Real Estate: When it comes to buying a vacation home, the process should be simple in theory. You buy a second property, and you stay in it when you want to get away from your primary residence for a while—no worrying about booking availability, check-in or check-out times, or dealing with poor interior design choices.
But what about maintenance when you’re not visiting your vacation home? Do you have someone around to water your flowers, dust your surfaces, or take care of any plumbing or electrical emergencies? How about paying taxes and bills? By nature, a second home isn’t meant to be lived in year-round, but expenses add up quickly whether or not you’re staying there. That’s why many second-home owners find ways to make ends meet, from short-term rentals to co-ownership.
In many cases, owners will turn to platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo to earn extra income—or at least cover maintenance costs—by renting out their vacation homes while they’re not there. But in some cases, this means that properties toe the line between being an owner’s vacation home and a full-time rental property.
Take, for instance, Villa Papillon, a breathtaking new-build villa in Antigua owned and decorated by the mother-daughter design duo Sarah and Rosie Ward. For vacationers the property is a treasure—it’s an impeccably designed home, far above and beyond the majority of what you’d find on a rental site. But per its availability calendar, it’s open for rent most weeks for the next year, indicating that its owners may not use it personally very much at all, whether by choice or necessity.
While listing a vacation home is a reasonable way to financially recover from your initial investment and regular expenses, it also comes with risks, like having unruly guests wreck your space. One new platform is seeking to minimize those risks. MyPlace is an app that allows homeowners to share their home’s availability to a select network of potential guests—family, friends, or friends of friends. There’s no public listing at all. “We believe that trust comes through social proof and personal introductions between friends, not reviews from internet strangers,” MyPlace cofounder Zach Bell, who partnered with Rameet Chwala on the product.
A home for rent in Ibiza, Spain via the MyPlace app.