Buying a home on Nantucket is such an awesome feeling! WOO HOO! And then it kicks in… I need to furnish this place and I can’t exactly drive to IKEA!!! Don’t panic, we are here to let you in on a few islander tricks. A few years ago I was living in Europe and bought and renovated my house on Nantucket from a distance. I learned a great deal about the ins and outs of furnishing and decorating a house for use as a vacation rental. Since then, I’ve been able to help many of my clients transition into home-ownership, especially when they are not on the island full-time. Our clients often purchase investment properties that they need to turnaround quickly to get ready for the upcoming rental season.
People may assume Amazon Prime is the only option for free shipping but that is simply not the case anymore! The internet certainly provides more options than it did even a few years ago. There are also many on island resources you are going to want to get acquainted with. I rounded up ten pieces of advice to help you after the purchase of your Nantucket home, whether it’s being used as a Nantucket rental property or not.
Here are some tips from Erin Wilson at Fisher Real Estate on how to furnish and decorate your rental home on Nantucket:
TIP #1: GET ACQUAINTED WITH MARINE HOME CENTER
As you pull your house together, you will no doubt be making numerous trips to Marine Home – this place is amazing! You will want to have the layout down to a science to make each trip as efficient as possible. Paint, building supplies, grills, light bulbs – you name it, they have it. Fisher Tip: bring photos and measurements of all the rooms in your house for reference, along with a ruler to measure any new purchases to make sure they will fit in your space. Located at 134 Orange Street. (508) 228-0900.
Tip #2: INVEST IN GREAT MATTRESSES
It may not seem fun to spend money on a good mattress but it is so worth it! Good beds are important whether it is for you or for your renters, we all love a good night’s sleep. Renters are paying a premium on Nantucket and they expect comfortable beds and nice bedding. Sleepy’s in Hyannis does free delivery to Nantucket roughly once per month. There are also online services that will ship direct such as Casper. And, of course, there is Marine Home too… we told you they have everything!
Tip #3: BEDDING – BUY MULTIPLES
Now that you have ordered those comfortable mattresses, make sure you purchase high quality bedding that looks and feels nice. The experience your guests have sleeping in a comfy bed will help them become a repeat tenant.
For sheets, it is helpful to have the same type for beds of the same size as it can get confusing keeping different sets together during hectic turnover days. Click HERE for a list of some of the best sheets from Good Housekeeping.
Tip #4: MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL LIKE IT IS THEIR HOME
When your renters check in they don’t want to see your clothes in the closet or drawers. Clear out these spaces so your guests have enough storage during their stay. Most rental homeowners will reserve one locked closet in their home to keep personal items safe and out of the way. The house should be clutter-free, so remember to take down your personal photos as well.
Fisher Tip: If you want to add a personal touch so renters understand this is your home, perhaps include a nice welcome letter with a family photo. This gives a little background on who you are and help them understand that while the house is a rental, it is also your home.
Tip #5: LOCAL HOME FURNITURE STORES I LOVE
Maybe you are on a budget, maybe not. To make your home unique, mix up your resources. I highly recommend supporting our local businesses as much as you can. And be daring, explore our fantastic antique stores and bring some Nantucket history into your home.
Some boutiques I love:
- Bodega (2 Candle Street): Stephanie, the owner, has an expert eye! Her store is filled with current, unique furniture, textiles, lighting & accessories. Without fail she always has a few accent chairs we are coveting along with fantastic photography for your walls. This store (along with the next) was named as one of the best home stores in New England by Architectural Digest! Need we say more?
- Nantucket Looms (51 Main Street): Since 1968 this Nantucket staple has been helping to furnish island homes with a range of beautiful furniture, handwoven textiles and accessories. This is a timeless store.
- Atlantic (16 Federal Street): For some cool antique finds, stop by this shop because you never know what you will come across. Also named as one of the best home stores in New England by AD. Well worth the visit!
- Milly & Grace (2 Washington Street): While clothing might come to mind, they typically have a great array of decorative pillows and fantastic photography to help fill your walls.
- Nantiquet (7 Old South Wharf): This gem of a store on the wharf should not be missed. This is a great shop to find vintage items to add to your home to bring in that Nantucket charm that makes this island special!
- Anderson’s (29 Main Street): Their boutique features the finest in Nantucket inspired gifts, furniture, lighting, serving ware, linens, and home accessories with a sea side chic style.
For more stores on island, visit Nantucket.net as we don’t have enough space to include them all.
Tip #6: GET $ BACK AND/OR FREE SHIPPING
Wayfair is an online store with almost everything. This site became very attractive to me because Wayfair gives you 3% back on all of your purchases in addition to free shipping on all orders over $49. When you are furnishing an entire home, 3% on your purchases can add up quickly. I ordered my couch on this site and it shipped to me for free, music to my ears. There are also plenty of other online sites that provide free shipping like Amazon Prime and Target. Shop around!
Tip #7: FAVORITE ONLINE FINDS
There are so many wonderful online resources these days. A few that I love:
Tip #8: KITCHEN BASICS
For dishes, bowls, mugs, serving plates and more keep it simple, white & fresh. Especially for a rental property we love the Aspen line from Crate & Barrel. It is simple, relatively inexpensive and it has been around for awhile should you need to order more. But, on that note, order more from the get go as we know how it goes, things break and you will not want to think about it during the busy summer months.
Cookware, Coffee Makers, Toaster Oven, etc:
You may start realizing how much you need to buy for your kitchen to ensure it is well-stocked. Yikes! One of our go to resources is overstock.com for items like coffee maker, toaster, pots & pans and miscellaneous gadgets. Mix in some items from Williams Sonoma like barware or dish towels to give your tenants a high-end feel.
TIP #9: PLAN AHEAD FOR TURNOVER DAYS
Turnover days are challenging. Think about how many houses need cleaning at the same time before the next set of renters check in. Laundry is one of the most time-consuming pieces that holds up this process. If you have room in your home, include two sets of washers & dryers OR even just an extra dryer as this takes the longest. Also have an extra set of towels, bath mats & linens set away for your cleaning team so while laundry is being done they can already be getting the house ready for check in.
In addition to an owner’s closet, if you have extra storage space it is ideal to have a closet with all of these extra items locked away. Extra house supplies that only you and your cleaning team have access to may include:
- toilet paper
- paper towels
TIP #10: DURABILITY
There will be wear & tear on your rental home just as happens when you are living in it. As you are selecting finishes, furniture, rugs, dishes and so on, keep this in mind. One example is I have a white slip covered couch in my living room. People think this is crazy but the fact is you can take the covers off and wash them, air dry and then put back on and it continues to look nice, new and clean! Fisher Tip: Sunbrella makes an amazing stain resistant fabric and it’s not only for outdoors and marine upholstery, they now make interior furniture as well.
If you are looking to purchase investment property, or already have and would like advice on how to turn your home into a successful rental property, never hesitate to reach out to me or anyone on our team.
*Note: information on specific retailers is subject to change