Midwest Book Review,
Featuring more than $800 worth of coupons, How To Rent Vacation
Properties By Owner is the no-nonsense guide to realizing one's dream of owning,
furnishing, and renting out a vacation home - without emptying one's bank
account! How To Rent Vacation Properties By Owner explores the advantages and
disadvantages of a wide variety of means for financing one's vacation home, how
to select the right vacation home for one's needs, how to choose renters wisely
(insisting on a minimum age of 25 and no college students allowed can reduce the
likelihood of one's property getting trashed from a party-school style bash) and
take reservations, solving problems when one is renting (from damage to theft to
cleanliness issues, cancellations, complaints or even the unfortunate necessity
of evictions), and much more. How To Rent Vacation Properties By Owner is a
business-savvy, informative, practical guide and an absolute "must-read" for
anyone with a serious interest in renting out their property as a source of
star winner!, August 17, 2004
We have various family members who now own vacation homes or second
properties in Hawaii, France, Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, here in California and
along Hoods Canal in western Washington, and one thing they all worried about
was what would happen if the wrong people rented their properties. And since I
got the book in June I have had to fight to read it, since so many of my family
and friends would see it on my table and would grab it and rave about it.
This is the first (literally) book I (and my family and friends) have found that
tackles all the hard questions, worries and various 'what ifs' on the subject.
Beginning with the 'before' you buy questions, which is something I know a lot
of people never really give much thought to, since many assume renting it out
during off season etc will be a breeze. I especially liked the chapter dealing
with 'why self management makes sense' since this is an issue I know something
about. How many prospective rental owners know that a management company who
handles rentals for clients can take 30% or more as a commission? Or that using
a rental manager doesn't assure your property will be safe, or repaired in a
timely way without gouging your bank account?
The author deals extensively with the how to of finding clients to rent your
property, including which websites are the best and what to have on your website
as well. This includes good and accurate digital photos of all the rooms, yard,
as well as Mapquest.com links so people can see how close they are to stores,
beaches, rivers etc, that would be a draw as well as a drawback. A place may
look nice on the website but how many owners show photos of the neighborhood so
that clients can see that its safe and clean?
The author covers how to screen clients, pet clauses, smoking, and party issues
and issues of liability in general. Will you use PayPal, credit cards, checks
etc? What about the phone in the property and the agreement on use and charges?
This is why I like the call anywhere in the country one fee programs phone
providers now offer. If you have DishNetwork will there be an extra fee for use
or will that be included in the rental fee?
Will you provide bed linens and basic kitchen items? What about those few people
whom you can never please? How will you handle them and how should you, legally?
These are also covered in-depth.
Does the state where the rental property is require you to pay state or local
taxes like some hotel, motels charge a fee or tax for? These are all things you
need to think about before you even buy a vacation rental.
The back two 'chapters' or index's offer a lot of Internet sites for valuable
information that makes the price of the book worth every penny.
Ms. Hrib Karpinski deserves a lot of thanks for finally writing a book that is
easy to read and understand as well as recommendations of those she trusts who
might provide the reader with even more information.
And I am buying a copy for my local library as well! Also check out her website
by the same name www.HowToRentByOwner.com
of buying or renting a property? This is THE book, August 7, 2004
Author Karpinski wrote me that one reader wrote to her saying "My first
renter wrote me a nice note about how much fun they had and how they want to
rent it again next year. Then she says, "Friday as I sat down to eat lunch,
I heard a crack before the chair broke and I fell to the ground."
Just though you would like to know how true your words are. Thanks! Now I'm
re-reading your book to see what else I snubbed my nose at the first time
That's the point of "How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner." There is
detail, detail, detail, and you'd better read this with, well, to mix
metaphors, a fine-toothed comb. Not only is the advice to furnish with
STURDY chairs in there, but other wisdom that can save you, the vacation
landlord, time and money and heartache. Have you considered a condo versus a
free-standing property? What about maintenance, what about distance from the
property? Are you going to be able to handle that or will you need someone
to help you? Don't forget, a condo has maintenance included in a fee,
usually. That fee may look large at closing, but later on...
What about the 20% down payment usually required by lenders? Turns out that,
too, can be borrowed. PMI, mortgages, lending, this is also covered.
How do you advertise to get the best results? What needs to be in that ad?
Where do you advertise?
I can't go into all the detail here, but chapters include finance,
self-management, advertising including photos and description writing,
pricing, organization techniques, tax collection and payment, key
management, problems such as major damage, minor depredations, theft,
cancellation and complaints.
If you plan to rent a property, this is an absolutely essential book,
written by someone with first-hand experience and an eye for detail. Get it.
to Rent vacation properties/ a must have, July 24, 2004
This is one of the most informative, easy to read books that I have read
in a long time. Christine gives you the building blocks to start your own
vacation rental by owner business. Thank you Thank you Thank you
to Rent, July 19, 2004
A totally engrossing book! A definite 'must -have' for any would-be
Advice for Overcoming Your Mental Hurdles!, July 7, 2004
If you haven't ever owned and rented out a vacation or second home, you
probably have the same concerns that I have: How will I find renters? Will
people destroy the property? Will people sue me? How will I get the toilet
unclogged at 4 a.m. from a distance? How will I avoid having a terrible
negative cash flow? How much time will this really take? Am I turning myself
into a minimum wage slave?
Relax! Ms. Christine Hrib Karpinski answers all those and many other
questions you didn't know enough to ask. She also provides details of how
she does everything efficiently and relatively painlessly.
Further, she gives you good advice on how to decide what property to buy,
how much to charge, who to rent to, where to advertise, how to write the
copy and even how to create great photographs for a Web site. In fact, both
the marketing and the administrative details she provides are outstanding.
My only suggestion is that you have an attorney in the state where your
property is check out the forms she suggests (or obtain the standard forms
used by landlords in that state).
The only area where the book doesn't cover a related subject in detail is
in the tax advantages. If she does another edition of this book, I suggest
that she have a c.p.a. write up a section on that point. As a result, the
book makes it seem like you will make less than you actually will.
Her focus is on long-term ownership and rental, but she also points out
how you can make substantial short-term gains. The section on the current
mortgage options is excellent.
Even if you decide not to buy a vacation home and rent it, I suggest that
you read the book for advice that will be valuable to you as a potential
tenant of such properties. You can more than save the price of the book in
I recommend that you do the work she describes for setting rental prices
and marketing a property BEFORE you purchase a home.
Vacation Rental Book I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!, June 26, 2004
If you currently own or are thinking of investing in a Vacation rental
this book is a must have. My husband & I are in the middle of building our
dream home. Christine's book answered all the questions I had & then some
about renting our vacation home. This book is very easy reading. In fact I
found it very difficult to put down. It is a book I think I'll refer to over
& over again. Get clicking & buy this book! You won't be sorry!!!!
some, an invaluable source of information and counsel, June 14, 2004
Obviously, the value of this book will be determined entirely by its
relevance to a specific reader who is now thinking about buying (or who now
owns) a vacation rental property and needs expert advice on HOW to manage,
furnish, maintain, and promote that investment. I have never owned such a
property but have rented several over the years. Some were rented directly
from their owner; others were rented through an agency engaged by their
owner. The comments which follow are based on the premise that I have
decided to purchase a second home. Let's say it is located where there are
two peak seasons, summer (swimming, boating, golf, tennis, etc.) and winter
(skiing, skating, snow boarding, etc.) My objective is to maximize rental
income from it during both seasons. These are some of the questions I need
1. Where and how to begin?
2. How should I finance it?
3. Which numbers need to be crunched?
4. How to determine which property is the right place for me?.
5. Should I have a management company handle everything, use a management
partnership program, or self-manage the property? Why?
6. Which are the most effective strategies, tactics, and resources for
marketing my rental property?
7. What about financial terms and conditions (e.g. pricing)?
8. Which criteria to use when selecting renters?
9. What is the best system for processing reservations?
10. Which are the most common problems? How to solve each?
Karpinski addresses these and other critically important questions
throughout 18 carefully-organized and well-written chapters, followed by
seven appendices in which she provides forms (e.g. rental rules and
regulations), identifies most helpful Web sites, explains special discounts,
identifies vacation exchange Web sites, lists state sales tax offices,
refers her reader to learning centers throughout the U.S. (e.g. to improve
computer skills), and concludes with an annotated list of individuals and
companies she highly recommends.
If you are thinking about purchasing a vacation rental property or if you
now own one and are dissatisfied with its ROI, this book will be invaluable.
However, with all due respect to Karpinski, I think it would be foolish to
rely on only one source of information and counsel. Once again I am reminded
of Derek Bok's response when outraged parents of Harvard students complained
about a tuition increase: "If you think education is expensive, try
ignorance." Deciding whether or not to purchase a vacation property
obviously requires rigorous and extensive due diligence. In my opinion, a
careful reading and then (yes) re-reading of Karpinski's book is essential
to that process. That said, check out other sources on the same subject,
including books offered by Amazon which have received the highest ratings by
readers. This book will also be helpful to current owners who have hired a
management company or participate in a management partnership program. In
Chapter 5, Karpinski explains why self-management "is the only way to
maximize your income on your vacation property." For many current owners,
that may well be true but only IF they are willing to invest the time and
energy self-management requires.
information source for vacation property owners, May 25, 2004
As a vacation rental owner myself, I found this book to be full of solid
information. I had purchased other books in the past, but they didn't
address all the issues of ownership. In fact, this was the first book I had
read that emphasized not using a property manager. This book outlines
chapter-by-chapter how to take reservations, get deposits and payments, how
to handle keys, choose good renters, deal with problems, how to find
cleaning and maintenance people, etc. How to Rent Vacation Properties By
Owner is easy to read and understand--I finished it in a day. There are lots
of helpful tips and owner stories, but the references and resources in the
back of the book are what sets this book apart. There are web sites for all
50 states tax departments, dozens of vacation rental sites to advertise on,
special offers and more. The author has clearly done her homework so you
don't have to. Worth every penny.