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Vacation homes: Not just for the rich and famous
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Karpinski and Boulanger both get most of their initial rental inquiries by e-mail. However, they never actually rent out a home until they've talked with the person by phone. "I can read people pretty well, even over the phone, so I know who I'll let into my homes," says Boulanger. He also has been fortunate to develop a group of renters who occupy his properties every year, without fail, and who have almost become personal friends.

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Getting the green
Boulanger and Karpinski both eliminate potential payment conflicts by requiring renters to send them at least half of the total rental fee to hold a reservation (especially during peak season) and requiring the balance of the fee two to three weeks before the renters arrive.

Both owners require security deposits to ensure against damage. They also have detailed lists of rental requirements regarding smoking, pets, cleaning arrangements, etc.

9 tips for successfully renting your own vacation properties:

"I tell people all the time: You really can have a vacation home, even if you think you can't," says Karpinski. "It's definitely not an impossible dream."

Teri Cettina is a freelance writer in Portland, Ore..

Bankrate.com's corrections policy-- Updated: June 19, 2006
 
 
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