Yosemite West House Update

Plans to set our house in Yo West up to be a revenue-generating vacation home rental are moving ahead. We passed the planning inspection last week, and today passed building inspection, which I think was the last hurdle to get the permit from the county. Now, there are only the remaining insurance and logistics hurdles, and we’ll be ready. Not that those are small hurdles.

In order to rent out your home on a nightly basis, there are certain steps required by the County to make sure that your home is fit for rental. First, there is the permit fee. Then, you need to make sure that your property has safety precautions in place. They want to make sure that your fire extinguisher is located in a place where a visitor would easily be able to find it. A homeowner can keep their extinguisher under the kitchen sink, but a vacation rental needs to have it mounted in plain sight between 3-5 feet off the ground, for example. There are fire-escape signs to be made (silly given our ultra-simple floor plan – but required) as well as notices about neighborhood rules, quiet hours and things like that.

I’ve made a call to our Insurance agent as well, and hopefully she will be able to get back to me with some numbers tomorrow or early next week. I wonder how much extra we will pay in insurance in order to rent. At least there is no wood-fire in the upstairs to tempt our renters to burn our house down.

I know a lot of people are looking to build a fire when they come up to Yosemite, Tom loves the ambiance of the flames and the radiant heat, and a heat source in the winter is always good for me, but we’ve heard horror stories of people who don’t know the first thing about building fires and it’s a little frightening to think of setting them loose in your house, unsupervised. People who have chopped wood on the living room floor with a hatchet and left gouges in the flooring. People who consider starting their fireplace fires with white gas or gasoline. I know that it’s rare, but it’s still a bit unnerving. Nevermind what happens with wood-burning stoves.

With the insurance estimates coming along, now we are looking at trying to figure out what to do with the very special artwork now hanging from our walls. Each piece has a unique and personal story, and we aren’t sure if we would trust them to strangers. My piano. The TV situation – we have an old TV inherited from my grandfather that is nearing the end of its useful life. The screen flickers when you tap the ground in front of it, until it has warmed up for a while. We have a modest, but decent collection of DVDs. Will they get taken? What to do with our books and other personal possessions while other people are in our house? Perhaps we can put all those things in our room and only rent out the guest bedroom? There is still lots of work and decisions moving forward.

Still, with luck, we will be able to take advantage of this summer season and off-set some of the expenditures of finishing out the ground-floor unit… and … um … setting ourselves up with new backpacking gear. But, I guess that is another post.