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Old 10-25-2016, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX / Pahoa, HI
97 posts, read 90,903 times
Reputation: 183

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I don't ever stay in a hotel if I can help it anymore preferring VRBO/Air B&B. I know what characteristics I prefer in a home when renting:

Single family home
Clean and well-maintained
Responsive owner/property mgr
Fully stocked kitchen
Comfy bed and furniture
Local decor
Washer/dryer onsite
Gear for local activities (snorkel equipment, bikes, beach towels, etc.)
TV, cable, internet for down time
Nice view/privacy
Information about nearby restaurants and activities

My husband and I are thinking about buying a vacation house that we would rent out when we aren't using it so I am wondering what other people prefer when renting a home for vacation (with kids or without). Have you ever experienced anything you did NOT like? Any feedback would be appreciated!

T
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,235 posts, read 5,963,606 times
Reputation: 13649
House not furnished with owners cast off old furniture, beds, appliances,TVs etc.!
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Gallatin, TN
3,753 posts, read 7,076,275 times
Reputation: 2918
Definitely no castoff furniture/appliances as mentioned. That's a huge turnoff.

I think you hit all the main ones I look for in a vacation rental.

I like to see nice beds/bedding, recently updated decor, somewhat new/new appliances, fully furnished kitchen, washer/dryer, free wifi, tv (also relatively new), nice view or outside area if possible/good location. Those are the first things I look at when searching vrbo/airbnb.
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Old 10-27-2016, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Austin
29,600 posts, read 16,605,823 times
Reputation: 8112
One of the things that I will deduct stars for is poor internet service. For me, high speed internet is more important than the number of TV channels. Another is a poorly equipped kitchen since one of the reasons we rent homes is to cook. Another is the BBQ grill. It must be gas and should have a set of grilling tools.

Here is my checklist;

1. High speed internet
2. Nice kitchen with gas range
3. Gas grill and a deck
4. King size beds
5. New (less than 3 years old) televisions (they are dirt cheap).
6. Washer & dryer
7. Air conditioning (for most locations)
8. A bathroom with every bedroom
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:42 PM
 
2,685 posts, read 1,580,302 times
Reputation: 3231
Depends on the location of the home but...

1) Single Family if the area warrants it. Nice flat/apartment if in a bigger city.
2) Kitchen that's fully stocked. When the owner leaves a couple of local drinks/snacks that's a really nice perk and something I always mention in the reviews
3) Reliable internet. This is a must!!!
4) King size bed. We won't rent a place without one.
5) Washer & Dryer
6) Bathroom (preferably with a tub for bathing children)
7) Pet friendly if it's driving distance (we like to bring our dog)
8) Near all of the action
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:32 PM
 
14,325 posts, read 24,129,985 times
Reputation: 20222
Quote:
Originally Posted by tweez View Post
I don't ever stay in a hotel if I can help it anymore preferring VRBO/Air B&B. I know what characteristics I prefer in a home when renting:

Single family home

Fully stocked kitchen
TV, cable, internet for down time
Information about nearby restaurants and activities

My husband and I are thinking about buying a vacation house that we would rent out when we aren't using it so I am wondering what other people prefer when renting a home for vacation (with kids or without). Have you ever experienced anything you did NOT like? Any feedback would be appreciated!

T


By fully stocked kitchen, I want to see:

Good assortment of pans (not straight from the thrift store)
Some small appliances - toaster, blender, coffee maker
Decent knives - not looking for Henckels but they should be able to cut well)
A cutting board
A garbage disposal.
Enough glassware. dishes for eight as often we invite friends for dinner


TV-Internet - decent selection of cable channels. No need for HBO and the like. Also, DIRECTIONS on how to use the TV/VCR/Cable and other electronics.

Info about local restaurants TO INCLUDE phone numbers and addresses. ALSO, please go the full gamut from the local fast food joints to the local white cloth restaurants.

Directions to the local supermarkets.

A cheap map of the area.

===========================

One more thing.

I live in a 55+ community with a lot of seasonal rentals. The management company REQUIRES that the owners replace linens, towels, and certain kitchen items annually. Now that can be taken to reductio ad absurdum (the house we bought was furnished with FIVE toasters), however, you need to plan to replace that stuff on a fairly frequent basis.

As a former hotel manager and a 200+ night per year business traveler, you need to spend a night in your rental every 6-12 months to ensure that the quality of accommodations meet your standards. By spending a night, you will notice wear and other problems before your guests do.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX / Pahoa, HI
97 posts, read 90,903 times
Reputation: 183
Thanks everyone - this is great feedback! I love the addition of stocking local drinks/snacks - the area we are looking in has great local treats that would be a fun addition to a welcome basket.

We will make sure phone numbers and addresses for local restaurants are included - which reminds me of another thing that I would personally like. Some of the smaller local joints don't have websites so it is hard to get their business hours. Adding that in (including days closed) with an "as of" date would have come in very handy for me a couple times in the past!
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:02 AM
 
14,325 posts, read 24,129,985 times
Reputation: 20222
Quote:
Originally Posted by tweez View Post
We will make sure phone numbers and addresses for local restaurants are included - which reminds me of another thing that I would personally like. Some of the smaller local joints don't have websites so it is hard to get their business hours. Adding that in (including days closed) with an "as of" date would have come in very handy for me a couple times in the past!

As for the restaurants, if you are not very familiar with the area, make sure that you get all of the local favorites. It also helps to mention any specials. For example, many restaurants in Wisconsin on Friday. People like to get the "early bird" and "happy hour" specials.

Also, if you are in a resort area and places close for the season on a date, make note of that if you can.

One more thing. Since you did not mention the location of the rental, it is important that you consider seasonality in pricing your rental. i generally travel the "off-season". When I go to Traverse City, MI, I stay in condos. I expect a substantial discount in October to what I would pay in July or August.

One more thing. If you are renting out the place in the winter months, you need to have adequate heating available. My father rented a place in Eastern Ontario that was "winterized." The best we could get the cabin heated to was 50F. Needless to say, we were NOT happy about it.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
1,620 posts, read 1,633,150 times
Reputation: 3009
Quote:
Originally Posted by tweez View Post
I don't ever stay in a hotel if I can help it anymore preferring VRBO/Air B&B. I know what characteristics I prefer in a home when renting:

Single family home
Clean and well-maintained
Responsive owner/property mgr
Fully stocked kitchen
Comfy bed and furniture
Local decor
Washer/dryer onsite
Gear for local activities (snorkel equipment, bikes, beach towels, etc.)
TV, cable, internet for down time
Nice view/privacy
Information about nearby restaurants and activities

My husband and I are thinking about buying a vacation house that we would rent out when we aren't using it so I am wondering what other people prefer when renting a home for vacation (with kids or without). Have you ever experienced anything you did NOT like? Any feedback would be appreciated!

T


Please please have internet! It's so upsetting when I see a nice vacation rental, yet it doesn't have internet. It makes me think, what's wrong with this owner? Don't they know how convenient it is to have internet when you're in an unfamiliar area? I can get by on a vacation rental without internet, but it's always a letdown and I'll always be looking for something better that does have it. And I'm not hooked to the internet at all (just go on when I'm eating mainly as well as balance my accounts on it; most of the time I find it mildly entertaining), yet it really helps with directions/travel-related things to be able to have the internet available.

Personally I love the rustic cabin look in a rental.

Full kitchen

Wood-burning fireplace (I don't count electric fireplace as a real fireplace. Gas is eh. Better than nothing, but wood-burning fireplaces always get plus points. Having a stock of firewood is also really awesome!).

Porches. Love them. Covered is definitely a plus.

It's really cool to not have any neighbors around, but that can be difficult to find. Yet seclusion is a plus for sure.

Having windows that open and have screens is also a must. I know a lot of hotels don't have this which is actually one of reasons I've switched to vacation rentals, but usually homes do. Still, there's always the chance of getting the odd house where the windows don't open for whatever reason, or there's no screens in them; that just kills my time there and I'd most likely never go back.

Last edited by Basiliximab; 10-28-2016 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:14 PM
 
6,404 posts, read 3,642,403 times
Reputation: 22419
Safe location, close to beach, internet, swimming pool and no dogs on property.
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