Block Island Homeowners: Welcome to Paradise!
Homeowners on Block Island will get a chuckle out of this. There's a throw pillow in my family's house that has embroidered stitching that reads: "You'll Never Know How Many Friends You Have Until You Own A House On Block Island." We know this to be true. The tell tale sign being the steady stream of Friends and Relatives "coming to visit." We are very fortunate not only to have great Family & Friends who are always welcome in our home (as long as it isn't rented, of course!) but also to have such handy & talented Family & Friends who are only too willing to build something, plant something, bring something, cook something or clean something!! We are truly blessed. Some of our best times at the house happen during these informal work weekends.
If you are a homeowner or just thinking of buying a house on the Block -or- if you own a vacation home and wish to rent it read on:
The majority of Houses on Block Island are vacant in the off season. That's because most homeowners don't live here year round. Some island residents have made winter jobs out of "House Watching." If you own a home on BI and leave it empty part of the year you'll want some one looking after it. Harsh winters can burst pipes and depending on the amount of derelict teenagers running around, break ins can be an issue - not often but sometimes.
Many Homeowners rent their houses in the summer in order to pay the mortgage. My family has a home that we bought as a group to use as a vacation home. We rent the house by the week in the summer. At first we used a Realtor.
A realtor will rent your house for a percentage. They arrange everything from rental inquiries to cleaning. This is the way to go if you are not able or to be involved or if you do not have time to rent it yourself. Block Island realtors have dozens of houses to manage. Interview them all, there are only 8 of them, before deciding the best one for your needs. The advantage here is you don't have to do much and the checks arrive in the mail.
It is a fact that no one will take better care of your home than you. If you use a realtor be prepared to check up on your house as well.
My family decided from the beginning of renting our house that we would begin with a realtor and plan to take over the renting ourselves. This worked out well for us. We hire out the cleaning locally and take turns stopping by between turnovers to check up on the house. Also, our rental schedule really filled out when we took over the marketing of our own home.
Using an online rental listing site to Advertise Your Vacation Rental is simple.
I've checked them all out over the last two years. Some have better web visibility and features to make managing the rentals so easy. Here are a few of the best one's around today:
HomeAway Vacation Rentals This online agency is the largest of them all. You may sign up and get listed on several sites at once. The are inexpensive, give you an online calendar that you may use on any rental site including your own, and they do not take any commission. The cost is $299 per year. You will be listed on 5 additional websites for freee: CyberRentals, Great Rentals, A1Vacations, and international sites HolidayRentals (UK), FeWo-Direkt (Germany).
VacationHomeRentals.com I like this site for a few reasons: I am currently getting lots of inquiries for my family's house from it. It only costs $99 per year and you can try it for free for the first month. The site is very user friendly for some one looking for rentals and especially for the homeowner. I like how easy it is to sign up and list. They give unlimited photos unlike their competitors who want you to pay to "move up on the list."
If you decide to use the VacationHomeRentals.Com website to list your vacation home, I will also list it on this website - Block Island Family Vacation.Com for free!
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Go to the Rent Your House Guide
Go to Block Island Family Vacation
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