Considering a second home or condo at Sunday River? Here are some sure fire improvements to GET YOUR HOUSE RENTED more frequently and for top dollar:
We have comprised a list of the top features that renters are seeking in their vacation home. Keep these features in mind as you begin your investment property search or as you improve your existing home to be rented
1. Sleeping Capacity: Even if your vacation house has 6 bedrooms and a bonus room above the garage, sleeping arrangements should be closely evaluated. Investing in inflatable mattresses like these which look great, feel great and can be easily moved into the preferred room, eliminate awkward decisions between cousins or siblings. Bunk Beds and pull out futons give friends and family lots of options for who sleeps where. If there is a king sized bed in each room, some arrangements may only work for one person’s use. Consider mixing it up with bunk beds, futons and EZ Beds.
2. Basement Configuration: I sell properties with unfinished basements frequently. At the time we go under contract, I gather estimates for the buyers from area contractors and show them what it would cost to add an entertainment center or additional bedrooms below grade. It’s surprising to hear how many renters want to be sure they can unwind separately at the end of the day. A finished basement is great way to increase your usable space by one third. Be sure to check with the Newry Code Enforcement Officer before adding more bedrooms!
3. WiFi / Satellite / Dish: As you budget to use your house as a rental, be sure to include the monthly expense of these amenities. We disclose to renters that not all properties offer WiFi or Satellite TV and those that do, are rented more frequently and more quickly. At upwards of $900 / night in peak rental weeks, it is understandable that renters would expect this level of service in their rental home.
4. Add a Hot Tub: Really want your property to stand out against the competition? Outdoor Hot Tubs are a no-brainer. True, they are expensive and require regular maintenance and cleaning. We work closely with owners and we train our cleaning staff to maintain the tub to recommended manufacturer standards in order to ensure longevity of the tub’s use and the safety of use for each renter. In addition to standing out in the rental pool, you will likely come to love having a hot tub for your personal use. Talk to your accountant too and determine if this can count as a write off!
5. Lock- Out Room: No need to frame and sheet-rock for personal storage, but if you don’t have a space reserved for your personal items, now is the time to secure something. Most often, rental owners prefer to keep their skies, gear, clothes, ect at the property so that they aren’t stuck carting if back and forth. There are a number of ways to convert space in the house into a lockout room. Renters travel with a couple of bags, they certainly don’t need to make use of your master-suite’s walk in closet, your hallway linen closet or your utility room. I would leave the mudroom coat closet accessible to them, as well as the laundry room and garage. By adding a dresser to the master-bedroom, you provide space for the renters to keep their belongings. The closet can now be made secure by choosing a solid door and a key safe, or keypad, lock system.
6. Choose Dates Carefully and In Advance: School holidays determine “Peak Weeks”, the height of our rental season. If you aren’t tied to the freedom of school breaks, consider visiting Sunday River on weeks in between the madness. You will likely enjoy shorter lift lines, available tables at restaurants and will be able to offer your home for rent during these high demand times. Schedule your owner-occupied dates as far in advance as possible- this will allow rental agents maximum time and exposure to fill your home with renters.
7. Consider Pets-:Lots of guests ask about Fido and we understand why. They finally have a week off from work or school and can’t stand the thought of boarding their pup while they are at Sunday River. At Peak Properties, we work with owners and renters to offer a solution that works for everyone. Few rental owners currently allow dogs but this is slowly changing. By charging a non-refundable pet fee, (in addition to the cleaning fee and damage protection program), owners are able to make a few hundred dollars more per rental and renters are happy to pay it. In some cases, owners have designated “dog areas” so that the pups aren’t free to roam the whole house while owners are skiing. Some of our rental properties even offer a fenced yard and doggie door.
8. Improve Parking / Driveway Access: Being that we live and do business on a mountainside, primarily in winter, we have seen some close calls involving poor driving conditions and nervous drivers. As an owner, one of the first things your rental agent will ask is “who is your snow removal provider”. We like to have their name and number on file so that our renters can get out during the blizzard (this is why they are here after-all). If your property has a garage, be sure to offer use to renters. This is such a desirable feature and often times, properties with a garage will rent before those without one. Invite a few friends over and try turning around at the top of your driveway with multiple cars parked there. Is there enough room? If not, consider extending gravel or pavement to offer additional parking and space. Keep sand, salt and a shovel in the house. We’ll monitor the amount on hand and be sure that every renter has a good supply, but this can make all the difference for someone who needs to leave while we are experiencing a “wintery mix”.
9. Incentives: If your ski house is in a distant location, or is small in size, including an incentive may help appeal to more renters. Some that we have seen prove to be worth their investment are VIP Parking Passes and Health Club Memberships.
10. Put Yourself In Their Shoes: Would you enjoy being in your own house for a week or more without all of the gadgets that you have at the home? Consider leaving some DVDs, board games, and extra cutlery. Have you been thinking about buying a pool table or air hockey table? This could be a great excuse! Don’t worry, you’ve hired Peak Properties of Maine to keep an eye on inventory and the condition of your home.
Obviously, your rental property should be safe, habitable, vacant of people, wildlife, feral cats, and insulated for year round use. These are some tips for ensuring renters will have a great experience and return year after year. If you are ready to rent your property, or would like to find a ski house that could make a great rental (and cover your mortgage) for residential sales please call or text Cassie: 207-418-1560. For rental estimates and to get your house marketed for rent, you can reach Mark at 207-418-2273.