Are you thinking you’d like to rent out your condo or house while you’re not using it?  Here are some things to consider before Renting in Winter Park, CO :

1.  Owner use

2.  Rental management company

3.  Sleeping occupancy

4.  Lodging tax

5.  Amenities and location

6.  Seasonality

1.       OWNER USE.  How often are you planning on rent the property? Some owners rent as much as they can and hardly ever use it, owners just rent it when they are not using it, and others try to rent it over the busiest holidays/weekends.  If you are just thinking of renting when you are not using it, then you can expect your rental income to help pay for some or most of your condo’s operating expenses – think HOA dues, utilities and taxes.

2.       RENTAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY.   How are you planning on renting the unit?  What type of marketing will work for your property? Are you going to use a local vacation rental lodging company?  Or are you planning to use a website like VRBO.com?  Here’s a website to some nightly rental management companies:

Most of these companies can provide you with an estimated income worksheet for specific properties upon request, make sure to ask what percentage they take and to see a copy of their contract.

– Vacation rental companies take anywhere from 30-40%, but they do all the marketing, coordinating with the guests, cleaning, repairs, etc.  Each company has different standards for the condos they rent out.

– VRBO.com type websites put you in control of scheduling nightly rentals, cleaning, etc.

3.       SLEEPING OCCUPANCY.  How many people can the condo sleep?  This is a big part of the rental game.  For example a 2 bedroom unit that just has a queen bed in each bedroom only sleeps 4 guests.  A better option is to look for a 2 bedroom with a queen bed in one bedroom and 2 bunk beds in the other bedroom and a pull out sofa in the living room – sleeping 8 people and therefore you can charge a higher rate.

4.       LODGING TAX.  Taxes are due on nightly/ short term rentals for anything rented less that 30 days – 9.7% for a property in Fraser and 8.9% for Winter Park.  It is the responsibility of the homeowner to pay these taxes – you have to set up a sales tax account with the state of Colorado.  Talk with your vacation rental company to see if they will handle this for you.

– More Lodging Tax details
Grand County Website

5.       AMENITIES AND LOCATION.  Properties with amenities rent better that those units without.  Does it have a pool or hot tub?  Laundry?  Updated features – like kitchen or bath?  Nice furniture and decor? Close to the free ski shuttle route? Close to restaurants? Close to trails?   Ski-in/Ski-out?  But along with more amenities you probably have a higher HOA fee.

6.       SEASONALITY.  Like most resort areas, we have a strong seasonality. Here is the general concept of the Winter Park/Fraser Seasons.  If you are looking in the Grand Lake area

– Summer is the busiest time, Winter is quiet. Highest Rate/Occupancy

– Christmas, New Year’s, MLK, President’s weekend, spring break High Rate/Occupancy

– Ski season in general Mid Rate/ Occupancy

– Summer season, could charge a little more during festival weekends Lowest Rate/ Occupancy

– Shoulder seasons (aka mud season or off season)