Artifical Plants in Orlando Vacation Rental Homes


Can you recommend where we can get some quality interior artificial plants in the Orlando area?


For what it’s worth, in our rental homes we’ve been slowly moving away from artificial plants because of the dusting maintenance hassle. Our complaint is that artificial plants show dust very quickly and the housekeepers aren’t very keen on cleaning them.

Yes, I know we can use anti-dust products. You can dust artificial plants by hand, dunk them in the pool, take them outside and hose them down, but the problem is that it’s another task, and in my opinion, it’s a great plan to eliminate repetitive tasks to keep your costs down and to free up your own time for more important things (enjoying the weather, for example).

We still (sparsely) use nice dried flower arrangements, but we’re replacing artificial plants with other decorations like ceramic art, birds, cast metal objects, decorative bird houses, that sort of thing. They consume space just as well but are much easier to dust, according to our housekeepers.

Having a Car in Florida


We were wondering if you, or anyone you know have bought and registered a car to their house in Florida. We like the idea of buying a car and keeping it in safe storage to use when we go over.


Generally, it doesn’t make financial sense to own a car.

Be sure to add up all the costs to purchase a car and insurance.
Consider the cost of a taxi or bus to get from the airport to your car every time you visit. Also remember that you’ll be forfeiting use of part of your garage and that your stored automobile could be subjected to damage by guests.

Now, take all those costs of ownership and compare them to the total amount you paid for car rentals last year while in Florida. Generally, renting makes much more sense.

How can I get financing to buy my vacation rental home?

I am a newbie when it comes to vacation rentals. I have been reading
up on it and want to get going with it. This has been our dream for a
long while. My question begins with financing. We currently own a
home, and are building one to sell. So we have 2 large loans showing
on our credit. My local mortgage officer said that until the building
is complete and it sells, we probably won’t qualify for a second home
loan for a vacation rental. Then I asked about going for
an “investment loan” after finding a rental with a proven rental
history. He said mortgage company don’t consider vacation property
income because there is not a “lease”. This sounds a little fishy and
wanted to get some feedback from you all. How does anyone ever qualify
for an investment property loan and count the income to qualify? I
hope I am making sense.
Thanks so much.
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How can I avoid capital gains taxes when I sell my villa or short term vacation rental home?

You can sell your primary home every two years and pocket up to $500K in capital gains.
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Would it be a good idea to buy a Vacation Rental Home that sleeps 30 people?

From: blarson01 > We’re thinking about buying a VR that would sleep a large number of people (around 30) to use as a multi-generational getaway.
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Are your Orlando Vacation Rental Homes available for parties?

“House parties are strictly prohibited, and are grounds for immediate eviction, and forfeiture of all deposits received. The Sheriffs department will be called to evict Tenants who exceed occupancy limits and violate noise ordinances.”

A few times each year we get calls from locals who want to rent our homes for a weekend.  We generally outright decline rentals from locals, or we enforce our 5 night minimum, which, of course, discourages partygoers from renting.  You may have noticed that our lease says, “5 adults maximum and 10 people maximum”  this is mostly to discourage parties and to limit the number of families in our homes.  In our Orlando Market, our target guests are families with young children.   They tend to be much gentler on our homes than the groups of eight or ten adults.

Should I install Solar Heating for my Pool at my Vacation Rental Home?


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Should I keep the rental rate of my rental home the same year round?

Debby asked,  “Should I keep my rental pricing simple and charge the same rate per night year round?”

The value of a week when nearly any guest can travel, like Easter, is HIGH.

The value of a week when when fewer guests can travel, like the second week of September when children return to school, is LOW.

If you’re not pricing your home to earning the maximum possible for the varying values of different weeks, then you’re throwing money away and your chance for profit.

I’ve been told that my earlier link to the Wall Street Journal requires a subscription, so I’ll post some excerpts from this respected source:

“”There are as many people who are underpricing as are overpricing,” Mr. Sharples says. “It’s always been fascinating to me how the best properties are always booked a year in advance. In the summertime or at Christmas, if those people held out a bit longer and increased their prices a bit, would they increase their revenue? I’m sure they would.”

“Typically, owners should knock 30% off their peak rates for so-called shoulder-season rentals — those that fall between their high and low seasons — and as much as 50% off peak rates for low-season rentals,”

“Just before Christmas, inquiries slowed to a trickle for Amy Greener’s “Swaying Pines Chalet,” an 1,180-square-foot cabin she owns in the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Ms. Greener, who advertises on six Web sites for the two cabins she owns, responded by cutting her price and posting the deal as a “Holiday Shopping Special.” That move yielded several renters.”

“In Cape Cod, owners generally slash their off-season prices to the point where a month costs about the same as a week does during summer, ”

“People with very young children are more likely to travel off-season, because they’re not constrained by school schedules,” she says. A high chair or a portable crib aren’t expensive additions, but can drastically increase off-season bookings,”

How can I come up with a catchy name for my Vacation Rental Home?

> Does anyone know a site (or method) to use for
> coming up with a pleasant,memorable,catchy or
> otherwise appropriate name for a vacation rental?

Referrals are very important to any business.  They’re especially important in the vacation rental business where many folks rely on the recommendations of people they know.

The problem is, people often recommend vacation rental homes verbally when they’re talking on the phone, or sharing a meal, or driving in a car.   I ask my guests how they heard about my website and they often say that they heard about us at work or at a social gathering.   The key here is that they *heard* about our website and remembered it.  They didn’t need a link.  They didn’t have to write it down.  They heard it,  they remembered it, and they typed it correctly in their Internet browser to find us.

So, when I create my website names (I have more than 100) I like to imagine that my goal is to *tell* the website name to someone who can’t write it down and have them effortlessly remember it.  In fact, I’ll often test my domain names with the non-computer people I know.   I’ll casually discuss with someone a domain name that I’m considering but I won’t specifically *ask* them to try to remember it.  Then, a few days later I’ll ask them, “Do you happen to recall the website name I was telling you about?”   If your friends, co-workers and customers can easily remember and correctly verbalize your domain name then they can help recruit potential guests for you.

Here are some rules I use when creating a domain name:

1) First, try to think of names that are related to the primary feature or  attraction of your home or your home’s area.   Is your vacation rental home on a lake?  Near a  beach?  In the city? Near some tourist attraction?  Make a list of these  words or short phrases as a starting point for a domain name.

2) The shorter the domain name, the better. Shorter domain names are easier to  remember, easier to say, easier to spell, and faster to write.

3) Strive for a .COM name.  While .ORG and .NET names are acceptable for Organizations and Networks a .COM name is still  the king of the hill.   If you choose any domain extension other than  .COM, it will only confuse people who naturally think .COM first when they think of any Internet web site.

4) Avoid Hyphens. Remember the idea about conveying the name in speech,  “Oh, I saw this great vacation rental home on the web, it was at, ‘my hyphen vacation hyphen villa hyphen by hyphen the hyphen sea dot com.”  See what a mess that is to say, let alone for anyone to remember?

5) Avoid plural words or words that can be pluralized unless you plan to buy all the derivative names.   Was the domain name “TennesseeVacationRental?” or was it, “TennesseeVacationRentals?”  if you don’t own both domains then expect to lose traffic to the guy who buys the other domain name.    It’s best to avoid the issue completely, if possible by using words in your domain name that aren’t typically pluralized.

6) Avoid words that are easily misspelled.   One of my websites is named and although I think that’s a fairly easy domain to remember and spell, I’ve been compelled to also buy the domain and because I discovered those were two of the other domain names that my prospective guests were mistakenly typing when trying to find my website.

7) Generally, avoid numbers unless they have some sort of memorable significance.  For example, most people can remember  number sequences like 411, and 911, and 123.    Some people will try to spell the name and some won’t remember if the numbers come before or after the words.   So, why complicate your domain name with numbers if you don’t need to?

8) Likewise, avoid words that have multiple spellings for the same pronunciation like  to, too, two.    Again, you want to make the path effortless to your website, and including ambiguous words makes it harder for your customers to find you.

Good luck!

Chuck Eglinton

How do you recommend that I furnish and decorate my Vacation Rental Home?


How you furnish and decorate your home depends somewhat on what guests expect in your vacation rental market. For example, if you’re renting a bed and breakfast, then guests are somewhat expecting the furniture and decorations they would expect to find in a bed and breakfast in your market. I’m somewhat pragmatic about my rental homes, I’m always asking myself, “how can I resolve this problem so I don’t have to bother with this problem ever again? How can I get this done to reduce conflict with my guests, my cleaners, or my maintenance folks?” The result after several years in this business and currently owning 3 rental homes…. [Read more…]