While plenty of lakeside homeowners are more than happy to make lake life a year-round adventure, others use their lake houses as more of a weekend retreat or summertime getaway. And in these cases, a homeowner has the option of letting their home sit dark and unoccupied for extended periods, or sharing their dwelling with other travelers looking to enjoy some much-deserved lake relaxation (at a cost, of course). Renting out your Lake of the Ozarks real estate or other lake house is an excellent way to earn some extra money while you’re away. But if you’re considering renting out your lake house, there are some things you’ll want to consider first.
Benefits to Renting Out Your Lake House
If you’re not planning to reside in your lake house on a permanent basis, renting the home out to guests can be a highly rewarding experience for both parties. Here are a few of the perks in letting others enjoy your home while you’re away.
Yes, of course the biggest perk to renting out your lake house is the potential to put some extra cash in your pocket. If you’re still making mortgage payments on the property, income from renting vacationers can help offset those costs. It’s also an excellent way to help cover maintenance and upkeep costs for the home.
Local economy booster
It’s important to support locally owned businesses in and around your lakeside community. And a vacant home isn’t going to do much to support the local economy. So you can be sure that local restauranteurs and other business owners will certainly appreciate the additional foot traffic generated from your rental property when you’re not using it yourself.
Justification in future home investments
If your lake house is just a part-time getaway for you and your family, it can be hard to justify spending a lot of money keeping it modern and chic. If your home is owned outright, rental dollars can be spent wisely on home upgrades and features to make your home even more attractive to future renters.
Downsides to Renting Out Your Lake House
Of course, renting out your lake house involves more than just collecting rent and counting your money. It either requires a substantial time commitment and added responsibilities or a financial commitment to someone who can handle these tasks on your behalf. Either way, there are some downsides you’ll want to consider before opening up your lake house to the general public.
More Wear and Tear
Naturally, with more people in and out of your home, you can reasonably expect that elements of your home (the HVAC, the carpet, the appliances, etc.) are not going to last quite as long as they would if your house was just empty for weeks or months at a time. Be prepared to put money into repairs and upgrades throughout the year in order to give your guests the best possible experience.
Strangers in Your Home
One of the biggest mental hurdles prospective landlords tend to struggle with is the idea that an endless stream of strangers will be living temporarily in their home. This includes using your kitchen appliances, using your bathrooms, and sleeping in your bed. If the notion of sharing your property and living spaces with unknown visitors bothers you, it might be best to avoid renting altogether.
If you want to rent your home out, it’s best to read up on the laws and regulations specific to your municipality. For example, who is liable if someone is injured while visiting your home? Who is responsible for damage to your property? What if someone commits an illegal act during their stay? These are all questions you’ll want to research ahead of time (and you may want to consider working with a lawyer just in case.)
And on that topic, we’ve come across many homeowners in the Ozarks that rent out properties without collecting the mandated lodging tax. For more information on lodging taxes in and around the Lake of the Ozarks, visit the Tri-County Lodging Association page.
So while sharing your lake house with travelers looking for a once-in-a-lifetime lakeside experience can be financially rewarding and a worthwhile investment in your property, you will want to do your research and weigh the pros and cons before handing over the keys for the first time.