Kelley J. Macchio / 252.305.6974

Staging A Vacation Rental Home

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Selling | 0 comments

If you own a second home or investment property at the beach, chances are that it is already furnished, decorated and outfitted for your family and rental guests.  On Hatteras Island, we see very few vacant, unfurnished homes for sale. I can hear you asking, “Why am I reading this? Why stage a home that is already furnished?”  Because, there are three things that you can do to ensure your home on Hatteras Island sells at the highest price, and in the shortest amount of time, in the current market environment:

  1. Price your home competitively
  2. Ensure that your home appears to be loved and well maintained in the eyes of prospective buyers
  3. Repair, revive, replace to eliminate “Ewws!” and get more “Ahhs!”

Watching HGTV®  and flipping through Coastal Living® magazine, you’ve surely been introduced to the concept of staging a home.  Staging today takes on several forms, both real and virtual.   Vacant homes can be staged with rented furniture and decor items that may or not be available for purchase with the home. Others are staged virtually with the assistance of creative photography and software that superimposes furniture, lighting and paint colors.   Virtual staging is controversial, even in today’s ultra-digital world.   Imagine the excitement of viewing a virtually staged home online in the perfect image of  the dream home you’ve envisioned.  A few days later, you visit the home with your real estate agent, finding the home void of any furnishings, character and comfort.   I would bet my next commission check that while some might appreciate virtual staging (especially if they aren’t able to envision the home perfectly coiffed) most would feel duped.

On Hatteras Island, most of the homes for sale are vacation rental homes.  When a home is rented by a different tenant each week, how can it be staged when listed for sale?

Think about it, most homes here are offered furnished.  The sale might occur on a Thursday.  Guests are in the house for the week from Saturday to Saturday.  Rented furnishings would likely have to be removed and returned.  How is it possible to stage a home that is a vacation rental?

Staging a vacation rental home can be done, on a small budget and in a short amount of time.  We’re not talking about remodels, we are making subtle changes that can be inexpensive, nonintrusive and realistic considering the the resort and second home nature of our market.   The staging can be done without creating an illusion or disrupting the expectations of rental guests and the prospective buyer.  It can be done by recycling, “upcycling”, repurposing and rearranging.  There are plenty of venues for finding gently used and almost new items locally and at deep discounts if you know where to look.  With a little creativity and effort, a lot of impact can be had.  Why are we so confident that this can be done in a vacation rental?  Because we just did it at one of our listings right here on Hatteras Island!  Check out the before and after collage (above) of a small loft space.  For just over $100 it became a private place to escape with a laptop (some of us do have to take business calls or check in on work while on vacation) or cozy up with a good book while enjoying the views of the canal and Pamlico Sound.  If you look at the before and after photos below, you’ll see what some gently used furniture, a bit of rearranging and some creative repurposing can achieve in a space.

Are you thinking of selling your home on Hatteras but worry that it could use a little sprucing up to make a great impression in a competitive market?   Give us a call.  We’ll visit your home, prepare a free, no-obligation market analysis of the probable sale price of your home AND offer suggestions that can help your home to stand out against the competition.

Before Staging


After Staging



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Come on down! The Bonner Bridge is Open!

Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Neighborhood | 0 comments

Rejoicing can be heard throughout the villages of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.   As of 4 PM this afternoon, everyone can again drive on and off of Hatteras freely!

From NCDOT: “Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announce the reopening of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on N.C. 12 at 4 p.m. this afternoon.  North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers deemed the bridge safe for traffic after several sonar scans, driving two test pilings, and multiple inspections over the past week.  The emergency repair work to add more support to the bridge continues”.

Life on this sandbar will return to normal again, just in time for the holidays.   We hope you to see you soon!

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The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge: Details about the closure and what you can do to help

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

(Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section.  For the immediate future, I will be using this blog to provide updates on the closure, repairs, ferry information etc.)

On Tuesday afternoon news spread quickly that due to safety concerns, the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge (the bridge over Oregon Inlet) was to be closed immediately.   While quite the blow to islanders and visitors, we are grateful that action was taken to protect the public before a catastrophe occurred.

First, I would like to thank those of you that have called, emailed and texted me to show your concern for the current situation.  The relationships that I have developed in my real estate career are cherished and your words of encouragement and support are deeply appreciated.

So, here’s what we know:  We started to hear reports from NCDOT last week that routine inspections of the bridge via sonar scans and divers detected scouring (erosion of sand) around some support structures on the south side of the bridge.  It was announced that emergency repairs were needed and were being organized, but, for the time being, the bridge was safe to cross.  At the same time, the ferry division was testing and preparing to stand up the emergency ferry route between Rodanthe and Stumpy Point if necessary.  According to the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Tony Tata, subsequent inspections on Friday, Monday and Tuesday revealed that the rate of scour was increasing.  On Tuesday afternoon the decision to close the bridge, effective immediately, was made.  Secretary Tata declared a state of emergency within his scope to expedite the awarding of a contract for repairs, and a contract was in fact awarded to Carolina Bridge Company.  Tata went on to say that the Governor will declare a state of emergency today as well.  Since the dredge Alaska is currently at Oregon Inlet, they are working on pulling permits to allow for sand to be diverted to the scour area by the dredge.

The emergency ferry is up and running. Kudos to the Ferry Division and Jed Dixon, DOT’s deputy ferry director!!  A link to the schedule is at the end of this blog, please check it often as it could be subject to change.  This afternoon, a priority loading list was released:

-Dare Transport Vehicles
-People with documented medical appointments
-FedEx, UPS, and U.S. Postal Service vehicles
-Vehicles that service the onsite restroom facilities
-Medical transport of pharmecueticals
-School buses for school events

All other vehicles will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

What we don’t know yet is the timeline for repairs or how long the bridge will be closed.  Secretary Tata did not want to speculate on the timeline during the press conference held today in Dare County.  He said that it will take some time, possibly 2 weeks, to move in the equipment and materials for the repair operation.  Once the contractor is on site, we may get an idea of how long the repairs will take.  Only then will we have any estimate of when the bridge could be reopened to traffic.

It’s no secret that the Bonner Bridge needs to be replaced, and, it should have been replaced 20 years ago.  Why hasn’t it been built?  The short answer is all work is on hold due to a lawsuit filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife and National Wildlife Refuge Association.  On a call with one of the local radio stations, Governor Pat McCrory said that he needs public support to put pressure on that group (SELC) to “get out of the way” of the efforts to rebuild the bridge.

We could use your help in providing Governor McCrory the support he has requested (you can listen to his comments on the link to the Outer Banks Voice article provided below).  If you are so inclined, please write,email, fax or call the groups below and ask that they drop the appeals and lawsuits that are prohibiting NC DOT from building a new bridge over Oregon Inlet.  Then, please let the Governor know of your efforts.

Southern Environmental Law Center Regional offices
Defenders of Wildlife

National Wildlife Refuge Association
Phone: 202-417-3803

Governor Pat McCrory Contact Information

Links of Interest:

Emergency Ferry Schedule
Island Free Press Article 12.3.13
Dare County Government Video of Press Conference 12.4.13
NC DOT Facebook Page
Homes On Hatteras Facebook Page
Outer Banks Voice Article 12.3.13
Bridge Moms Facebook Page

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Welcome to my new website and blog

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome to my new website and blog.

I am currently building up my page content and working on my blog posts.  This website will be a great resource for all things Hatteras Island and I do hope you will keep coming back time and time again. In the meantime, take a look around and feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or feedback.   Whether you are thinking of buying or selling property or just want an update on current market conditions on Hatteras Island, Homes On Hatteras is here to assist.

Kelley J. Macchio
Homes On Hatteras

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