If you’re a long-time reader of our adventures in real estate investing, you may remember our Lakeland house, which we used as a vacation rental over the winter year before last, while we waited on a better market for homes in resort areas. The rentals did at least cover our expenses for that time, but it was a bit of a pain for Russell and Carol to go clean it between clients, since it was not close to their homes or work at the time.
Since then, we have been thinking about whether this strategy would work for us again, and since we will soon close on the Gillis house, the idea has come up again more seriously. Using the house as a vacation rental or temporary rental is one of the options we are considering, in addition to using it as a regular rental, which is the current plan.
Since we are in Fredericksburg at a vacation rental, we’ve been examining how the owner of this property is managing it, and we’ve come out with some good ideas we thought we’d share over the next couple of days.
One thing that the owners of this property did right is to build their income property right next to their main house (they actually also have a smaller property as well). They appear to have bought two lots and built this complex on it, which is a common practice in this tourist town. We’ve seen a lot of very large, upscale properties on multiple lots as we drive around, many of which have smaller dwellings on the property with cute signs and such.
Our “house” has three bedrooms, two baths, and a large open living area, all of which fits above a three-car garage (which they don’t seem to be using, but still seems like a good idea). It’s new construction, which means they built it just for renting out. Tomorrow I’ll go into more detail on that.
Because they are next door, Connie was able to drop by and greet us and answer any of our questions. She and her husband are also right there if we need anything, something breaks, or there is another issue (no issues so far). They don’t have to drive an hour to check up on things. Plus, since they live here, they know all the local services to call if the plumbing backs up or something.
We also like the location very much, since it’s at the edge of town and is mostly very quiet (the six or seven barking dogs in the surrounding houses diminish that a bit. Plus, we’re across from a very interesting AM radio station that I hope to write about in my personal blog soon.
What This Means for Us
Seeing how this works is a positive indication that the Gillis house could work as a vacation rental, since our offices are right next door and our homes only twenty minutes away. (I hear you asking, “But, who ever vacations in Cameron?” and the answer is people there for business meetings or to go to all the new places we hope will pop up.)
We also like the Gillis house location, in that it’s not right in downtown, but it’s within walking distance of the local businesses, and will be adjacent to our event venue, which would be mighty convenient for wedding parties, conference hosts, and such. And the location is quiet.
Tune in tomorrow for more vacation rental discoveries.