Landing the Best Vacation Rental for Your Needs

With the rise of the private accommodation sector, more first-time and seasoned investors gravitate to vacation rental properties. Owning a vacation rental not only can boost your monthly income but also position you for tax write-offs, provide a place for family getaways, and help secure your long-term financial plans. 

Of course, there are many moving parts to finding and buying the right property. One of the most important factors is location; if you already have a desired location in mind, you’re halfway to a successful purchase! Below, Screening Guy shares some advice for navigating the other essential steps to securing the perfect vacation rental.

Assess Expenses and Income    

Assuming you have the location picked out, your first step will be to evaluate the expenses and income of any property you are considering. And it’s essential to remember that you should expect vacancies during certain times of the year. 

Research the area to see the purchase prices and rental rates of vacation rentals, and then compare those numbers to your estimated financing and operational costs. You will also need to factor in average occupancy rates to get an idea of the income you can expect. 

Various expenses come with owning a vacation rental. For instance, you should prepare for paying several different types of taxes, property insurance, utilities, HOA fees, and management fees (if you work with a property manager). 

Figure Out Financing    

Financing investment property is a little different than financing a primary residence. If you need a little help starting, consider the equity in your current home. You could potentially refinance your home to get cash for your vacation rental purchase. In the simplest terms, refinancing gives you a new home loan, potentially with a lower interest rate. And you can receive the difference between the two loans in cash that you can then put towards your investment opportunity.

There are a few different types of loans to consider when financing your vacation home. One of the most common options is a conforming loan, which typically requires a 20% down payment and a credit score of at least 680. 

For investors looking to finance several properties in one go, a portfolio loan could be the best option. If you are looking at a vacation property that includes two or more units, you might consider a multifamily loan. A short-term loan (i.e., bridge loan or hard money loan) is worth considering if you need financing before making a longer-term commitment.

Plan for Operations     

Buying a property is one thing; managing it is another. Some landlords manage their own vacation rentals, especially when they have just one property. But it’s essential to understand all the factors involved in being a landlord. Not only are you responsible for cleaning between guests, upkeep, and repair, but you also need to maintain guest relations and ensure that the property has a consistent turnover to make the most of your investment.  

If you follow the lead of some other landlords and transition your property to a long-term rental, you will need to change parts of your strategy. Whether you choose to hire a property manager or do it yourself, you could benefit from having professionals screen tenants before agreeing to lease the property. Check out Screening Guy for more great resources like improving landlord-tenant relations.

No question that investing in a vacation home can prove well worth it. Along with boosting your income and portfolio, purchasing a vacation property can give yourself and your family an ideal destination throughout the year. Consider the information and advice above as you navigate finding and purchasing the best home, and don’t forget to consider the management requirements necessary to run the property.

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A Senior’s Guide to House Flipping as a Business

A Senior’s Guide to House Flipping as a Business

Screening Guy offers resources for landlords and property managers to better understand the law and improve landlord-tenant relations. Contact us for more info today!

Do you want to make some extra cash for retirement but don’t know where to start? House flipping may be the solution. Flipping houses can be profitable but comes with risk and a steep learning curve. To ensure you get started on the right foot, Screening Guy shares some helpful tips for seniors that can help you successfully flip your first property.

Finding the Right Property

One great way to find potential real estate investments is through government auctions. Take advantage of your location. If you live in an area with foreclosures, you could get in on some seriously discounted real estate if you keep your eyes open. Look at local listings, search foreclosures online, and work with real estate pros who can help you locate all the latest homes on the market to suit your budget and needs.

The Mortgage Process

Typically, as CNBC reports, banks require you to make at least a 20% down payment on your home. If you don’t have enough cash to make that investment, consider taking out a mortgage. Getting one can be complicated, but it’s also one of the best ways seniors can secure their dream property — and help that nest egg grow in value over time.

Boosting Your Property Value

A new kitchen with a range hood to keep the air in your home clean from smoke and food smells is one perfect way to boost the value of your home. If you need to repair or replace pipes as part of your kitchen remodel, it’s important to contact a qualified plumber. Typical hourly rates for plumbing services range from $45 to $150. Before making a hiring decision, always do your research on reviews and ratings and make sure you’re working with certified and insured specialists.

Selling Your Home

Before you can sell your home, it must be in good condition. notes that the first thing buyers look at is a property’s curb appeal — what they see when they drive up to your house. Fix any exterior damage, such as replacing shingles or painting siding. Inside, clean and declutter (you want potential buyers to imagine themselves living there). And if possible, update the property with modern appliances and some paint before putting it on the market.

Marketing Your House-Flipping Business with Facebook Ads

When you’re marketing your house-flipping business, you’ll want to showcase your skills and experience and explain why customers should work with you. Design a professional Facebook ad for your company that stands out from the crowd, creates a positive first impression, and increases brand awareness. Creating a Facebook ad is a cinch when you use a tool rather than paying for professional services. You can browse numerous designs and change the fonts and colors by simply selecting a style, an icon, and any necessary text. These tools are easy to use, and you can complete the design process quickly.

An Excellent Income Source for Seniors

While flipping houses is not for everyone, it can be an excellent source of income for seniors. If you find something that works well for you, don’t be afraid to get into it. Remember to find the right property, secure a mortgage, boost your property’s value, and market your business on Facebook and other social media.

Interior Design Tips for Landlords: How to Attract Great Tenants

Interior Design Tips for Landlords: How to Attract Great Tenants

Whether you’re thinking about investing in real estate or you already own property and you’re preparing to rent it out, it never hurts to learn a few interior design tips. Making upgrades to your rental can help you attract top-notch tenants! Plus, certain upgrades can boost your property value and enable you to charge higher rental rates, providing a generous return on your investment. Ready to practice your DIY skills? Here are some interior design ideas to help you create the perfect rental home!

Treat Your Rental Like a Real Business

Before you get started on your rental upgrades, consider establishing a formal business. Forming an LLC is a great way to shield your personal assets from business-related debts or lawsuits. Running your rental like a real business will also show tenants that you’re a professional, credible, and trustworthy landlord.

Consider also hiring a property manager to make your life easier. If you live far away from your rental or own multiple income properties, hiring a property manager is a no-brainer. You can also work with Screening Guy to ensure you get the best tenants and avoid potential liability!

Design Multi-Purpose Spaces

When it comes to making property upgrades, it can be tough to know where to start. Take a look at the overall layout of your unit to determine what needs to be done. Think about ways you can create zones to enable multi-purpose use of the space. Tenants who work remotely or exercise at home will appreciate the flexibility to use open living areas for different activities.

There are many different ways to break up open floor plans. Installing different flooring types is one option. The Spruce explains that you can also use light fixtures and paint colors to create distinct areas — like a low-hanging light fixture over the dining area or an accent wall where a couch could sit. Ceiling beams, elegant columns, french doors, and built-in bookcases are also fantastic for creating separate zones in an open floor plan.

Make Essential Repairs

Making cosmetic repairs to existing home features can also help you attract quality tenants. Replace broken light fixtures, swap out worn carpeting for sleek hard floors, make sure appliances are working properly, and hang new window treatments to replace old blinds and ratty drapes. Be sure to also check that doorknobs, faucets, and electrical switches are in working order.

Market Your Rental’s Best Features

To maximize the ROI of your rental upgrades, learn how to write great listing descriptions. Be sure to mention the home type, how many people it can accommodate, whether or not pets are allowed, and if there are any additional fees for things like parking or utilities. You’ll also want to decide on your ideal lease length and security deposit amount. Including this information in your listing will ensure you only receive inquiries from tenants who are happy with your terms.

Remember to focus on your rental’s most desirable features when writing your listing. Mention any cosmetic and functional upgrades you’ve made and how they will make life more enjoyable for your tenants. LandlordStudio suggests starting your listing description with the best unique feature you can offer tenants, like a beautiful balcony or hardwood floors.

If you’re looking to promote your rental on Instagram, make sure to post high-quality photos that show off your rental in its best light. Potential tenants will want to see what they’re getting themselves into, so make sure your photos are clear and inviting. Also, keep your posts interesting and engaging by featuring different aspects of your rental or offering special discounts for tenants who follow you on Instagram. This Instagram post maker makes it easy to share eye-catching content by customizing predesigned templates with your own images and text.

Most landlords aren’t known for their sense of interior design, but you can help break that stereotype! Try to see your rental as a future home rather than a source of income. By designing your rental with desirable features and beautiful accents and marketing it on Instagram and other sites, you’ll be able to attract great tenants who will stick around for years!

How to Move Into Your New Home and Launch a Home-Based Business at the Same Time

How to Move Into Your New Home and Launch a Home-Based Business at the Same Time

Your current home doesn’t have enough space to reasonably accommodate your new home-based business. As such, you need to move into a home that better meets your needs. You might think it’s nearly impossible to start a new business while moving, but it’s more than possible when you have a solid game plan in place.

The Screening Guy invites you to employ the steps below to help you stay on track as you seek new accommodations for your startup business.

Know How Much You Can Afford

When you’re planning how to move into a new home and start a home-based business at the same time, The Motley Fool notes that you need to know how much home you can afford. To do this, determine how much you can take out of your current budget to make a down payment.

While you can start a home-based business and live in your new home all at the same time, you might want to consider renting to start.

Money Under 30 explains that renting can help you save up the money you need to make a down payment, pay off high-interest debt, build up your emergency fund, and afford basic monthly expenses, like your mortgage payment and basic utilities.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Now that you have a rough idea of how much you can afford, it’s time to talk about loans. Getting pre-approved for a loan is simply having a lender determine how much you can reasonably afford on a monthly payment basis.

Lenders usually want you to submit your income, debts, and monthly expenses. That way, they can determine if you’re likely to be able to repay the loan on time, which is the first step to getting a loan approved.

Find a Real Estate Agent

After you’ve gotten pre-approved for a loan and a loan agent has determined that you can comfortably afford a monthly payment, it’s time to find a real estate agent. Real estate agents typically handle all of the marketing for homes that are for sale. What you want from them is to find properties that you can buy.

Search for a Home Online

You can use sites that show you homes that are right for you. Many sites let you apply filters that present homes according to your search parameters. This includes sorting by size, type, and square footage.

Marketing Your Business

After you have settled into your new space, it is time to start building brand awareness. A memorable logo is a great way to start this process. A strong logo can help you make a first impression with potential clients in your local area. A well-designed logo can help you stand out among the many competitors, depending on where you are moving to.

You are a new owner of a business and want to cut costs as much as you can. So instead of paying someone to design your logo, you can make it yourself online with logo makers. With a logo maker, you have many logo options available. You can also adjust every aspect of the logo, from color and text to images or icons.

As it pertains to the other many and varied aspects of marketing, you may feel the need to beef up your business skillset. A proven way to do this is by taking business classes, especially if the courses are geared to lead to a college-level degree. Consider taking online classes from an accredited university like to get the latest understanding of concepts like accounting, management, entrepreneurship, and, of course, marketing.

You might consider forming a DBA

Small business owners looking to expand their reach and sell additional products under a different brand name can use a “DBA” (or Doing Business As) as their business entity. DBAs allow you to market your brand under another name in the unlikely event that your domain is unavailable.

With these tips in mind and the tools in hand, moving and starting your own business becomes very doable. It’s possible to juggle both monumental tasks if you stick to your plan and carry through. You’ll soon be working from your new digs with the wind at your back!

The Screening Guy offers resources for landlords and property managers to better understand the law and improve landlord-tenant relations. Reach out for more info today!



The Screening Guy is every landlord’s go-to source for screening resources, information, and services that will keep them compliant and keep up their profits. But what if you’re still on the fence about becoming a landlord? If so, you’re going to need some basic information to make sure investing in real estate is right for you and ensure maximum ROI. We’ve put together this guide for first-time landlords.

Finding the Right Property

It goes without saying that this is the first move you need to make. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you look at potential local properties:


To attract your first tenants, your home needs to include certain amenities and features. Renters will take a look at the local area first, and then they will want to take a closer look at your property to ensure it has what they need to feel safe, secure, and right at home.


As such, you may need to make improvements to your rental. One project with solid ROI is updating the fence around your property. These days, you can easily find reliable contractors online. Make sure to compare ratings and reviews, as well as ask about special discounts and deals. Be sure to get quotes from several licensed and insured providers to find the right fit.

Repair Costs

Understanding improvement and repair expenses is another crucial step for ensuring a savvy investment. Additionally, you may need to factor in an average of $1,800 per year in maintenance expenses.


Getting a mortgage for an investment property can be tough. However, you have other options for financing your purchase, as well as any needed improvements, repairs, and additional upfront expenses. Whichever method you choose, have financing in place before you start looking at potential properties. That way you will have a solid budget to work with.

Attracting the Right Tenants

Buying and fixing up an investment property is just the beginning. Once you’ve completed the steps listed above, you will also need to use these insights to attract and retain top tenants:

Market Strategically

Just like any product or service, you need to market your investment property well in order to turn a profit. There are plenty of websites where you can list your rental, but spend some time identifying your target market (families, students, etc.) and getting plenty of quality photos beforehand.

Screen Thoroughly

Want to be sure potential renters are a good match? That’s understandable, but you need to be extra careful about screening if you also want to avoid breaking the law. Many novice landlords don’t understand rules and regulations around screenings, and they often end up in hot water. Give yourself peace of mind and know the basics of rental criteria and more.

Keep Up With Repairs

Planning for maintenance and repair costs for your investment property is crucial because renters will be more likely to stick around if your home is properly maintained. In most states, rental property owners are legally required to complete certain repairs and maintenance projects. A property manager can help manage repairs and related paperwork.

Owning a rental property can be a fun and very effective way to pad your savings — but only with the right savvy and planning. Hopefully, this guide has given you the information and resources you need to get started and to decide whether investing in real estate is a smart move. And if you need additional tips for protecting your investment and screening potential tenants, be sure to check out the Screening Guy’s resources and blog.

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