3.3 Floor Plans and Amenities

Not every property will be a successful rental.  Different floor plans will work in different locations so it’s important to recognize what will work and what won’t.

We look at:

  • The elements of a successful STR property
  • The benefits of a purpose-built vacation home
  • Amenities and expectations
  • Safety aspects of vacation rentals

Things to consider when examining floor plans.

Master Suites

The typical residential home has only one master suite while multiple master suites can contribute to the greater rental potential. In larger properties where multi-generational families may vacation, this feature is very popular.  Ground floor master suites contribute more appeal for accessibility.

Bedroom to Bathroom Ratio

Similarly, the importance of additional bathrooms is significantly higher in a vacation rental investment property, and they can have a positive impact on a rental rate, so it’s an important feature to point out to an investor when they are trying to narrow their choices down to a specific home.

Living Areas

In a vacation rental, formal living rooms are generally a waste of space – people on vacation have no use for formal dining on the whole.

The most popular layout is an open-plan allowing groups of guests to congregate and socialize in a single space. Other rooms – particularly in larger properties can be used for home theaters, games rooms, etc.  These include garages, basements, and those formal rooms.

Outdoor living areas are used as much as indoors in good climates.

Purpose-built vacation rentals

Take a look at the types of floor plans that have been custom-built for the market.  These are a result of years of research. Multiple master suites, plenty of bathrooms, open plan space for living and dining, and theatre/games area.  It’s worthwhile keeping this ideal plan in mind when you are sourcing properties for investors.

Property exposure and privacy

Depending on the location of the property – exposure can be a deal-breaker for rental guests so lots with favorable sun exposure can see an increase in sales price, but will also result in better rental rates.

South-facing patios and pools are typically sold and rented at a premium.

Properties that have little to no view, and are lower in privacy have less appeal and will likely have lower rental rates than those with greater privacy levels.

Lot Location

There are more variables that can impact a rental rate such as:

  • Distance to amenities and area attractions
  • Backyard exposure & fenced areas
  • Ease of access
  • Parking availability

Investors will want to know:

  1. Should I have a master bedroom on the first floor?
  2. Do I need a formal living/dining room? What can I do with the space if there is one in a house I am shown?
  3. What value is there in putting in a theatre or games room?
  4. What exposure is best?