Vacation Home Tip

Physician's Money Digest, October 2005, Volume 12, Issue 14

You've always dreamed of owning avacation home. The problem: You feargetting in over your head. Many vacationhomeowners pay for their properties byrenting them, but the details seem daunting.Don't give up your dream yet,according to Christine Hrib Karpinski,author of How to Rent VacationProperties by Owner: The CompleteGuide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent,Maintain and Advertise Your VacationRental Investment (Kinney PollackPress; 2004). Vacation homes are nolonger just for the wealthy, and about20% of doctors say they own a vacationhome, according to a recent Physician'sMoney Digest survey. Her book ispacked with suggestions from successfulvacation homeowners.

Aim for the magic "17 weeks"—Ifyour monthly mortgage payment is lessthan or equal to one peak week rental,and you rent approximately 17 weeksper year, you will break even on the costof your property. Usually there are 12peak weeks in a rental year. So if yourent these 12 weeks, you will haveenough revenue to pay your mortgagepayments for the entire year. Othercosts, including bills for your phone,power, cable, and association dues, arepaid by your earnings from approximatelyfive off-week rentals.

For information on Karpinski's book,visit www.howtorentbyowner.com.