Are you dreaming of becoming a vacation rental homeowner? Investing in a vacation rental can be a good way to supplement your income, plus you can have a place to stay when you are in need of a vacation. So how do you get started with finding, buying, and prepping a vacation rental property? These essential steps will help guide you through this complex process.

Decide on Your Dream Vacation Spot

If you don’t already have a specific location in mind for your vacation rental, then you need to start researching potential spots. West Palm Beach could be the perfect location for your new rental, but other Florida cities could be profitable as well. Panama City, Palm Coast, and Jacksonville all at the top of the list when it comes to the best Florida cities for vacation home ownership. If you are not interested in owning a vacation rental in the state of Florida, other popular spots may work well for your new vacation property, including Myrtle Beach and Big Sky, Montana.

Figure Out Your Favorite Neighborhood

Once you have your choices narrowed down to a city, you can start looking at specific neighborhoods. If you plan on renting out your vacation home for a profit, you will want to look for areas popular with tourists. Check out this list of top West Palm Beach neighborhoods if you plan on buying a vacation home here, or work with an experienced local realtor to determine which area will be best for attracting potential vacation home renters.

Find Your Dream Vacation Property

With a few potential neighborhoods picked out, you can start your search for your vacation rental property. You can begin by looking online, but once you are ready to make an offer, you should consider working with a real estate professional who can make the process of bidding on your new home easier. Also keep in mind that if you find a home in the perfect location, but it needs a few updates, you can always DIY the work or hire a handyman for the job. In West Palm Beach, the average cost for handyman services is $160 – $586, depending on the size of the project.

Choose Your Furniture and Decor Wisely

Once you have made any necessary major updates or repairs to your new vacation rental, you will want to add a few final decorating touches that will help it really stand out to potential renters. Keep in mind that less is really more when it comes to designing and decorating a vacation rental, so focus on features that add appeal and value to your rental. Those features include outdoor lighting and relaxing paint colors (painting the interior of a home typically costs between $1,715 and $3,676).

Upgrade Your Vacation Rental Amenities

When it comes to vacation rentals, most folks look for certain features in homes. Some of the most sought-after features in vacation rental properties include access to outdoor spaces to relax in, well-equipped kitchens to prepare meals in, and of course, access to reliable Wi-Fi and entertainment. Keeping updated travel brochures and travel toiletries in your vacation rental home can also help your property stand out, so be sure to add some thoughtful touches.

List and Manage Your New Vacation Rental Home

Now that you have your vacation home set up and stocked with essential amenities, you are ready to start renting it to guests. You can list your vacation home with one or multiple online rental sites to get started, but be sure to research each site’s fees and rules so you know which will work best for your rental property and budget. If you decide to list your home online, also know that you will most likely be responsible for any maintenance, cleaning, or upkeep. So if this sounds like too much work for you, you could hire a professional property management company to help care for and manage your rental home.

Setting up the perfect vacation spot doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. You just need to have the patience to work through the steps above, and you should start seeing rental profit in no time. Good luck with your new venture!