Best features for a STJ Coral Bay rental property
My wife and I are looking at STJ, Coral Bay to purchase a vacation home for my family. Other than amazing view and trade winds, I was looking for ideas for what makes a coral bay villa or home a desirable vacation rental.
You may get some ideas by hopping onto vrbo.com and seeing what other vacation villas in Coral Bay offer and what their reviewers have to say. Different vacationers have different tastes and there's no "one size fits all" set-up. A pool seems to be a big draw - if not a full pool then a dip pool or hot tub for evenings on the deck.
All I can tell you is that after reading hundreds if not thousands of vacation villa reviews over the years, a pool or hot tub is a definite plus for many who are perfectly willing to pay a premium for it. And yes, lack of A/C very often is a major deal-breaker. You may have excellent airflow year round but at least have A/C option in the bedrooms.
AC is absolutely necessary in a vacation rental.
Of course, it'll add to your monthly costs as vacation guests tend not to conserve electricity, will leave doors open and run the AC 24/7.
There are many successful vacation rentals without a pool.
That would be a personal preference.
We do not have a pool and our place (on STX) rents very well, on par with surrounding properties with pools (granted we are close to some great beaches on island). Just understand you need to adjust your rate to reflect this. I strongly believe we fill a niche for people who want to save $200-$300 on a weeks rental.
Does a pool add value? Perhaps, but they payback on a pool is very long, considering the cost of building one on island, especially if you do not have flat ground ($50-70K), plus $200/month for maintenance/chemicals.
It may not make economic sense from an ROI standpoint, unless you personally really enjoy having a pool and will spend time on island using it.
I think no AC is definitely a deal breaker, and you'd be wise to be very explicit about this in the write up of the rental to avoid bad reviews.
Thank you so much for this advice. I've seen several wall mounted AC's that don't seem to obstruct the view. I'm not necessarily a pool aficionado. We grew up with pools and hot tubs and something was always going wrong with the plumbing, cleaning sytems, or a leak. Our draw to the VI is swimming in the ocean.
Before i lived here (STX), we used to rent houses for vacation all over the Caribbean. Here were what we always wanted in a rental
1. On or close to beach
3. well stocked kitchen....not food, cooking stuff
4. A/C in bedrooms
5. Outdoor living space i.e. nice deck, don't need a big deck just a nice deck
6. A pool was a bonus but not a deal breaker, preferred no pool
7. An outdoor shower is cool beyond words double bonus
I appreciate the checlist and all of the AC responses. Seems like a reasonable accommodation. I'm looking at a location that checks most of those boxes...huge outdoor shower fan on vacation. Pools +/-. I read a forum on trip advisor mentioning how a visitor felt guilty after a week of coming back from the beaches to the pool without rinsing off the dust and how bad the pool looked afterwards.
Off topic...does anyone have advice about the need for UV filtration on a rainwater cistern or what level of window protection is needed for typical storms?
Think someone mentioned it earlier but sliding aluminum shutters are the best. Get ones with a handle on the latch. The push in to lock sliders have a tendency to need to have the locks replaced and that's the last thing you need (not to be able to lock them) when there's an impending storm.
If you have any locations that sliding shutters can't be installed (plan your openings properly) get the clear lexan shutters. At least you'll have light coming in if you're all boarded up.
I'll let others comment on filtration systems.
We do get a lot of Sahara dust in the summer so that might be a maintenance consideration for your pool.
Got our whole house filter system from H20splashwaterfilter.com. Great prices and they ship to the island. Ended up with a triple filter system w/ uw light similar to this one:
Your plumber can tell you the correct GPM.
I'm with the others, AC in the bedrooms at the minimum. That is a deal breaker for the majority of the short term renters we see. I would say more than half look for either a pool or a hot tub. People like to hang at the beach during the day and hang in the pool in the evening. Our beaches get buggy around 4 or 5pm and a lot of visitors just aren't ready to be finished with the water that early.
I looked at the listing you linked. In my opinion, there are a lot of funky things with that property that won't appeal to the short term renter. Some of the beds on high platforms that would be hard for a lot of people to climb up on. The other bedroom that has no door, only curtains that pull across (which would make AC in that room not very effective). It would need new furniture instead of what is there now. However, I do think it would appeal to a long term renter. A lot of the people who live here full time are more than willing to deal with some kind of funkiness in their rental, and no AC, and no pool. But of course, that would mean you couldn't just pop down and stay at your property whenever you wanted to.
AC in bedrooms a must.
I wouldn't bother with other rooms or you might end up with an unmanageable WAPA bill.
AC filters should be cleaned regularly (I clean mine monthly) and it's good to have the exterior unit cleaned annually.
My bedroom doesn't have a door but with a curtain across the entryway, the AC works just fine and I don't have to have it on a low setting to keep it cool.
Depends really on the market you're trying to attract and the price range you're planning on charging. Pools and hot tubs require additional maintenance and cleaning so you'd have to figure that into your ROI as well as someone to clean and a property manager that's on call to take care of things that come up and can facilitate repairs, etc.
One thing I have not seen anyone mentioned that is super-important for a Coral Bay vacation rental:
People who will be renting on that end of the island will want to "get away from it all". If you have close neighbors, or nearby ones who are noisy, or a huge multi-year construction project is about to begin close at hand, it will affect your reviews on TripAdvisor, and thus your future pricing and bookings.
Make sure you know who you're buying next to, and if it's empty land, what could possibly be built right next door.