One of the benefits of working with a multitude of Florida vacation rental investors, both looking to buy and sell a vacation rental home, is that I see first hand both what people are willing to pay more for and what gets a home sold faster. While there is no guarantee that any of the upgrades below will generate you more money for your home when you go to sell it, there is a very high chance that they will help get it sold a lot faster and possibly for more money than your neighbor who doesn’t have any of these. These items will also help increase rental revenue on your property which WILL definitely help net you more money when you go to sell your vacation rental property.
Solar Panels: The value in having solar panels is multi-faceted for a vacation rental. It’s not just the huge money saving factor that makes your home more valuable, although when it comes to a vacation rental having your electricity bills wiped away almost completely is incredibly attractive both when owning it and when you go to sell it but it’s also a competitive edge over many other vacation rentals when you go to rent it. In the event that the power goes out on the whole street, which happens sometimes during storms, your home will still have power. Your guests will not be inconvenienced one bit. You can use this in your marketing to gain bookings over your competitors. This is an item that you can finance if you don’t want to pay for it all up front.
Surveillance Cameras: Definitely not in a creepy way. I’m not talking about putting them inside the home and spying on your guests, but definitely outside of the home. There are many systems that you can have installed and be able to monitor the outside of your home from anywhere you can access wifi. The benefit to having this system installed on your Florida vacation rental is not only for peace of mind for you as the owner, living thousands of miles away but also for the safety of the guests staying there. If a break in were to happen, it would make it a lot easier for the police to do their job if you had video footage. Knowing that a property is fully secured also brings peace of mind to the guests staying there as well.
Wifi Thermostat: This is something that every vacation rental should have. Many owners I have spoken to credit this one item as being the source massive savings on their expenses each year. If guests are able to access the thermostat and adjust the a/c to whatever temperature they want, this can run your electricity bill up like crazy. The wifi thermostat allows the owner to set the thermostat from anywhere and adjust it. So you can make sure it’s never left on when it shouldn’t be and that it’s always set at a specific temperature. This not only cuts down on your energy bill making your home more profitable but it’s also a great feature to have when you’re trying to sell your vacation rental as many prospective buyers find this feature valuable.
Pool spa: If you have a Florida vacation rental home and it’s a detached single family property, you should absolutely have a built in spa with your pool. Most newer homes are built with them because over time builders have gotten smarter and realized this is what guests want. They not only want a pool but they also want the spa so homes with both are in higher demand. It’s quite expensive and time consuming to add one after the pool is already built so most investors looking to buy a vacation rental with give more consideration to the homes that already have one. Not only does this make your property more valuable when you sell it, but your guests are also asking for it. If for some reason your home doesn’t have one, don’t worry, you can always buy an above ground hot tub, they make some really nice ones, but it’s not something that will increase the value of your home. It may increase the value of your bookings though, which will increase the value of your home.
Seamless Rain Gutters: This is by far the most highly overlooked piece of construction that should be added to every Florida home. You not only need gutters on your property to protect your landscaping from rain damage as well as protect your home from water damage but the kind of gutters you have installed matter also. Just any cheap gutters are not the answer. You’ll want to make sure the downspouts that are installed on your home (the piece that carries the water from the top gutter all the way down to the ground and drains it) is completely seamless. If the downspouts have seams, this is an invitation for a mold infestation in your home and it also looks horrible. Make sure that when you are shopping rain gutters you don’t overlook this or pass on this just to save a few bucks. Having well maintained landscaping not only makes your vacation rental home more appealing to guests it also makes it more appealing to investors who you might eventually want to sell to. It also cuts back on long term maintenance expenses of having to constantly re-landscape your property. The less maintenance expenses you have, the more money in your pocket. I highly recommend this company, Crown Rain Gutters, for so many reasons but my top two reasons are because they are the company that Disney uses (and Disney only uses the best) and because they are the only company in Orlando with seamless downspout machines.
Bonus Idea To Reduce Monthly Running Costs:
Consider buying in a community where everything is included in the HOA. Many newer communities will lump in the internet, cable, yard maintenance and pool maintenance into their monthly HOA fee. Because they are able to negotiate on behalf of hundreds of owners they can often get these same services at a lower rate than you would pay by yourself. This is all lumped into the HOA fee that you pay monthly, which can be much lower if you paid that all out of pocket yourself.
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About The Author
Erica Muller is the founder of The Flamingo Group and has been selling vacation rentals in Orlando, Florida for over nine years and has been working with real estate investors for 15 years. She is also personally a real estate investor and marketing strategist for vacation rentals. Erica has worked with hundreds of vacation rental investors from all over the world and has spoken at many vacation rental events internationally.
If you are interested in getting in touch with her directly to discuss your vacation rental investment or sales plans, she can be reached at: Erica@TFGFlorida.com or directly by phone at: +1.866.422.6191