If you have a vacation home you only use a few weeks a year, why not consider renting it out? The extra income will help with upkeep and mortgage payments, insurance and taxes, etc. There are also some tax breaks you can take advantage of.
Concerned that the renter will damage your home? Well, there are a number of property management firms that specialize in vacation home rentals and they screen potential renters thoroughly. You can also make an adjustment to your property insurance to cover any damages, theft, etc. Vacation homes including condos, cabins, and even hotel room condo units are accepted for management. A property manager will find and screen tenants, do all the advertising, collect the rents, handle repairs and maintenance at a lower cost than you probably could long distance (they have their own maintenance people on contract) and after deduction of their commission (about 5-10%) they will forward you your check.
Believe it or not, the vacation rental industry has not been much affected by the overall downturn in the economy. In fact, with the increasing cost of hotels and restaurants, many people now actually opt to just rent a home for a few weeks or a month or two, live there and cook their own meals. And people are still taking vacations.
You will be most successful in marketing your rental if it is located in a popular vacation area. Miami Beach will pull more interest than a quaint cabin up in the mountains and miles from airports and civilization, much as you may love that cabin for your own vacation time.
So, during lean economic times, it can be a great way to get back some of your home costs!
James Hussher is a Certified Mortgage Planner and licensed in all 50 states. Please visit James at http://ezmortgages123.com for all of your residential and commercial mortgage needs. Apply online, check current offered rates and loan programs and more! Many free articles and educational resources may be accessed at http://swifthussherrealestate.com which James also runs!