There are many factors to consider before you stick a “for rent” sign in your yard. Location and rent-ability are just as important as management and maintenance issues. Is the property better suited for vacation rental or are you looking for a full time tenant? Are you going to market and maintain the property yourself or will you need to hire a professional to help you? Here are a few key issues to think about before you get started.
If your property is near the lake or next to the resorts it will be a better vacation rental property than something located in the east valley. Gilner Point, Eagle Point, Summit Estates, and Moonridge are all popular vacation rental areas. If your property is in Erwin Lake or Big Bear City you may want to advertise for a full time or seasonal tenant. Do your research and find out how well other rental properties are doing in your neighborhood before you make your decision. If your property is located within Big Bear Lake City limits you need to register it and have it inspected before it can be rented on a short-term (less than 30 days) basis.
Furnishings and Amenities
Vacation rentals must be fully furnished and equipped for the tourist trade. That means dishes and silverware, pots and pans, towels and bed linens, and all the comforts of home. If your property is unfurnished, the costs associated with preparing your second home for the vacation rental market may be prohibitive and a permanent tenant is probably a better fit. Many owners have added amenities like Jacuzzi’s and game tables to enhance their rentals but be sure to factor in maintenance and replacement costs before you invest. The cost of monthly spa maintenance can quickly erase any additional income a new hot tub will generate.
Professional vs. Self-Management
One of the biggest factors in renting up here is deciding who will market your vacancies and handle your maintenance. You can list your property on a “by owner” rental website but if you live two hours away and the guests lock themselves out or the heater stops working you better have a back-up plan. There are several good rental agents in Big Bear so do your homework and decide if you want to handle the late night phone calls yourself or if you would rather pay someone else to represent you.
Sometimes the best decision is not to rent at all. It really all depends on your personal situation. There are advantages to renting full-time and benefits to renting short-term. If you need the income to pay the expenses full time may be the way to go. If you want to enjoy your property in the off season or when it’s not rented and the income is secondary the vacation rental market may be best for you.
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