What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Setting Up a Vacation Home (5) - Stocking Up

A permanent vacation home serves as a home away from home.  It helps alleviate the costs of going on vacation while providing you with a temporary home base.  A home base helps reduce food costs because you can make a lot of meals from home rather than eating out all of the time.  It also saves on the costs of motel rentals.  The caveat being the vacation home is located in an area you will enjoy vacationing in for a number of years with the possibility of earning a rental income from the property making the cost of acquisition and set-up the frugal choice.  With that in mind the vacation home really needs to be set-up much the same as your permanent home.  That means all of the things you would normally need at home you will need at your vacation home.  Essentially you are setting up a second home complete with all those things you are used to using at home.  Setting up your vacation home in this fashion makes it easier to rent out as well.

We have spent the last several days setting up our vacation home that we intend to rent out during the times we are not using it.  The vacation home surprisingly came with a few basic pieces of furniture however that is not the norm although in some areas you can buy a fully furnished vacation home.  We had to do a fair amount of shopping for just the basics.  Expect to pay about $1,700 to $2,000 for just the basics if the house is empty or close to being empty when you buy it.  If your vacation home is close enough to your permanent home then definitely take what you don't need at home each trip to help reduce the costs of stocking the vacation home.  Here are some of the resources we relied on:

  • department stores (eg. Wal-Mart, Home Depot) - Department stores are great for small appliances, towels, tools, kitchenware.  A large box store will likely have the lowest prices for any landscaping needs as well as home maintenance you may need.
  • dollar stores - Find a dollar store where all the items are $1 not one where they vary in price.  A surprising number of household items can be bought from the dollar store ranging from garbage bags to glassware to kitchen extras and so much more.
  • warehouse stores (eg. Sam's Club) - The cheapest prices for things like CFL bulb and cutlery can be found at warehouse stores.  These types of stores are also great for stocking up on any food basics if you will be maintaining a well stocked pantry at the vacation house (more on this in the next post).
  • discount/liquidation stores (eg. Big Lots) - These types of stores are really great for knock-down furniture and decorative elements.
  • resale/consignment shops -   You can save a lot of money by buying at these types of shops however you have to be prepared.  Many do not deliver meaning your have to get your purchases home.  From experience a queen sized mattress and boxspring will ride securely on top of a rental van and some furniture will fit inside nicely but unless you rent a truck you will be restricted as to what furniture you can cart home.  You also need to consider that once at your vacation home you may need help getting furniture from your van or truck into your house that depending on the location is not quite as easy as you think.  

Garden Gnome