Part 6 – Property Management – Who takes care of your Vacation Home in your absence? (Part 2)
- TV, Phone, and Internet
As previously mentioned: your guests expect a well maintained home with modern and functional equipment. This is also true for all electronic gadgets in regards to entertainment e.g. TV and HiFi. TV’s in the bedrooms are almost a standard feature as is Internet access. The phone should be blocked for international calls to avoid unnecessarily high phone bills; nowadays many guests are using Skype for their calls and phone cards are readily available in many local stores.
- Water and Electricity
The water bill greatly depends on the area your house is located in and if it is on city water and sewer or on a well. However, the cost for city water and sewer is significant; there is no choice, if the area is already connected to the system it may well be that there is a residual debt that goes to the new home-owner. If the home you want to buy is located in an area supposed to be connected in the near future the additional cost must be considered in your decision. There is a monthly bill for city water and sewer; there are no costs other than maintenance of the water-purification system.
There is also a monthly bill for electricity; this of course depends on usage and the season of the year as the Air Condition System is usually the main culprit during the subtropical summer months while the pool heater is usually to blame for excess electricity use in the winter. A pool heater is a must if the house is supposed to be rented out to vacation guests. The heating system can be Solar or an electrical heat pump but Solar might not be enough during the cooler winter months when the sun is not as strong as in the summer. A pretty accurate estimation says that a house, unoccupied with A/C, refrigerator and pool pump running needs right around US$ 3.00 to 5.00 per day. Our experience is that it’s a fair share if the guests get a US$ 5.00 electricity allowance per day and pay for excess cost at the end of their stay after the meter is read.