What to Do With Your Vacation Rental Home in the Off Season
If your vacation rental home is in a popular summer spot, it may be pretty quiet there just now. If you’re in a ski resort or other popular winter area, your rental vacation home may be fully booked now, but will be harder to keep busy a couple of months from now. Wherever your vacation home is, it is a year-round investment. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the off-season, whenever that might be:
Prepare for next busy season.
The off-season is perfect for maintenance, cleaning, re-stocking, and improving your rental vacation home. The National Association of Realtors’ Houselogic blog has a step-by-step process laid out for closing up your vacation home if you don’t plan to use it at all for a season. If you live far away from your vacation home, or you simply don’t have the time to do the seasonal closing and re-opening of your home, consider hiring a local property manager. Our previous blog post tells you how to find a reliable and trustworthy manager. This is also a good time to make repairs, and to take on home improvement projects to make your vacation rental home more attractive to next year’s renters. Visit our post on simple DIY home improvements for ideas.
Enjoy it, yourself.
The off-season is a great time to enjoy your vacation home for yourself, or to share it with your family. There are tax implications for making personal use of a home you also use as a rental investment, though. Discuss the possibilities and implications with your tax advisor, and visit our post on personal use of a rental vacation home, to decide whether you’d like to use your vacation home for yourself, and for how long.
Rent it out.
You may be able to get some rental income from your vacation home, even in the off-season. Bankrate.com offers tips on increasing rentals in down times. You may want to rework your advertising and amenities to appeal to a different demographic of travelers. Offering easier deals—lower rates and shorter minimum stays, for example—and perks like package deals with other nearby businesses can attract off-season renters, too.