A country home- especially one located on a lake, by the sea, or near other holiday destinations – can be an excellent source of income. In most cases the most important factor to bear in mind is location. However, in order to maximize profit there is another, less heralded but crucial factor to bear in mind, namely quality. A good design for a rental property doesn’t necessarily mean a country house living magazine plan featured in the pages of Country Home magazine. Rather, by quality is meant the selection of a good basic plan, as well as quality in terms of standard of comfort. This means paying close attention to the small details which beg vacation renters to return again and again. In order for a country home to give pleasure to vacationers and to return a fair profit on your investment, a certain amount of expertise is required.
Country homes should be inviting, comfortable places to live. A front porch which feels welcoming; symmetrical windows; and second floor dormers; are all marks of the average country home. Originally Southern in origin, and typical of the 1700’s and 1800’s, the basic design combines elements from different American traditional architectural styles. On many country homes the roof flares out over the front porch. The porch is actually the centerpiece of the design since it is the principal living and entertaining area in the summer months, the time when most vacationers rent. The symmetrical windows highlight the exterior while bringing natural light inside. The dormers also contribute to interior lighting, while increasing the second-floor living space. Even though the basic design is quite simple, one can find examples of the basic country home house plan all over the country.
Another popular option for income-producing rental property – for a more upscale vacationer in a fashionable resort area – is the Prairie style house. This architectural style is truly American, having originated with the Chicago architectural group known as the Prairie School, whose leader was Frank Lloyd Wright. While drawing upon Japanese architectural styles, particularly the horizontal orientation, these homes feature interior spaces which flow, hipped roofs featuring broad eaves, together with long windows which often make striking geometrical patterns. What makes the Prairie style house so suitable as a vacation rental property is its integration within the surrounding landscape. One of Wright’s tenets was that a house should blend harmoniously into its natural surroundings rather than intrude on it. Usually a Prairie style house plan is designed with wide porches, masonry piers, cantilevered floors, and exterior design finishes such as board and batten, stone, or plaster with wood trim.