To Rent or Not to Rent

Today’s market shows that really no matter where you live, you are likely to have renters interested in your property. People are utilizing sites like VRBO and Airbnb in record numbers, but there are plenty of things to consider before putting your space up for rent this season.

Know the rules.
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that renting your home falls within the specific guidelines and regulations in your state and county. These rules vary greatly depending on what part of the country you are in, so you’ll need to make sure you are following protocol.

Clear your schedule.
Preparing your home for rental can be time-consuming to start, but once you get in the swing of things, it shouldn’t involve too much time and energy on your end. Some of the basic tasks you will need to consider are advertising, responding to inquiries, handling taxes, managing maintenance, and hiring service people (e.g. housekeepers and handymen).

Market your home.
Getting renters to want to stay in your home shouldn’t be difficult, so long as you know what people are looking for. When searching for a vacation property, most people consider its proximity to popular attractions, accessibility and size, available dates, and cost. Be sure to check the going rates for other rentals in your area, and focus on advertising your space’s closeness to must-do activities, fine dining, and kid-friendly spots.

Make it stand out.
Your home will likely be up against hundreds of other rentals, so you’ll want to make sure to emphasize special deals and amenities. If you have things like a pool, an HD television, a large movie collection, or beach equipment in the shed, you will want to highlight it so you let potential renters know that your space is one of the best!

Protect yourself.
Anytime you open your home to strangers you, are leaving your personal property and belongings in the hands of others, and, accidents do happen. If you plan on renting your space for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to consider taking anything valuable with you or placing it in storage. It might seem like a pain to have to remove these things, but it’s worth the hassle to prevent damage or added expenses later.

Crab in the Sand-wiches

What looks like a crab but tastes like delicious tuna? This sandwich, which is made to look like a clawing red beach-dweller!

Ingredients

  • 2–4 cans of tuna
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4–8 croissants, cut in half
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Asiago cheese, sliced
  • Black olives

Instructions:

  1. Drain water from the tuna, and place it into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Combine the red onions, green peppers, garlic, and parsley together in a separate bowl. Add to the tuna.
  3. Add in the mayo and mustard, and mix well. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Place a piece of lettuce on the bottom piece of a croissant, and spoon some of the tuna mixture on top. Place a piece of cheese onto the tuna, and finish with the top piece of croissant.
  5. Take two toothpicks and place an olive onto each. Stick into the top of the sandwich for eyes. Repeat the final two steps with the remaining croissants. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Have S’more Fun with a Campfire-Themed Party

Camping out has been a traditional summer event for generations, but there’s no need for your friends and family to pack up and get lost in the wilderness—you can have a campfire party in your own backyard! With these fun party ideas, you will have your guests will have s’more fun!

chocolate-bar-wrappers

Fire up your appetite:

  • The graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow combo is always a classic, but try throwing in some new ingredients like peanut butter, caramel, bacon, or even fruit for a new twist on an old favorite.
  • Burgers and hot dogs are obvious must-haves for a camping party. Keep your meat temperature preferences organized by writing them on the buns in ketchup or mustard.
  • Try out some sweet-and-salty trail mix treats that everyone will love.
Campfire-Themed Party Signs

Follow these tips and tricks to light up your party:

  • A bonfire is a great highlight for any camping party, but safety should always be the top priority.
  • Build a fort out of objects you have around the house or find outside.

From Sizzlin’ to Sweet: Grill Cake

The fun of summer cooking without the fire!READ ARTICLE

Magnetic Bug Jars

Catch Fireflies with Style

Kids will love to make this decorative jar to help them catch little lightning bugs.READ ARTICLE

Set the Seaside Scene

Your beach party would be incomplete without nautical-themed decor! A shark photo booth and colorful hanging umbrella balls are the perfect touch to bring your guests right to the seashore.

shark-tooth-photo-booth

Shark Tooth Photo Shoot

Take some snapshots of your guests in the mouth of one of the ocean’s most notorious creatures! This DIY handheld photo booth will be the hit of your beach-themed bash—guaranteed.

Materials

  • Foam board/poster board
  • Pencil
  • Gray, white, black, and red paint
  • X-ACTO® knife

Directions:

  1. Create the shape of a forward-facing shark face on your foam board or poster board.
  2. Where the mouth of the shark will be, cut out along the inside of the teeth and mouth to create an open space for the frame.
  3. Paint the body of the shark gray and white, and the eyes black. Keep the teeth white, and add a line of red around the base of the teeth, if you desire.
set-the-seaside-scene

Hanging Beach Umbrella Balls

Breezy striped umbrellas are an iconic site on beaches across the country and a great way to add some color to your get-together.

Materials

  • String
  • Flat thumbtacks
  • Glue
  • Styrofoam balls in varying sizes
  • Mini drink umbrellas

Directions:

  1. Tie a piece of the string to a flat thumbtack, and place a small drop of glue onto the underside of the tack. Place the tack into the top of one of the Styrofoam balls.
  2. Open the drink umbrellas, and place the ends into the Styrofoam ball randomly until it is completely covered.
  3. Repeat the steps until all of the Styrofoam balls are covered in the umbrellas, and hang sporadically around your beach party.