• Jenny Hilton, Broker

Renting your vacation cabin

Many vacation cabin owners have misconceptions about the ins and outs of renting their vacation homes. After all, spend just a few seconds thinking about it and you can come up with any number of disasters that could befall your beloved retreat when you rent it out to strangers.

The reality, though, is that once you get the hang of it, the pros of renting out your place can far outweigh the cons.

On the pro side of the ledger: The financial benefits of renting to vacationers can be a strong incentive. The revenue you collect can pay your annual mortgage costs plus all other associated rental bills and you might just find yourself turning a tidy profit.

On the con side: Most of the worries prospective renters fret over will never come to pass – they’re largely myths based on fear and the occasional bad experience blown far out of proportion. Some of the myths are listed below, along with information that debunks them.

Your home will be grossly damaged by your renters.

False. This is the number one fear of many vacation homeowners, but in reality it’s rare. If you take the time to properly screen your guests, extensive damage shouldn’t be a problem.

You have to live nearby to look after your cabin.

False. Thousands of cabin rental owners rent their homes from a distance. The key is finding a reliable property manager, housekeeper or caretaker in the local area.

You’ll have to go door-to-door to find renters.

False. The Internet has made finding renters easier than ever. An experienced and progressive property manager has invested in the tools necessary to advertise your rental on multiple on-line travel websites simultaneously for maximum exposure, pay local and state taxes for you, coordinate cleaners, etc.

You shouldn’t tell your insurance company that you will be renting out your vacation home.

False. You should absolutely inform your insurance company that you will be renting out your property. Find out from your insurance company what additional coverage, if any, you will need. That way if you do run into a problem down the road you will know you are properly covered. Having the right insurance for your vacation rental can save you a lot of money if problems arise.

You won’t be able to use the property yourself.

You’ve caught on to the trend: False again. As a vacation rental owner, you have the option to rent your property only when you want to. So are you ready to put out the welcome mat for vacationers to rent your place? Once you start renting your cabin, you might wonder why you waited so long to take the plunge. The extra income will, of course, be an added bonus!

(excerpts from an article by Christine Karpinski -

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