerator and cupboards for your return, you shouldn't have any problems. The home we stayed in didn't even state that the food was "off limits" we just respected their things, which included their food. We did use coffee supplies, as we feel that is kind of customary.
In my VR....we have notes saying "help yourself"....we love sharing with others. AND when we get there we usually find the pay it forward idea! We love it. I showed up last time...there were fresh strawberries and cherries for me...they knew I was coming....oh and some ice cream bars in the freezer! I love when we can all share like that....
Just make it clear as to your expectations and you should be fine.
We rent out our personal full time living home. We move to another home we own about 10 min away. We have installed locks on both bedroom walk in closets, where we put jewelery, my silver, some precious items, and more. However, we do not clean out the pantry or anything else. Here is what I say in my note to renters; we've only had the best of the best, with many people leaving unopened food behind, or a bottle of wine as a thanks, and more....
We work on a system of honor and trust. We live here full time and trust our guests to be considerate of our things. You may love cooking in my kitchen or using the huge bbq outside of the Casita. I have a fully stocked pantry, to which you are welcome. I only ask that if you use something up, that you replace it from the store.
In my opinion it is not a good idea to keep anything of real or personal value in a home that is rented to strangers.
Items of value should probably be taken with you or removed to a secure storage unit when you rent out.
Although we have a small closet with a flimsy lock on it for some clothing and a few personal items, basically we leave everything out for our guests to enjoy, and we encourage them to enjoy what they find. Because our VR is on an island it would be difficult for a guest to remove anything that they would have trouble getting aboard an airplane. We don't have anything of real value in the condo that is not pretty big and/or heavy.
We do ask our guests to try to replinesh any supplies that they exhaust, but often they don't, so we probably spend a grand a year replacing consumables.
We feel that by supplying many, many, inexpensive things, our guests have a far more enjoyable stay because they don't have to spend time "getting things".