A Guide to Buying a California Vacation Rental

By Henry Moore

California is the third largest of the United States and offers a diversity of attractions, from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood to the serene redwood forests. Given the variety of sightseeing options, it’s no wonder that the state is a hot spot for tourists: Tourism brought in $140 billion in 2018 alone. Thanks to its popularity, California is an ideal choice if you want to buy a property that you can rent out as a vacation home. To make a profit, however, you need to choose your real estate wisely. Find out how to set up a profitable property with these tips:


Target a popular tourist area


California is vast. Before you buy, narrow down your search area based on popular tourist sites. There’s no point buying a bargain piece of property if it’s located in the middle of nowhere and won’t attract traffic. Possibilities include Los Angeles, where you can go shopping on Rodeo Drive or visit the homes of Hollywood stars. Or you could look in San Francisco for access to all the Bay Area has to offer. Another area to explore is San Diego.  La Jolla has stunning cliff views and is ideal for seal and sea lion watching, and a home in the Gaslamp Quarter will put you near the world-famous San Diego Zoo.


Compare location prices


With your geographic area narrowed down, you can start to compare real estate prices to ensure you find something within your budget. Some neighborhoods will be more affordable than others. Using a real estate search tool allows you to get an overview of the average costs of different districts. For instance, Redfin notes that homes in San Diego sold for an average of $632,000 over the last month. Compare this to San Francisco, notorious for its expensive homes, where the average price is a whopping $1.2 million.


Calculate potential profits


Figure out your operating costs. There isn’t just electricity and water to consider, but also cleaning fees, property taxes, your mortgage, and insurance. Then there are advertising prices—you have to find your guests, after all. Next, calculate your expected monthly income based on how much you are charging per night and how many nights you expect to rent out the property. Compare the two figures to make sure you will turn a profit. If not, see if you can reasonably increase the price on the property. Otherwise, you might want to keep looking for a more cost-effective option.


Set up your vacation home for business


You can’t just put a vacation home up for rent as is. People want to feel like they are getting a “home away from home,” and it’s your job to deliver this experience. Stock the place with everyday amenities like kitchen tools, toilet paper, WiFi, and linens and towels. Homeaway’s checklist includes lots of small but important items you might not otherwise think of, from garbage bags to a hairdryer (which Amazon sells for under $10). If you really want to make the rental attractive and justify a higher price, install “luxury” perks like barbecue, jacuzzi, or fireplace.


Start advertising


There are many online vacation rental platforms available to choose from when listing your rental. Business Insider provides several options, from Airbnb to OneFineStay. Airbnb alone has over one million properties listed worldwide, so with this wealth of resources at your fingertips, you should have no problems finding guests.


Use the above list to ensure your vacation home is marketable in terms of location, area, and amenities, and you’re sure to get business. While it will initially require an extra investment of money, time, and effort, once your California property rental is up and running, you will enjoy a wonderful source of primarily passive income. Plus, for those times when it isn’t in use, you can use it for your own enjoyment!


Photo Credit: Pexels.com


Home-Buying: How To Find The Right Seller

The best seller is one who is highly motivated. A highly motivated seller is more likely to sell at a price that is less than his or her house is actually worth. And it matters that you find out why. Learning the reason why can help you get the price you want and help the seller get what they want: a timely sale.

When given the opportunity to meet with sellers, ask them why they are selling. The reason could be anything, such as a job change that causes them to move to a new location or financial problems. If you can solve their problem, whether it is cash related or time related, do so. For example, if the sellers are highly motivated because they need to move quickly, give them a fast sale – and a lower price. If you can make an offer, even a low one, that gives them cash in a short time, they are more likely to accept.

Image result for home seller

There are also some sellers that you should avoid. Not every seller is as genuinely motivated as they make themselves to be. Some possible hints:

  • they stall on having the home appraised or inspected
  • they are unable to clear up liens against their property
  • they do not own 100% of their property
  • they push back the move-out date
  • they do not have a replacement property or back up plan
  • etc.

It is impossible to find the perfect seller. But it is possible to find out which sellers are legit and which ones aren’t.

Design Trends: Outdoor Kitchens

A popular design trend in Southern California, today’s outdoor kitchens keep getting better and better! With many specialty design elements and state-of-the-art appliances, the outdoor kitchen is often the centerpiece of an entertainer’s backyard. When food is grilled out on the patio, guests can gather around the grill and socialize as dinner is being prepared. If you like to host pool parties, baby showers, barbecues and more, consider investing in one of these outdoor kitchens! In your outdoor cooking area, you and your family members can celebrate birthdays, holidays, or just enjoy the great outdoors.  Check out these amazing outdoor kitchen design ideas to help get you inspired!

All images via our Pinterest

 #patio #outdoorkitchen #outdoorkitchensandbbqareas #patioideas Outdoor Creations Landscape | ... Kitchens, Built-In Grills and Bars | Moscarino Outdoor Creations59+ Stuning DIY Outdoor Kitchen Ideas On A Budget #kitchendesign #kitchenremodel #kitchendecorCypress Design Co. on Instagram: Summer is coming!!!! Why not enjoy your meal and entertain...


Home Selling: Build Your Plan of Action

1. Analyze why you are selling – If you understand your motives, you will be able to better negotiate and to get what it is that you want, whether it be a quick sale, high price, or somewhere in the middle.

2. Prepare your home for the buyer – Maximize the strengths of your property and fix up its weaknesses. You want the buyer to walk away from your home with a lasting good impression.

3. Find a good real estate agent that understands your needs – Make sure that your agent is loyal to you, and can negotiate to help you achieve your goals. In addition, they should be assertive and honest with both you and the buyer.

4. BRelated imagee prepared for negotiation – Learn and understand your buyer’s situation; what are their motives? Can you demand a big deposit from them? Try to lock in the buyer so that the deal goes through.

5. Negotiate for the best price and the best terms – Learn how to counter offer to get maximum value from every offer.

6. Make sure the contract is accurate and complete – Be honest with your disclosures; you do not want to lose the deal because you were lying or diminishing your home’s defects. Insist the buyers get a professional inspection. This will protect both you and the buyer.

Design Trends: Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets

Update your kitchen with a pop of color or hint of contrast with two-toned kitchen cabinets. Adding this trend can give your kitchen the face-lift you’re trying to find! Whether it be adding a statement color or simply lightening up some wood, this trendy addition highlights key features and introduces color diversity to your kitchen. Take a look below for some fresh inspiration.

All images via our Pinterest


Two-toned kitchen cabinets are officially all the rage, like in this kitchen with the lighter upper cabinets and darker lower ones. Click through for more info on two-toned cabinets.

Two tone kitchen cabinets!

For some people, using blue color for kitchen may sound strange. But, with the right way, you can even breathe life into your kitchen with blue accents!  #kitchen #blue #color #cabinet24 Lovely Blue Kitchen Area Cabinet Ideas  #kitchencabinets#kitchendesign#kitchenplayset#kitchenislandideas#kitchentrashcan

Design Trends: Copper Accents

Copper is having a moment right now when it comes to home decor and there is no sign of this trend losing popularity! Despite its rough exterior, copper accents add elegance and edge to your space.

This metal can be used  in light fixtures, furniture, accessories (trays, vases, pillows, pots),  and kitchen accessories. Pair this metallic with wood, marble, white, or mint and you are well on your way to nailing this trend!

All images via our Pinterest

Black and white home decor with a twit- shiny copper pendant lighting fixtureCopper Accents Add Homespun Glamour to This Charming KitchenStylish monochrome living room inspiration with greenery and wood accents. We love the copper coffee tables. #modernliving #contemporarylivingroomLiving Room in Pastel Tones - Lady's Houses"The Sven sofa is so luxurious and it was simple to shop for. Article has modern style high-quality furniture that is shipped directly to you. They have lower prices than you would find at other furniture retailers because they don’t have showrooms or salespeople and the online process is easy." Photo by Eleven Magnolia Lane.#repin    SHELLEY SASS DESIGNS Interior Design in San  Diego 858-255-9050 shelley@shelleysassdesigns.com Let's collaborate and design  your beautiful space today! #interiordesign #remodeling #edesign #homestaging  #interiorstyle #interiorideas #interiors #interiorinspiration #interiorstylist  #interiorinspirationKitchen Arrangement Ideas | Kitchen Furnishing Ideas | New Home Kitchen Design Ideas 20190802





















Home Seller Tips: Ask Yourself, Why Are You Selling?


If you know exactly why you are selling then it is easier for you to follow the right plan of action for getting what you want.

If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won’t or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on.

Image result for home offersIt’s always good to know how low you will go in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider all offers seriously and take into consideration the terms of each offer, sometimes, if you know the bottom line and are strict about it, you can save yourself time.

Once you know what your limits and reasons are, discuss them with your agent so that they can help you set your goals realistically. If you decide to list your home on your own, make sure you do research on the current market, and you get the proper advice you need in terms of legal issues, etc. The key is to be realistic and know what your goals are so they can be met.