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6 Best Ways To Make Money off Your Vacation Home

Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images/iStockphoto

A vacation home can be a great investment for you and your family, making it easy to get away without the hassle of having to book a hotel or rental. But in addition to serving as a home away from home, a vacation property can be an extra source of income.

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Here are some of the best ways you can make money off your vacation home.

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Rent Out the Home Full-Time or Part-Time

If you find that you aren’t using your vacation home as much as you thought you would, you can put it to good use by renting it out full-time or for part of the year.

“Renting a second home is beneficial because it offers homeowners a chance to use their property for financial gains,” said Jon Sanborn, co-founder of Brotherly Love Real Estate in Philadelphia. “I suggest long-term rentals, as they offer the most stability. The landlords are able to vet the tenants, and will only offer them the lease when they know of their reliability. Long-term rentals offer monthly income, longevity and the ability to develop trusted relations with tenants.”

If you prefer going the short-term rental route, Sanborn suggests using sites like Airbnb or Vrbo.

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Convert Part of the Home Into a Full-Time Rental

While renting out your home can be a good way to make money, it does limit how much enjoyment you personally get out of it since you can’t pop in to use it whenever you want. For those with a larger property, there is another option.

“A basement or top floor may be converted into a standalone apartment so that the property is always making money, but you can go there whenever you want,” said Tomas Satas, founder and CEO of Windy City HomeBuyer. “You can sublet it to vacationers or a full-time renter. Just keep in mind that you will have to hire someone to take care of the place if it isn’t nearby, and factor that into the rent.”

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Rent Out Spare Bedrooms

If you don’t mind playing host, renting out an unused bedroom can be a lucrative endeavor.

“One of the better ways to make money off a second home when it is located in a vacation area is to turn it into a bed and breakfast,” said Bill Gassett, founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. “Many vacationers love the idea of spending their time in a home like this. Owners can make much more money renting out rooms on a weekly or even nightly basis versus renting out for months at a time.”

Gassett recommends listing available rooms on Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com.

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Utilize Outdoor Space To Grow Fruits, Vegetables or Flowers for Sale

If you have a sizable yard and a green thumb, you can utilize the outdoor space of your vacation home to grow produce and/or flowers that you can sell at farmers’ markets or your own roadside stand, said Richard Mews, real estate investor and CEO of Sell With Richard.

“The market for fresh, local produce rose significantly as a result of the global pandemic,” he noted.

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Rent Out Storage Space

You likely won’t need all of the storage space in a vacation home, as you probably keep most of your belongings at your primary residence. Consider renting out your garage, basement, attic or other unused space as storage space, said David Tully, a realtor with eXp Realty.

“It is a great way to make sure the income flows from the second house,” he said.

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Rent Your Home as a Set for TV Shows or Movies

Sal Dimiceli, Sr., owner of Lake Geneva Area Realty, said that even if you don’t have a large vacation home, you may be able to rent it out as a film set when you’re not living there.

“Many movies and shows feature ordinary homes,” he said. “Even commercial and advertising agencies need home sets for their shoots.”

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