Whenever possible, I only book a property that is used frequently by the owners, or is checked upon regularly by them. That doesn't mean they shouldn't have a property manager, but they should not rely on a third party to be the sole eyes and ears on their home.
- You'll likely find a fully equippedkitchen, including appliances in good condition, lots of utensils, matching dishes. Because we frequently spend holidays at our cabin, our renters will find everything they need to prepare a complete holiday feast.
- There will probably be a well-stocked pantry including a good variety of seasonings and staples like sugar, cooking oil, etc.
- Better chance of having comfortable furniture and plenty of pillows and blankets, plus nicer home décor overall and relatively new electronics. Good quality patio furniture (including sufficient chairs) and a working grill are a must for warm weather destinations.
- Better maintenance overall, which means less chance of an unexpected problem. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a broken dishwasher or wonky TV or DVD player. Property managers only fix things if they are told they are broken, and renters often don't speak up. A hands-on owner is going to notice the little problems and fix them before they become big ones.
- In ski cabins, owners often have plenty of racks for hanging up wet clothes and mittens by the fire, trays for collecting snow melt off boots, and a supply of good quality firewood. Especially important when traveling during winter is an adequate emergency supplies including batteries, lantern, and candles.
Remember, nobody will take as good of care of a home as its owner. So that's a good reason to book through a property management company or a professional travel advisor, so you can ask very specific questions about the care and upkeep of the property, including how often the owners are on site.