Real Estate Confidential: Want to rent your Martha’s Vineyard house?


Weekly chit-chat about new listings, sales or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market, by Fred Roven, Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents.

Renting out your vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard is a great way to make a profit from your real estate investment. Many vacation property owners only spend part of the year on the Vineyard, so renting out the property makes great financial sense.

There are two different approaches to renting your vacation home. You can choose to work with a local rental specialist or independently on your own. Here’s what you need to know.

Perks of working with a rental specialist

There’s a great deal of responsibility that comes with renting your home. Many property owners who choose to go it alone often regret the choice. There are so many details and legalities that it can easily become overwhelming. This is why we strongly encourage vacation property owners to work with a rental specialist.

A rental specialist is knowledgeable in all legal aspects of renting your home. They can help you through legal paperwork, draw up leases and collect rental funds on your behalf. These services alone offer incredible peace of mind.

A local rental specialist will also help with the day-to-day details, like managing property check-ins, lawn care, and emergency situations that may arise with your property. All these things are incredibly difficult to manage when you’re hundreds of miles away from your vacation property.

What to know when renting your vacation property on your own

If you choose to take the task of renting your vacation property into your own hands, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • It’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer and accountant about renting your vacation home. You’ll want to make sure you understand all your legal obligations and have a rental agreement that protects both parties. There’s also certain tax considerations that you need to be aware of.
  • You’ll need to plan for upkeep and care. Unless you’re close enough to handle regular upkeep and the occasional emergency yourself, it’s important to hire professionals to take care of these tasks for you. You’ll need a caretaker, lawn care and cleaning service at the minimum. You’ll also need a plan of action for emergencies like plumbing or electrical issues.
  • Be realistic about your property’s value as a rental. Vacationers will often include family or larger groups of friends, so properties with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths are preferred.
  • Certain areas of Martha’s Vineyard are more popular for rentals than others. The hottest areas right now are close to beaches, downtown areas, and historic districts. Every area can provide good rental opportunities particularly homes on the water, with a pool, or those that are pet friendly.
  • When advertising your vacation home, make sure to highlight special features. Proximity to town or the water should always be mentioned, as should amenities like a pool, outdoor shower, and central A/C. These features can double the price of your rental, so it’s crucial to include them.
  • Finally, a picture is worth a thousand words. Multiple pictures are worth a million. Always include images of your home in the rental listing and showcase it in the best light. It’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer to capture the true beauty of your property.

Situated steps from South Beach, the pictured home in Katama is listed by Sandpiper Realty and priced at $5,500,000. Imagine your summers spent in a perfect blend of seaside comfort and classic sophistication, or the joy your potential tenants will feel arriving to this resort like compound.