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How to Increase The Value of Your Vacation Property

Planning to rent or looking to sell? These steps will help your vacation property stand out from the crowd .

The vacation property business is booming and competition is getting fierce.People looking to get a little R&R have more choices than ever before so, as an owner, what do you do to make your property stand out and command the highest price? Decently upgraded kitchens and baths are always at the top of the list, but if your property is already in good shape, what else can you do to give it a boost without overspending and compromising ROI? Whether you’re selling a vacation property, or just looking to rent it out, consider these steps to set your property apart from the crowd.

Emphasize outdoor living

Do everything you can to extend your cottage living space to include the outdoors. Investing in a deck or patio and outfitting it with some nice outdoor furniture is well worth the cost. If your property is on the water, look into what it would cost to add a dock. Even if you don’t have a boat, future renters might want to either rent one or bring one of their own. And don’t forget about outdoor lighting. It’s important for safety and security, but it’s also great for creating ambiance. If the space is far away from a power source, solar-powered lanterns can do the trick in a pinch.

Winterize

A property that can make money in multiple seasons is far better than one that is only habitable for one, so if you live in a cold climate, make sure you consider winter as well as summer. Winterizing can be a big deal as you have to think about plumbing, electrical, heating and insulation, but if it’s within your budget, it can really help command more rental income and a higher selling price. If nothing else, consider topping up your insulation (a layer of insulation in exterior walls and two in the ceiling is my preference) and upgrade to quality vinyl windows to keep in as much heat as possible when the mercury drops.

Make smart upgrades

Home automation is becoming increasingly popular and certain “smart” upgrades will go a long way in making your property stand out. Automating the entire property isn’t necessary, but things like automated lighting, remote control window treatments, and even smartphone-controlled appliances will add that little bit of luxury to make people feel like they’re getting something special. And for your own convenience, even cleaning products can be automated. Also consider adding USB ports to your electrical outlets so people can easily charge their phones or tablets. Many of these upgrades are relatively simple and inexpensive to install, while offering an upscale experience for potential renters.

Consider comfort

Vacation properties are all about relaxation, so comfort is key. Don’t fall into the trap of outfitting your space with shabby, second-hand furniture. If you want to make money, you can’t expect people to live in a time warp. The decor and light fixtures should be stylish and up-to-date, everything should be painted in a nice neutral colour, and make sure you’ve got dimmer switches on all the lights in order to create some ambiance. For renters, this stuff really matters, and if you’re selling the property, having professional photos that showcase stylish and comfortable furnishings will go a long way in making your listing stand out. -H