Owning a vacation home is a win-win for any family. On the one hand, you have a place to spend vacations any time you like, and on the other, your property will increase in value over time, so when you do eventually decide to sell up, you can enjoy a nice little profit. However, for many owners, the question of how to manage their property when it is not in use looms large. After all, it isn’t sensible to leave a property empty for months at a time, especially over winter. You could end up dealing with all manner of nasty surprises, and your insurance may not cover the damage.
Letting Friends and Family Use the Property
Since you won’t be staying in your vacation property every weekend (or at least it is unlikely), one way to ensure maximum occupancy is to allow friends and family to use the place when you are not in town. If you have a large family and a wide circle of friends, this ensures the property is in use for a large proportion of the year.
It is sensible to ask for some compensation towards the bills, but whether you charge a fee for using the property is up to you. Arguably, you shouldn’t charge a fee if you are allowing friends and family to stay there, but if the property needs to earn its keep, you may take a different view.
Hire a Local Manager
Since we have already established that it wouldn’t be sensible to allow the property to remain empty for long periods, one way around the problem is to hire a local manager. They can keep a close eye on the property when you are not in residence, maintaining the garden and performing any routine maintenance tasks as and when required. This will give you peace of mind that everything is as it should be when you are not around.
Any local manager you hire needs to be 100% trustworthy so ask for recommendations or employ a close friend or neighbor who lives locally. For a nominal fee, they should be more than happy to help you out by taking care of things.
Many owners opt to earn a regular income from their vacation properties. Since they may only have time to visit once or twice a year, it makes sense to earn money by letting the property out to visitors. Since managing a property is time-consuming, it is sensible to list your property with a local agent and let them take care of the day-to-day management.
Investment Vacation Properties
If you have bought a vacation property for investment purposes rather than personal use, it is a good idea to hire a professional property management firm to take care of it on your behalf. Companies such as ResortPropertyManagement.com provide professional property management services for vacation property owners. The service is a good solution if you live many hundreds of miles from your property and you would prefer not to be a hands-on owner.
To maximize your income and capital gains, buy a property in a popular tourist area, preferably one you and your family will enjoy visiting.