When it comes to renovation projects, your primary residence comes first. But if you own a vacation home, needed improvements shouldn’t necessarily take a back seat. Not keeping up with recommended remodeling there could cost you in the long run.
Even if you don’t use your vacation home that often, regular upgrades are recommended, even if they’re minimal. For one, if you’re continuously making small improvements it will be less of a financial hit when you eventually go to sell that home since you will have been consistently bettering it and keeping up with maintenance and upgrades—as opposed to making large, expensive investments right before you sell.
Secondly, you’ll be able to enjoy the vacation home more when you’re there. And third, you’ll potentially be able to rent it out for more money if you choose to do so using a short-term rental platform like Airbnb.
While maintaining functionality always ranks high in home improvement justification, vacation rental owners must also consider remodeling as the cost of doing. It’s critical for these owners to ensure high guest satisfaction, which results in stellar ratings and reviews. A modernized, well-maintained vacation home can help make that happen.
A new paint job is the home improvement project that offers the most bang for the buck. Fresh paint adds a renewed sense of cleanliness to the home while keeping it updated.
New landscaping, can add up to 15 percent to your home’s value due to its impact on curb appeal.
Window and door replacements also help check the curb appeal box while keeping your ongoing utility bills down. If you leave your vacation home after a weekend stay and set your thermostat to 55 degrees, you want to ensure that heat will stay inside the house without leaking through unwanted cracks in your doors and windows.
Devoting dollars to two of your vacation home’s most important rooms—the kitchen and/or bath—can also be smart, although you may see a diminishing return on investment (ROI) with bigger and more expensive remodels in these spaces. Remodeling’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report shows that a minor kitchen remodel recouped nearly 78 percent of its cost, on average, while a major midrange kitchen redo only recouped 58.6 percent of its cost.
If a total bath remodel is out of your budget then consider smaller upgrades, such as replacing the toilet with a more efficient higher-end model and installing LED lighting so that your bath not only looks better but saves money on energy bills.
Deciding whether or not to commit to high-end materials and items that can last longer but cost more or choose less-expensive alternatives that may need to be replaced sooner is a personal choice.
When buying furniture, swapping out rugs, adding features to your bath or kitchen, and picking out new linens, you have to think about wear and tear, particularly if you’ll be renting out your home. You may want to skip the higher-end furniture and then invest your cost savings into high-quality projects that matter more in a vacation home, like exterior projects.
If you rent out or plan to soon sell your vacation home, avoid the impulse to overspend on improvements.
There comes a point where, regardless of the interior finishes, a home will not rent for substantially more than comparable listings in the area. The same is true in the resale market. Consult with a real estate professional or vacation rental manager to assess the current market value of your property.
Lastly, remember to shop around for and vet remodelers carefully. Interview at least three contractors to find the right fit for your project.