Should We Rent Out Our House While We’re On Vacation?

by Reader Contributors

Should We Rent Out House While on Vacation photo

If you travel fairly frequently, renting out your house while you’re on vacation can be a good way to cover some of your travel costs. But should you? Our readers weigh in and offer advice.

Gary,
While we are on vacation, my husband has been considering renting out our home through one of the house rental sites such as Airbnb.com to offset part of our vacation expenses. I am just curious if any of your readers have ever done this before or any other type of house swapping and how it went for them. It seems like a smart way to cover some of our trip costs but the idea of strangers staying in my house does make me nervous.

I’d love any advice on how to make this work for all involved. If all goes well, I could see us doing this any time we are traveling for several days. Thanks so much!
Patricia

Should You Rent Out Your Home While You’re On Vacation?

We asked our readers to offer advice on this subject. Read on for the pros and cons (mostly cons) they say you should consider before making a decision to try renting out your home while you are out of town.

Go with a Vacation House Sitter

Personally, I think this sounds like a bad idea. I would not want someone in my home alone at any time. At one time, I had a rental, and at the end of the year, it cost me more in damages than I ever collected. I quit renting out the place and sold it instead.

If you are concerned about your place being empty, then it is actually cheaper in the long run to hire a house sitter who you know you can trust. Be very careful and enjoy your vacation.
Joann

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to helping you plan for a comfortable retirement even if haven't saved enough. Subscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

You deserve a comfortable retirement.
Debt Checklist
Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older.

Each week we feature financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Subscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Avoid Renting Your Home

I have been renting homes for almost 30 years. Don’t rent anything that is important to you. Even if you get a perfect tenant (and most are not perfect or even really good), you will see every item moved, scratched, etc.
Gayle

Talk with Your Home Insurance Agent

You probably need to talk to your home insurance agent to see if there is anything that you need to consider.
Sarah

Vacation Home Rental Is Like a Job

I have owned vacation rental homes for about 15 years. Currently I own four and manage a few for other people. It’s tempting to rent out your home in order to make some money, but you need to treat it like a job (yes, even if you do it for only one week a year).

First you need to advertise. Airbnb is probably your best bet. You can list for free and then Airbnb takes 3% of the rent. FlipKey is another with a similar set up. HomeAway and VRBO now have a “pay-per-booking” option, but they take 8%. You need to write good copy and have good, enticing photos for your ad.

You will not be able to communicate directly with the potential guest or know any identifying information about them until after they book, which makes some people (like me) uncomfortable. All of the listing sites will block out phone numbers, email addresses, last names, and websites.

Assuming that you find a responsible guest, you must make your house “guest ready.” Treat this as if it were a job, packing up every trace of your family and locking it in the basement. Remove all clothing, toys, family photos, and valuables and definitely empty out the medicine cabinets.

Then you should make the house spotless and organized with clean linens and towels and mattress pads (and bedbug protectors) on all of the beds. The fridge should be empty and sparkling. Hang inexpensive artwork in place of your family photos. It will probably take a good week to prepare the house.

Finally, make sure that you have either a security deposit and/or damage insurance. I don’t know if I would do it for just a week. Hope this gives you something to think about.
Maria

Reviewed May 2021

You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Debt ChecklistSubscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Debt ChecklistSubscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

Will You Be Leaving Thousands In Social Security Benefits Unclaimed By Filing at the Wrong Time?

We recommend a tool from Social Security Choices that can help you determine the best time to collect so you can maximize your benefits.

Click here to maximize your Social Security benefits.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This