Many of RE/MAX Pura Vida’s featured houses of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais are designed to make a return on investment by having the option of being a vacation property. What better way to justify pursuing that dream home than to design or purchase one that is optimized for enjoyability and rentability. This installment we’re taking a break from featuring the latest paradise properties and price drops of the Southern Nicoya Peninsula to give an insider’s insight into what to look for to insure repeating self paid vacations.
First and perhaps foremost is set and setting. Creating ambiance both inside and out of a home creates experience. Landscaping for privacy without obstructing any of the property’s breathtaking views gives the renter that “getaway” feel. Consider a curved driveway to hide the home from public view and provide an opportunity to reveal a feature of the house itself upon approach. Open air interior design and large interior/exterior transitions are attributed with luxury and social gatherings, so what better place to make use of large open spaces than the Nicoya Blue Zone where most homes can be fan cooled year-round. Since these spaces are designed to promote use, furnish them with comfort and numerous guests in mind. Lastly, color design is always something to consider. One can draw from marketing fundamentals to create moods in different rooms. Red is known to promote appetite, while light violet and purples can have a calming presence. Blue is said to give energy while white is always a good choice because of its association with both cleanliness and luxury.
More specific tricks of the trade are how to stock a home and prepare for the worst. Always have a surplus of white towels and sheets on hand. White is easy to keep clean, can be heavily bleached, and is a breeze to replace or mix and match. The same goes for kitchenware like plates and silverware. It may be tempting to express the local style or match a theme, but things in the kitchen will get heavy use and inevitably break, needing replacement. Generic and replaceable is again the way to go. Remember, guests are on vacation, taking a break from their everyday lives, so parties will happen. Have plenty of paper disposable plates, bowls, and cups to minimize damage. Fiestas aren’t the only thing to consider so make sure you’re covered by taking frequent written and photographic inventories. This will aid greatly if there is a disputed guest review or unfortunate insurance claim. Plan for guests to need to use a flashlight, plunger, broom, and other lesser planned for items. Granting them the freedom to do it themselves will lessen inconvenient calls for a concierge.
Communicating with future guests is also crucial. There is likely to be someone letting visitors into the rental home, but that isn’t always the case and every consideration can’t be expected to be made in this single interaction. Having a central “Things to Do” station in a vacation home is a great way of keeping guests both entertained and ever-present of the house rules. Add local brochures and menus, cards, puzzles and board games, maps and television guides to a shelf or cabinet centrally located or near the front entrance of the home. This is a great place to put house rules, spare keys, a fire extinguisher, and important phone numbers as well because guests will take note of these emergency items when exploring means of entertainment. A local guidebook with some light morning reading material is easy to make. Just pick a few favorite RE/MAX Pura Vida entries with local insights and collect them into a three-ring binder, ask around town to get a few local stickers and decals to put on the front and “voila”!
There are plenty of other considerations to make when purchasing or building a vacation rental property. For starters, you have to love it, but heavier things like budget and payroll have to be planned for as well. It can seem daunting but once set in motion you’ll have a home in a paradise that pays for itself and pays you to visit. RE/MAX Pura Vida has a plethora of knowledge and examples of success we can show you. So, keep stopping in to see what new opportunities we’re sharing and maybe you’ll discover inspiration and that spark you needed to turn your dream home into reality.