As rent-it-yourself sites like airbnb, vrbo, and homeaway are on the rise, so is competition among would-be landlords to make their rentals appealing. Here are some tips for refurbishing, redecorating and refreshing your extra space to get it rental ready.
Dinner for One
Bette Davis once opined that the secret to a successful marriage was separate bathrooms. In the case of housemates, the key is separate kitchens. Create a guest house kitchen or an in-room kitchenette with BrylaneHome’s Kitchen Cart with Breakfast Bar ($449, www.BrylaneHome.com). The rolling solid wood cart features storage cabinets and drawers to hold pots and pans, dishes and flatware as well as food items. Add stools, and the drop leaf can suffice as a dining table. Atop the cart guests can stir up dinner using the portable and compact NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop ($119.95, www.nuwavepic.com), a safe alternative to hot plates that uses electro-magnetic power to heat up and cook food fast.
“B” is for “Bed”
Gone are the days of putting your old worn mattress out to pasture in your guest room. Today the measure of your hospitality is in the bed you offer – after all, it’s the “B” in B&B. Besides a premium mattress, decorative linens and dreamy sheets will lull your guests into sweet slumber. Sleep TiTe Sheets ($49 to $89, www.BrylaneHome.com) are ultra-soft 100-percent cotton 300-thread count sheets designed to stay put, even on deep mattress up to 20 inches. Top off the bed with a designer comforter and an abundance of pillows. Note: Photos of the bed in rental postings is often the one shot that will make or break a booking, so make it look inviting.
Most sublessors do not employ housekeeping staff, so how do you keep the place tidy between maid visits? Give them the tools, and they will clean. Stock the broom closet with a Shark Pet Perfect II Cordless Hand Vac ($59.99, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Best Buy, and Lowe’s), a Swiffer Wet Jet, a bucket, rags, multipurpose cleaner, latex gloves and other cleaning accoutrement so that guests can neaten up during their stay.
Though a rental space may be attached to your home, it is not likely your tenants desire to be privy with your household business, or vice versa. Where possible, install doors or partitions that clearly delineate private space from communal areas. Seal off doors with under-door extensions and insulation stripping to create a sound barrier. Most of these supplies can be found at your local hardware store.
If you have a revolving door of tenants, rid yourself of worry about lost (or duplicated) keys with the Simplickey electronic deadbolt ($249.99, www.simplicikey.com). Its keypad, hidden behind a slide-away panel, can be programmed with up to 16 alphanumeric codes for entry which can be deleted after each guest leaves.