Preparing Your Home for Vacation Rental Guests

    turning primary homes into vacation rentalsAlthough your primary home is likely already furnished and decorated, you'll have to find a balance between personal convenience and guest comfort if you begin renting it to travelers.

    First, walk through your home and remove any irreplaceable or valuable items. You can create a lockable closet in your home for storing personal items and extra supplies. The rest of your home should be relatively free of personal affects and clutter.

    In addition to removing and locking away personal items, it's also important to add the items that travelers expect to find in a vacation rental home.

    The Kitchen

    When it comes to the kitchen, guests appreciate convenience. Your kitchen should be equipped with enough plates, glasses, and flatware for double the number of people that you sleep.  You'll also need a coffee pot, adequate cooking gear, and a dining room table that will seat the number that you sleep. If you sleep large numbers, have a fold-up table and chairs readily available for the kids.

    The Bedrooms

    All vacation homes should have quality and ample bedding. This means at least two sets of high-quality sheets for each bed, pillows with pillow protectors, extra blankets, and mattress pads. Also consider supplying an alarm clock and reading lamp on a bedside table in each bedroom.

    The Living Area

    Your living area should have comfortable seating for at least the number of people that you sleep.  You should also provide a TV large enough for guests to watch from across the room (27” or larger) with at least basic cable, a DVD player or at the very least a VCR, and a couple decks of cards and a board game or two for rainy days.

    The Bathrooms

    Renters expect the bathrooms to be spotless. They also demand quality towels. Provide at least 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, and 4 washcloths per guest.

    The Extras

    When equipping your primary residence for short-term renters, remember why travelers choose to rent a home instead of booking a hotel. The good news is, since you spend a great deal of time in your own home, you might already have many of the must-have amenities, like a washer and dryer, high-speed Internet, an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer, books, games, videos, and a first aid kit.  You might also consider adding extras particular to your area like a hot tub for colder regions or beach gear for areas near the water.

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