5 Ways to Update your Vacation Rental Property for Rental Season

Spring is almost here and for many of us in Panama City Beach, we’re thinking about how we can best maximize the rental season just ahead of us. At Panama City Beach Luxury Properties, you can be sure we see our fair share of opportunities to update, renovate, suggest and redo to help out properties make the most money they can make.

If you have a rental property, you know how important it is to keep everything updated and in good shape. Letting anything fall too far behind can cost positive reviews or worse, a great rental season.

Here are five easy things you can do to help freshen up your Panama City Beach vacation rental property.

Bedding

One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to give your place a totally new look is to install new bedding in your vacation property. There are a variety of local options, including Target, Marshall’s and local retail stores that sell a great variety of quality, inexpensive bedding options for all sized beds.

When you’re buying new bedding, make sure you pick out styles and colors that are consistent with the theme of the property. And make sure it’s easily washed incase it needs to be laundered during the rental season. If it needs to be dry cleaned, a quick turn around on a turnover day may be impossible.

Also, when you replace bedding, go the extra mile and get some matching throw pillows for each bed to help finish off the look.

New or Additional Art

So often we walk through new condos and they are fitted with the standard setup they came with when they were brand new. There are many advantages to these kits, including having a cohesive look throughout and a design that was likely well thought out.

However, in the interest of saving costs, the property is often left bare with few art hanging on the walls. I’m a fan or organized and purposeful blank spaces, but when the place looks empty, it feels empty.

There are tons of local places that sell great art that is tasteful, beachy (if that’s your thing), and inexpensive. I’ve even picked up some neat stuff from Marshall’s.  There are also a lot of amazing places to shop for art along 30A.

The art you hang should reflect a fun personality, should match the decor of the rental property and should be creatively hung. Take advantage of bare walls to create patterns of pictures and don’t be afraid to hang some family portraits to make it feel personal.

New Furniture

Lets face it, this is probably one of the more expensive things to update in a vacation rental property. Furniture can be costly and very difficult to move in. But, when that old couch can’t be cleaned anymore and the cushions are looking slouchy, it’s time to replace it with something new. The more you try to squeeze that last rental season out of it, the more you’re going to hurt your reviews and repeat visitation.

Sometimes it isn’t all about wear and tear either. Its important to keep your property looking up to date as well. The style and decor of your property should be reviewed about every 5 years or so as styles change. What was considered “in” back in 2008 isn’t necessarily in-style today. You have to realize as new property owners come online and redecorate, eventually you’ll see an industry wide shift in style. And if you miss it, you’ll be left behind.

Decorative Nick-Nacks

One thing I’m asked a lot is, “What about decorative nick-nacks? Should I have them, what if they are lost or broken, and how much is too much?”

These are all great questions. I don’t have some magic formula for how much is a good amount or what to go where, but I reiterate, if it looks empty, it feels empty.

Just like art on the walls, there should be decoration on the shelves, countertops, and nooks and crannies. Now, this is not to say there should be something on ALL countertops and shelves, but there should be some.  The trick is to stay tasteful and consistent with the decor and have a balance of not too much and not too little.

Also, just like art, many neat decorations can be found in the same places you’re looking for art. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Consistent with all rental properties, I would strongly consider the amount of money you put into decorative items knowing they could be broken or lost by guests, or their children. I never recommend keeping things you’d have serious heartburn over if it were harmed.

Flooring

Again, like furniture, this is one of the more expensive things to address in an aging vacation rental property.  But, it is something that needs to be taken care of on a regular basis.

The first thing I recommend on the property with carpet is to have the carpet replaced with a hard-surfaced floor.  Now, I like having a soft surface in the bedroom just as much as the next person, but that is easily accomplished by putting in a nice big rug that is easily replaced when needed.

Many people prefer just to tile the entire place, and while that can be a very tasteful solution, there are many other things that you can do to make your condo stand out from the rest.

One of my personal favorite flooring options is a  manufactured laminate wood floor.  This flooring material is intentionally created to be extremely durable and very good-looking.   Generally speaking, it is manufactured so well, that upon first inspection it is indiscernible to the real thing.  The reason I personally favor the laminate hardwood flooring is because of its durability, low cost, and it’s ease of replacement should it ever need to be replaced.

When I get to do it however I want, my personal preference is to have a hardwood floor surface in the bedrooms with a huge rug under the bed (extending out the sides) and tile throughout the living and all common areas.

Some Examples of Tasteful Decoration

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This is one of our Southern Exposure townhomes.  It’s been a phenomenal rental, partly because it’s a townhome right on the beach; but also because it was very tastefully decorated.  Guests comment regularly that it’s one of the nicest places they’ve stayed in, hands down.

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This condo is one of our Calypso three bedrooms owned by Karen Smith at Beachy Beach (one of the owners of PCBDaily.com).  When she bought it, she went all out, buying local art, some new furniture and decorative items to spruce up the existing furniture.  What she has done with her rental has created a frenzy of activity that will net a tangible revenue one-upmanship over the competition.

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This home is one of our rental properties in Watersound West on 30A.  Our 30A rental company, Swantree 30A manages this one and it’s tasteful decor promised positive reviews and a comfy, beachy style.

 

 

Something Wild about Wild Heron

There’s something wild about
Wild Heron…
three fabulous new offerings in one of the most pristine communities in Panama City Beach.

 

Deal 1 is a  3/3.5 Wild Heron Tennis Villa for only $289,000
PRISTINE and amazing condition…. looks like new in this over 2500 square foot home
Gourmet kitchen, top of the line appliances, wine cooler,  exquisite cabinetry and commercial grade dishwasher
Coastal Craftsman style and finishes with upgraded lighting and white oak wood flooring throughout!!!
Attached garage and amazing community amenities such as pool, walking and fitness trails, gated community with guard and boat house with kayaks and canoes for your use.
Deal #2 is a Bungalow style 3 bedroom home for $339,000
Over 2500 square feet with a double detached garage
Brazillian cherry floors
Gourmet open kitchen and dining and living area all open
Large bedrooms with a master down stairs
adorable front patio for nice afternoons and right down from the community pool
Deal #3 is a 4 bedroom bungalow for $374,000
Over 2600 square feet and double attached garage
Gorgeous granite with Master down and extra large master bath.
Darling front porch with open feel to the living area.
Precious balcony off of one of the bedrooms
HOUSE WAS ONCE OVER 900,000!!!!

 

Holy Sanctuary Secret – The Beach Show’s Amazing Homes This Week

Holy cow, this week on The Beach Show we have some really amazing homes in a super secret and super charming area, Sanctuary Beach.  This area was originally envisioned as a high-end coastal craftsman community and some of the homes that were developed are on the foreclosure block at drop-dead amazing prices.

You have to check out these homes.

Foreclosures & Summertime Dreaming on The Beach Show


1.  Deal #1 is a Wild Heron Foreclosed bungalow for only $279,900
SEVERAL OFFERS ON THE TABLE AT TIME OF FILMING.
2,496 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths
Gated neighborhood of Wild Heron located on Lake Powell with amazing amenities
Fitness center, Kayaks, canoes, fishing, swimming pool, boat house, walking trails and 24 hour security
2. Deal #2 is a beautiful Gulf front community home for only $765,000
Summertime Dreaming is an amazing beach home with a guest house
Pool with beautiful architecture and landscape
Over 2,000 square feet and total of 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths
Several walk overs to the beach with 3 pools and playground, tennis courts and 24 hour guarded gate
3. Deal 3 is move in ready GREAT investment condo for $224,900
EXCELLENT rental potential with a fully furnished Beachy Beach FUN
Beautiful pool with murals and great access to your beach front with excellent views
Near the water park making it a family fun spot

30A Sales Activity

What’s Going On in the 30A Real Estate Market?

Are statistics exciting or what? To some, me included, it is like watching grass grow, unless it happens to be about a subject dear to my heart or perhaps my wallet.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz in the area about how the market is going up and the doom and gloom is over. With that in mind I decided it was time to just take a look at the facts and see where things stand.

The area that I am concentrating on is the roughly 18 miles of the Hwy. 30A corridor. I am comparing the first 2 quarters of 2012 to the same period in 2011 (January 1 to June 30th). These numbers were generated from the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and do not include properties that were handled outside of that format.

These are simply the facts and I will let you draw your own conclusions, but I do have a couple of observations.

It is apparent that sales activity is up as far as single family homes and residential land is concerned. Prices are also up in those 2 categories with 5.6% in price per square foot for homes and 10% for residential land. Time will tell if these increases are sustainable. Condominiums are a different matter, while sales have gone down the prices have gone up 7.3%. It’s possible sales have been affected by the financial market. Condominium mortgages continue to be problematic.

Well, the grass has grown a little since you’ve been contemplating this information. I hope you find it useful and welcome any suggestions you may have for additional research on this topic that affects all of our wallets.

*Statistics were compiled by Hugh Smith using data provided by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors.

Beachy Beach Real Estate  850-233-4351