Manage Your Carolina Second Home and Keep it Rented

 

Manage Your Carolina Second Home North Carolina and South Carolina have always been a very popular second home destination.

Due to the diversity of its geography and the favorable climate in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In fact, a lot of people find their best place to live in the Carolinas and aren’t ready to make the permanent move.

During the housing boom from 2000-2005, the number of Carolina second homes sold, as a percentage of the number of total homes sold, was as high as 17% in some areas.  That’s a pretty high figure.

Families headed to the North Carolina mountains or the South Carolina beaches to escape the summer heat and the crowded, hectic pace of the city.

Today North Carolina and South Carolina are more popular than ever for people interested in purchasing a second home.

Many people are taking advantage of the lower cost of housing today.  Therefore until they decide to move full time to their best place in the Carolinas, they need to rent it to defer some of the expenses.

But you need to know how to  Manage Your Carolina Second Home and keep it rented.  It’s not as easy as putting out a “For Rent” sign while you live hundreds of miles away.

There are certain areas in North Carolina and South Carolina that are great second home areas.  Areas that due to their popularity as tourist destinations and favorable location make it a better investment that other areas.  However, if you’ve found a home in your Carolina Best Place to live you can certainly rent it.

If you’re still looking for your North Carolina or South Carolina Best Place to live here’s some areas you may want to check out.  Areas that rentals are in a higher demand.

North Carolina Mountain Cities and Towns:

Coastal North Carolina Beach Cities and Towns:

South Carolina Best Places For Beach Lovers

South Carolina Upstate Best Places

Owning a Carolina second home serves many purposes.

You can use it for your summer vacation, as an investment, and for retirement.

During the periods you are not using your second home, we’ll show you how to keep it rented and manage it, to get the most from owning it.

The thing I love about real estate as an investment is that, unlike stocks, you can buy a piece of property in an area you love and live in it part of the year.

And you can rent it out the rest of the time if you do it right.  If you learn How To Manage Your Carolina Second Home.

You can watch your appreciation and profits grow, while summer or winter rentals pay off your mortgage.

Try tying a hammock around your bonds or mutual funds!

Learning how to manage your Carolina Second Home and marketing your home correctly is your first priority.

You need to get it out there, because if no one knows about it, no one is going to call.

Use sites like the ones below to list your home for rent…

  • www.vactionrentals.com
  • www.vacationrentaldirect.com
  • www.vacationpropertyowners.com
  • www.weneedavacation.com
  • www.vrbo.com

Some sites offer free trials for listings, and others have lesser fees, so do your homework and find out what site works for you.

Optimizing your online listing is important, and can be done easily.

Make your listing look good.  Add as many pictures as you are allowed, and if possible, pay more to have more. Make sure the rooms are well lit, and look inviting.

Hint: use a low angle and a wide lens to make rooms look bigger.  If you have a pop-up flash on your camera, you can have someone hold a piece of wax paper in front of it when you take the picture, to diffuse the flash and provide more even light.

The website, www.lumiquest.com sells an inexpensive attachment for your camera to achieve this same effect. It makes the room look warm and inviting, instead of harsh and over lit.

Take photos of the lawn and the amenities.  If you have a hot-tub make sure it’s on and bubbling before taking the picture.  A sunset shot never hurts either.  Add a hammock somewhere on the property and get a shot of that, people want to picture themselves with their feet up.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to toss a couple of props into the photos.  A newspaper by the hammock or a frosty drink by the hot tub can do wonders.  You may even want to hire someone to take a couple of professional shots.

Don’t want to go to all this hassle?  Remember….this is your Carolina Best Place to live we’re talking about and this is your investment.

Take a look at the other homes in the area that are for rent. Make sure your home is priced accordingly.  You may want to consider undercutting the competition by $25 or so.  You’ll be surprised what a small decrease can do for a renter’s psychology.

You’ll also want to offer incentives to stay longer.  Give your renters a break for a monthly rate.  Make sure to have reduced off season rates, to keep as many months as possible booked up.

Having a calendar of available dates also helps enormously.

People don’t want to have to trade three or four emails with you to find out if they can come stay when they want to.  By then they’ll have moved on.  If you do get inquiries, respond quickly, lest someone else does.

Do something no on else does.  Like offering a “concierge” service.  Having the refrigerator stocked with all your guests’ favorite foods before they arrive.  It will go a long way to entice renters so all they have to do is start relaxing immediately.  And it will go a long way toward keeping people coming back year after year.

Of course, the cost of the groceries will be added to their bill.


Another area in how to manage your Carolina Second Home is Writing!

Writing a good description is important.

Be creative and descriptive.  The standard 3BR, 2BA, doesn’t do too much to get the blood pumping, so convince your prospective renters why they want to stay with you.

  • Are the beds the most comfortable?
  • Did you just put in new air conditioners? Does the shower have massaging shower heads?
  • Is the hot tub large enough to invite friends?
  • How large is the property?
  • Is the property fenced in?
  • Is the yard perfect for whiffle ball games?
  • Does your grill cook the perfect steak?
  • Do the sounds of waves lapping on the shore lull you to sleep at night?
  • Is it a private, special setting?

Once you get people there you want to make sure they have a great time.

Make sure there are directions near everything, and the items your renters will need are in logical places. Have some nice touches out.  Baskets of goodies in the kitchen, and novelty soaps, toothbrushes, and hair products in the bathroom, go a long way.

If you’re by the beach, have a couple tubes of sunscreen in plain sight, if you’re by the lake, maybe it’s a can of bug spray.  Can you get some coupons from local stores for discounted or “free” items, is there a local paper or tourism guide for the area?

Have a loose-leaf full of menus of local restaurants.  You know your home the best, and you know what’s needed to have a great time there, if its cheap and easy to supply, make sure it’s there.

After your guests have left, continue to make them feel special.  Send them a card and thank them for staying with you.

Ask them if there was anything missing or anything they’d like to see in the future.  Most importantly, ask them for a testimonial you can put in your listing. If you have trouble writing, this is the best way to fill up your description.

If you’re thinking of using a professional management company to take care of your second home make sure to check into them thoroughly. It is best if you know another owner in the area who can recommend someone.

If not, make sure to speak with several companies, asking for references, pricing, and what services are offered. Existing relationships with tradesmen in the area may be useful in finding a reference for a good manager for your property as well.

Hopefully, with these tips to managing and renting your Carolina Second Home will help you make the most of your investment.

No doubt renting your Carolina Second Home can be a challenge.  And I’m sure everything I just said may seem overwhelming to you.

And there may have been a few…Bob are you crazy?

But learning how to manage your Carolina Second Home can be very rewarding when your mortgage is paid for you. AND you get to vacation, and possibly relocate to your best place free and clear.

If I can be of any assistance, please contact me. I would love to be your Expert to guide you through this process.

See You in the Carolinas!

north carolina and South Carolina Best PlacesAbout The Author

Robert Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Robert researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.

Robert Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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