4 Secrets for Turning Your Seattle Property into a Successful Vacation Rental

1) Location, location, location

There is ample reason for the common catchphrase that’s associated with great real estate.  Location not only determines current property values, but it also determines how attractive the property is for selling in the future.  On top of all that, being in a prime spot is key to keeping travelers coming to your rental.  If you’re scouting for an investment property to convert to a rental and need financing, a conventional mortgage could be your best bet as these tend to be cheaper, though an FHA loan could be a better option if this is your first time buying an investment property.  Just be sure to shop around for the best interest rates and terms, starting with your current mortgage company.  And keep in mind that you still have fees and closing costs to consider when weighing your options.

Fortunately, when it comes to a wonderful location, you don’t have much to worry about in Seattle.  As Turnkey notes, this vibrant city has plenty of neighborhoods in proximity to popular Seattle destinations that appeal to tourists and residents alike, from Belltown with Pike Place Market to the Queen Anne neighborhood with its museums and the Space Needle to Shoreline with its opportunities for hiking, lake life or golf. The closer your rental is to any of these or other hot neighborhoods will practically guarantee your property stays booked.


Seattle Home Staging

Downtown condo with views of South Lake Union

2) Creature comforts

Creating a look throughout your vacation rental that makes guests feel welcome will get them through the door, and ensuring it’s clean and well-maintained are the keys to keep them coming back.  You want an atmosphere that is inviting without being cluttered or overly personal.  At the same time, those are some of the same qualities that tempt house hunters to buy, so making the space accommodating now is a step toward future success on all fronts. Think in terms of neutral, comfortable decor, do some decluttering, and remove your personal items.

While you’re at it, give the walls a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color.  Of course, it’s important to have a game plan in place before you begin, as well as all the equipment you’ll need to get the job done right (painter’s tape, rolling brushes, etc.).  Also, before you begin, make any necessary repairs to the walls, as you’ll want to avoid any rough patches or unsightly holes.

mercer island vacation rentalMercer Island waterfront property

3) Out with the old

Bathrooms are amongst the most important rooms in your vacation rental property. If your home has an outdated bathroom, giving it a refresh can mean making it more attractive not only to guests but this can also nicely boost return on investment.  Ensure all your fixtures are in good working order, and if they are ugly, worn, or broken, make some replacements.  Delta points out mixing and matching finishes is in, and you can always go with sleek, classic neutrals, like chrome, stainless steel, or nickel.  Similarly, if your vanity and sink look anything other than new, a refresher is in order.  Overall, think in terms of including a touch of luxury.  Consider installing a whirlpool bath, adding a steam shower, or upgrading from a single to double sink.  Aim for a spa-like feel to attract guests and amp up the appeal to future house hunters.

While you’re taking a look at these elements, also consider updating your home security system if it’s a little out of date.  People who rent your property want to feel secure during their stay, and a system that allows them to use smart doorbells and security cameras will add to their comfort level.  Just remember to factor in the cost of a home security system into your budget; in Seattle, you’ll pay around $681.36 for installation, as well as $20 to $50 a month for the service.

spa like bathroom in vacation rental property


4) See it from the street

How your property looks from the outside can be just as important as the inside.  The curb appeal must tell both renters and buyers the property is carefully tended.  For the sake of property value, NerdWallet suggests your landscaping should be simple but attractive.  Something easy to maintain means less work on your part, and it’s also a perk if you decide to sell later.  Ensure your house numbers are visible so guests don’t have trouble finding the place, and the parking area and walkways should be easy to navigate.  Add some containers of blooming plants for a homey, inviting look, and make sure your welcome mat looks clean and new.

For more tips on how to elevate your curb appeal you can read our articles “Maintaining Your Curb Appeal,” “Lawn Care Tips For Boosting Your Home’s Curb Appeal” and “All Year Around Garden & Curb Appeal.”


Waterfront Home Exterior Lake Washington Bellevue

Now you’re ready to successfully turn your property into a vacation rental

When it comes to converting a home to a vacation rental, there are a few things you should keep in mind.  Location can make or break your overall success, and it’s vital to ensure your guests feel at home.  The changes you make can also lift your property’s value, so make sure your time and energy are well-spent.  Good choices can mean great future ROI and a steady flow of renters.

Mercer Island luxury property

Article written by Paul Denikin of Dadknowsdiy.com

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