Blog

Tips for Turning Your Investment Property into a Profitable Vacation Rental

Thinking of renting out your investment property as a vacation home? This can be a great way to pay off the mortgage on your second home or at least earn some extra income on the side. However, the market for vacation rentals is very competitive, so you will have to invest some time and money into your rental to transform it into an inviting place to stay. Here are some of the best ways to make your property more attractive and welcoming to short-term renters.

Invest in Security

When your property is sitting vacant between guests, it can be a target for thieves and vandals. Fortunately, you can keep an eye on your rental with the help of a reliable home security system. When searching for the right security system, you’ll come across all kinds of features, from basic alarms to cameras that you can access remotely from your smartphone. Take the time to find something that meets your needs. Not only will a good security system help to protect your valuable investment, but it will also help your guests feel safe.

You may also want to install a keyless entry system to eliminate check-in hassles and reduce the risk of intruders in your rental. For example, you can set up a smart lock that integrates with your online booking service to generate a new entry code for every rental guest. A smart lock will also let you know when people come and go, so you can monitor the activity at your rental and ensure your guests make it inside successfully.

Know When to Splurge and When to Save

Furnishing and decorating your rental can get expensive pretty quickly. Find ways to save wherever possible so you can splurge on the key items that will make your rental more appealing to guests. For example, it’s always smart to invest in a high-quality mattress and bedding to ensure your guests can enjoy a comfortable sleep. According to Lodging Media, quality of sleep is one of the most important elements of the guest experience at hotels, and the same goes for your vacation rental.

For the rest of the home, try to create a feeling of luxury without the extravagant price tag. One way to do this is to embrace minimalism with just a few statement pieces. Crate and Barrel has several excellent items that can work as decorative focal points in your rental. Since their prices can be a little on the steep side, look for an online Crate and Barrel promo code before shopping. You can also get creative with different textures, mirrors, and lighting to create a welcoming and elegant atmosphere without purchasing a lot of expensive decor.

Make Practical Design Decisions

As you decorate your rental, try not to sacrifice function for appearance. Make sure your guests have a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day, a functional kitchen for cooking quick meals, and somewhere to store luggage during their stay. You could even purchase a sleeper sofa to add two extra guests to your accommodation capacity. Keep upkeep and maintenance in mind as you make these decor decisions. For example, consider replacing carpet with more durable floors or choosing stain-proof furniture that is easier to keep clean.

Keep it Sparkling Clean

The number one vacation rental guest complaint has to do with cleanliness, according to Evolve. Since cleaning a vacation home requires a high degree of detail, consider hiring a professional housekeeping service to give everything a deep cleaning between guests. A good housekeeper will also monitor the home for damage and potential maintenance problems that should be tackled sooner rather than later. Your guests expect a sparkling clean experience every time, so come up with a solid plan for keeping everything spotless. Running a vacation rental can be a great way to get your feet wet in the world of real estate investing. It’s important to put time and care into your property to ensure your investment is a profitable success. As you set up your rental, keep these tips in mind to design a safe and comfortable rental that will keep guests coming back time and time again.

Blog content provided by Ray Flynn | DiyGuys.net, ray.flynn@diyguys.net

Why the Low Cost of Living in Sequim Matters

Saving money and low cost of living concept with tiny houses on different size stacks of coinsA low cost of living may not be the first thing that pops into your head when thinking of Sequim, Washington. Many imagine wide open lavender fields with the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the background. Sequim’s famous Dungeness Spit, stretching 6.8 miles into the sparkling Strait of Juan de Fuca, might also come to mind. While the year-round sunny and mild weather draws people to sunny Sequim. However, the low cost of living was also a key ingredient for many when purchasing their home here. 

The two major factors the make the cost of living low in Sequim are the reasonable home prices and relatively low taxes. Sequim has the perfect home for anyone, from retirees to young families. With an average price of around $300,000, homeownership is very attainable in the Sequim area. In addition to affordable home prices, local property and sales taxes remain low as well. And of course, all Washington residents enjoy no state income tax. 

Along with a low cost of living, Sequim also has a wonderful community with amazing amenities. The charming, walkable town center has great restaurants, shops, galleries, and pubs. Locals love to play outdoors in the ideal year-round weather. Sequim’s beautiful coastline, biking trails, and surrounding mountains offer adventures kayaking, hiking or pedaling in the stunning landscape. Sequim has everything that makes a wonderful hometown. Let our wonderful team at Schwab Realty show you around sunny Sequim and help you find the perfect place.

Continue Reading

Sequim Weather is Ideal for Retirement

Beautiful senior couple enjoy the Sequim weather standing with bicycles in sunshineThe amazing Sequim weather tops most lists of the best reasons to live in this charming coastal city on the Olympic Peninsula. Residents enjoy mild and sunny weather most of the year with an annual average rainfall of only 17 inches. The wonderful Sequim weather has also earned the town two nicknames; “Sunny Sequim” and “The Blue Hole.” While the first nickname is clear, you might be scratching your head about the meaning of “The Blue Hole.” Local pilots use the name to describe the perfect landing conditions the Sequim weather creates. Recreation, such as flying, boating, biking, and hiking are all enjoyed year-round in the ideal Sequim weather.

The excellent Sequim weather also appeals to those looking for the perfect retirement location. The city has one of the highest percentages of seniors in the state at 37.0%, and the great weather is a big factor in attracting them. While the lack of rain and abundant sunny days are wonderful, the mild temperatures in the winter also mean no snow or ice to clear away on cooler mornings. The mild winters don’t turn into sweltering summers. The summers are also mild, cooled by the breezes from the Straits of Juan de Fuca. This creates a type of Goldilocks effect where it’s never too hot or too cold to enjoy the outdoors in the Sequim weather.

Lastly, Sequim is also the perfect place for people who love the changing seasons. Unlike hot and humid southern beach locations, the Sequim landscape explodes with the color of springtime wildflowers, summer lavender farms and brilliant fall foliage. If Sequim residents miss the snow, they visit it skiing or snowshoeing at Hurricane Ridge. The staff at Schwab Realty are ready to help you explore the great city of Sequim, Washington and find out why this could be the place you were looking for all along.

Continue Reading

5 Best Reasons for a Day Trip from Sequim to Port Townsend

Angled view of Port Townsend City Hall against blue sky to see on a day trip from Sequim to Port TownsendThe drive from Sequim to Port Townsend is a scenic 45 minute ride that hugs the coastline of Sequim and Discovery Bay. While the lovely views along the way makes for a pleasant outing, the charming Victorian port town has a lot to offer visitors. The historic buildings house unique shops, romantic restaurants along with wineries and pubs. Ex-military outposts, transformed into beautiful parks, have great hiking trails, fun events and sweeping water views. The parks and the city itself, has a rich link to the past and visitors can explore this at the small museums and historic home tours. After a nice long hike or exploring the town center, stop at one of the local wineries, breweries or cideries for a refreshing drink. Any day trip from Sequim to Port Townsend makes a wonderful getaway and visitors will always find something new to discover. 

The short drive from Sequim to Port Townsend and other wonderful cities and locations, is what makes Sequim the perfect central location on the Olympic Peninsula. Nestled between the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sequim residents enjoy access to great nearby small cities and the grandeur of Olympic National Park. If this sounds like paradise to you, we invite you to experience Sequim for yourself. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Schwab Realty can show your around and help you find your next dream home.

Continue Reading

3 Great Reasons to Dine at the Dockside Grill Sequim Restaurant

Panorama Sunset on San Juan de Fuca Strait by Dockside Grill SequimThe Dockside Grill Sequim restaurant has the distinction of offering the only waterfront dining in this small city on the Olympic Peninsula. The restaurant has a casual elegance and large picture windows overlooking scenic Sequim Bay and the John Wayne Marina. Since opening in 2007 the Dockside Grill Sequim restaurant has become a favorite for locals and visitors alike. While also receiving rave reviews for great cuisine, drinks, and an amazing view. In fact it has been nominated for many “Best” lists such as “Best Steakhouse”, “Best Seafood”, and “Most Romantic”.

Chef Steve Little and his wife, Ruth, own and operate the Dockside Grill Sequim restaurant. Steve and his assistant chef, Josh Souza, met in 1995 while working in the restaurant business in California. They have worked together at restaurants in California, Oregon and Washington over the years and remain best friends to this day. The family connection continues as, Steve and Ruth’s son, Glen, works with Josh as his assistant chef. Through their hard work and dedication the Dockside Grill Sequim restaurant has become one of the best in Washington state. Join them for lunch or dinner and discover the 3 best reasons to dine at the Dockside Grill Sequim restaurant:

  1. Amazing Cuisine – You’ll find only the freshest, cedar plank salmon grilling by open fire at Dockside Grill Sequimseasonal Northwest dining at the Dockside Grill.  The talented chefs local farm produce, baked goods and fish caught the same day it’s served. All these ingredients become amazing dishes to savor. Favorites are the delicious local oysters on the half shell, cedar plank salmon topped with Dungeness crab, ale battered halibut, and coffee rubbed ribeye. 
  2. Refreshing Cocktails, Beer and Wine – Not only can you enjoy an extensive wine, craft beer and cider list with dinner, but the Pelican Room also offers an intimate space for sipping an excellent cocktail. Separate from the main dining room, it’s the perfect place to watch sports at the bar or host a private event. 
  3. A Stunning View – The outstanding cuisine will be the only thing to distract you from the beautiful scenery. The picturesque panoramic view of Sequim Bay and John Wayne Marina create a wonderful setting for a romantic dinner. Colorful sailboats reflect on the glassy waters where seals and otters play. While eagles, herons, and kingfishers glide past the windows. 

Continue Reading

5 Great Reasons to Move from Seattle to Sequim WA

View of an idyllic lavender farm on a sunny day why people move from Seattle to SequimWhen listing all the great reasons to relocate from Seattle to Sequim, of course the cost of living comes to mind first. However, there are so many more benefits to moving from Seattle to Sequim than just money. For those looking to leave the stress and crowds of the city behind, Sequim offers the beauty and wide open space of a stunning landscape. In addition to gorgeous mountain and water views, the more affordable homes also mean more personal space. Also access to the Olympic Peninsula state parks offers amazing hiking opportunities in magical rainforests, along crashing waterfall trails and the rugged Washington coastline. Yet, Sequim has plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities within the town itself. Sequim residents enjoy a wealth of local activities such as hiking, biking, boating, golf and aviation. 

Another big reason many relocate from Seattle to Sequim is the ideal weather. Sequim is significantly drier and sunnier than the Seattle area, so the outdoors can be enjoyed year-round. While Sequim’s landscape is breathtaking, its lively downtown also has amazing restaurants, gourmet coffee bars and pubs. This in addition to dozens of fascinating festivals through-out the year makes Sequim an exciting place to live. Are your ready to make the move from Seattle to Sequim yet? Contact our amazing team of knowledgeable brokers at Schwab Realty to find your new home on our corner of paradise of the Olympic Peninsula.

Continue Reading

4 Best Reasons to Visit the Sequim Casino: The 7 Cedars

Blurred slot machines in the Sequim CasinoResidents and visitors love the Sequim casino, the 7 Cedars is just 5 miles east of downtown Sequim. This friendly and fun establishment was opened by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in 1995 and is now operated by JKT Gaming, Inc. The lush valley location overlooks tranquil Sequim Bay, alongside the majestic Strait of Juan de Fuca. This Sequim casino not only offers the hottest games around, but also great entertainment, wonderful dining choices and a world-class golf course. 

Seven colorful totems welcome visitors to the 7 Cedars Casino and also honors the history of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. In addition to a wide variety of gaming activities, the 63,000-square-foot Sequim casino also houses several restaurants and stages for bands, comedy shows and much more. The Sequim casino sits on 14 scenic acres with a 18-hole championship course, a huge draw for local golfers. Here they hold year-round events, competitions, and is also the home of the Washington Senior Open. Not many small towns can boast an exciting casino in their backyard. It’s just another reason why so many love calling Sequim home. When visiting the Sequim casino, also explore everything our town has to offer. Contact our staff at Schwab Realty, we’d love to help you find your dream home on the Olympic Peninsula.

Continue Reading

Helpful Tips for Renovating an Older Home

Photo Credit: pexels.com

If you have an older home, you may be thinking about taking on several do-it-yourself projects to improve your living situation and increase the overall value of your property.  However, it is important to know which projects are valuable enough to outpace the cost of the projects themselves, as well as how the age of your home might affect your ability to follow the projects through to their completion.  Here are some ways you can tell whether your home is a good fit for a do-it-yourself project, as well as which projects are worthwhile whether you plan to sell your home or stay in it for years, and when it is more cost-effective to hire a professional. Continue Reading

Why is Sequim Weather the Best in Washington?

Olympic Mountain Range on a sunny day that creates the great Sequim WeatherThe ideal Sequim weather tops the long list of reasons why so many decide to move to this beautiful location on the Olympic Peninsula. When looking at the state of Washington’s “comfort index” for weather, Sequim scores a very high 7.2 out of 10. This is not surprising since the average annual rainfall for Sequim hovers at 15 inches. This low rainfall is about the same as Los Angeles, California, but without the oppressive heat. In fact, the temperatures in Sequim stay mild, especially in summer. The high in July is around 70 degrees and August and September are also very pleasant months in Sequim.

The area’s topography explains the wonderful Sequim weather conditions. Nestled along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains with the Straits of Juan de Fuca along the coastline. This location places Sequim in the sweet spot called the Olympic Rain Shadow. Surrounded by some of the wettest temperate rainforests in Washington state, Sequim has earned the title of the “Blue Hole.”

Sequim residents love that they can enjoy all the great outdoor activities the region has to offer year-round. Go hiking, biking, running, golfing and kayaking, even in the winter months when living in Sequim. Come out to visit this charming town and experience the amazing Sequim weather your self. Contact our friendly brokers at Schwab Realty and let’s find your new dream home in sunny Sequim.

Continue Reading

Practical Tips for Turning Your Garage Into a Rec Room

Image via Unsplash

There are many reasons to create a rec room at your home. It provides a space to host ping pong tournaments or get the family together for movie marathons, and it gives your kids and their friends the perfect area for a sleepover, to name a few. But really, a rec room is simply what the name suggests: a room that facilitates many different kinds of recreational activities.

Technically, you can put a rec room anywhere in your home, but most people prefer it to be away from primary living areas. One popular method is to convert the garage into a rec room. While this process is usually not quick or easy, it can go smoothly if you plan ahead. If you’re considering turning your garage into a rec room, consider these tips to help get you started. Continue Reading