I don’t have a second house for the same reason I don’t have a second husband. I can’t have one. But I have many friends who are more knowledgeable than me, including my friend Avril Wood, whose (only) husband, Bill Wood, has a second home on the waterfront, which they rent 120 days a year. .
Avril Wood emailed me after reading my piece on changing my flatware. After nearly thirty years of frequent use, the forks were worn out.
“The pitchforks are the first to go into rental properties,” he said in his email. “I have to change mine once a year.”
“People are stealing your forks?” I asked.
“Oh, that’s not all!” he said.
Intrigued, I called him to find out more about what people who rent out their vacation homes – and this is a first world problem – have to deal with.
“I loved decorating our retreat for me and my family,” she said of the 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, luxury home in Big Bear Lake, California, that she and her husband share. for about 25 years. But Bill taught me a long time ago not to do that. As soon as I separated my thoughts, I was fine.”
The Woods are no real estate experts. They have many rental properties in several states, houses that some live in and rent out. But this is very different from renting a vacation home that you built yourself and live in occasionally. This has hit close to home.
“How can you not be happy with your house?” I asked.
“I don’t put my heart and soul into it anymore,” he said. That way, when something goes missing, I’m not disappointed.
The aim is to decorate the holiday home in the right way to attract the right tenants, and to enjoy it at times, as well as to decorate and renovate it.
“I don’t spend money on a place like I used to. Because resale is part of the process, I’ve learned some cheap shortcuts.” Here are some of these courses:
CREATE RECOMMENDATIONS: Blankets, TV screens, pots and pans – they go, he said. His budget. “Every time I go to the booth, I see what’s missing from the plates and wine glasses, and then I go to the Dollar Store,” she said. “I used to be nice and stock the kitchen with bags and aluminum foil, but no one changed it.” They currently store kitchen and other items in rubber bins in a locked room.
COMPARE THE MOST DEPOSIT: For him, it’s the sheets on the bed. “It’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “The renters take them, or the cleaners take them to wash them but don’t return them. I will never know.” She stopped buying fancy down-filled duvets, and now buys bedding online at Eddie Bauer at a discount.
USE A MANAGEMENT COMPANY: Because the Woods live two hours away, they have a property manager who oversees the rental process. The management company manages the rental agreement, keys, cleaning staff, and minor repairs. In this case, they get 35% of the loan amount. The Woods get some. The company also offers security. Recently, when a tenant brought in a new vacuum cleaner, the property management company tracked down the culprit and fixed the problem.
HOLY HEAD AND TAXES: While Avril Wood used to buy decorative area rugs to put over her wood floors in her entryway and living area, she now uses large black rubber mats. “We have a lot of snowshoes, mudslides that come through here in the winter, and in the summer, the kids live in the lake. The carpets are just damaged,” he said. Although they are not attractive, rubber mats are durable, protect the wood, and are safe because they cannot be moved. In addition, he has chosen well-made furniture with strong fabrics.
BUILD A BED IN A BOX: Beds add up to properties with three or more bedrooms, he said. A good mattress can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 and will carry a lot of weight. His answer: “I go to Costco and buy a box bed for $500 to $700. compression mattresses make delivery easier.” They put new mattresses on existing boxes.
BRACE REPAIR DETAILS: He said: “I will never understand why the owners of the house think they can come into my house and redecorate it.” They don’t think that the dishes and plates in the other part of the kitchen move the furniture.
Another group moved their kitchen table, which seats eight, out of the kitchen and into the living room to be near the window. Someone carried two heavy loads of clothes from the upper room to the lower room, which would have required two strong men. Both teams left seats as they were transferred.
In perhaps the most surprising change, one tenant took small serving plates from a cupboard and hung them on the wall. People have nerves.
Marni Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books. He can be reached at www.marnijameson.com.