Oregon Coast House - Step by Step

27 Replies

Not sure if many people here go step by step through their process of acquiring and setting up their STR or any rentals for that matter. I am new to STR but my wife and I are under contract expecting to close end of next month. We are buying on the Oregon Coast a small place overlooking Tillamook Bay and a short walk/drive to the beach.

I have so many questions and thing on my to do list I was searching the forums for a step by step, maybe there is one and y'all can post a link, however I am going to work to post the process we go through as we complete our purchase, stage the home, buy supplies, set up our systems.  I have been reading for months on how many of you do it and appreciate all the insights.

There are many post about setting up a vacation rental including  lists of items needed, importance of great pictures and descriptions etc.

There are many posts about setting up a vacation rental including a lists of items needed, importance of great pictures and descriptions etc.

Hey @Jonathan Stone , what @John Underwood and @Paul Sandhu said. Do a search and you will find all sorts of great info!

Gratz on the new place. We almost bought in Lincoln City but flood insurance was nutz so we passed.

The first thing you really need to do is get a good cleaner ready to go and find a handyperson that will be your on-call for repairs. The cleaner is the most important part of your setup. Unless you are planning on driving down and doing it yourself. It is only 1.5 hours give or take. :)

Tell us more about the house. How big? Post a pic of the views of the bay! Is it furnished or do you have to start from scratch? What kind of guests are you hoping to get?

@Michael Baum

The house is just about 900 sqft. One bedroom which is really a loft style room. Fairly simple small kitchen 1 bath. It also sits 3 stories tall, garage then main then loft.

We are excited and I will likely handle most work on the place but I will be looking for a handy person that’s close to prevent as many emergency trips as possible.

many communities require special license to STR  if your in the county check with them.. but I know lincoln City only gives out so many.  is this Bay city ?

@Jonathan Stone

As I understand the rules and regulations I have to file a permit with Tillamook County, and have an inspection prior to listing. There are a few other regulations but from what I've read and the conversations I have had Rockaway and Tillamook are not currently limiting STR supply like Lincoln City or even Pacific City.

@Jonathan Stone , I took the plunge last year - mountain cabin about 3 hours from Portland. I could do a step-by-step from memory, but would probably only capture ~80% of what I actually ended up needing to do, and as others have said, I'd find one of the many detailed checklists I've seen floating around on this forum.

One of the things I've learned a lot about is finding local vendors - cleaners; handymen; etc... Our cabin is in a rural location, and it was really tough to find good vendors, especially since many of them don't list on google. Here are a few things I've learned.

Run the rental as if you were in another state. You won't keep it long-term if you need to run there urgently, even if only a couple times a year. Which means you'll need a couple vendors in each area.

  • Ask the selling realtor if they have any references. They sell a lot of investment properties and know the area
  • Check referrals
  • Confirm they're licensed and will pay taxes, allowing you to write those expenses off.
    (For Cleaners)
  • Confirm they can do same-day turnarounds. Sole proprietors with no staff usually won't commit to this, nor should they.
  • Ask if they have their own supplies or need you to provide them
  • Ask if they'd be willing to pick up supplies occasionally and drop them off at the property when you're short on something. Most won't do this for you ALL the time, but can be nice if you run short and won't get out there for a while.
  • (For Handyman)
  • Ask a lot of plumbing questions, as abut 90% of your urgent needs will fit into this category
  • Ask about 24 hour support if a pipe breaks

Hey Johnathan, congrats on moving into the STR space. A lot of opportunity for equity growth with Oregon Coast homes for sure! I have a lot of information on the step by step process with setting up a vacation home. I do work for Vacasa but am more than happy to talk to you about getting the home ready for self-management as well.

The top priority is getting your permit, sounds like you are working through that process now. Then, you want to make sure the home is clean, safe, and guest ready. I've got big checklists I can provide to you so you don't miss anything guests will be looking for. Next you will need to identify your local contacts - e.g. housekeeping/er and a handyman/maintenance team.  During these steps you will also be working on where you want to market your rental and the systems that accompany your marketing decisions. 

There are many steps, but you'll get through all of them!

@Jeff S. for sure. My top recommendations for finding a vacation rental on the coast, North to South, are Seaside, Rockaway Beach, Pacific City/Neskowin, Lincoln City, Florence, Bandon. A combo of popularity and reasonable regulations are the reasons for this top towns list, of course that is as of 2021... in 3+ years this list could change.

Regrading Vacasa property management, yes, Vacasa is a full service company. The website has a pretty extensive property management info library you can check out to learn more. It's actually a great resource for any property owner, whether with Vacasa or not.

@Taj Richardson Thank you so much I will reach out.  I have talked to others who use Vacasa and have positive experience here on the Oregon Coast.  I will
currently self manage as using a company would conflict with our loan agreement.  I would appreciate any checklists you have.

@Jonathan Stone That's a great location! I have helped clients and stayed in condos personally with that view in rockaway Beach. Good luck with your STR!

Just wanted to update the thread:

We have officially closed now after some issues with delays in the appraisal.  I have put in a new lock on the front door to the house as well as the entry door to the garage.  Because we have 2 doors to enter the house I am rethinking the wifi code lock.  Currently I have a Halo Kwikset on the main deadbolt which allows entry to the garage but there is a second door and lockset into the house.

Also there are quite a few furnishings left but I don't think any of them are going to be kept after looking at the condition and layout.  My wife and I are meeting with a consultant next week to review layout and design ideas as well as furnishings.  I am re-reading a ton of old posts and the advice given to me by many in this thread.  Thanks for all the help, I look forward to posting some progress pictures.

Congrats @Jonathan Stone ! Appraisals on the Oregon Coast typically are at least 2 weeks longer turn time and much more expensive than in the Valley simply due to the lack of appraisers on the Oregon Coast. The most recent one foir an investment property I had in Rockaway Beach was almost $2,000 and we didnt get it back for 4-5 weeks. Appraisers can hold you hostage on the coast since there are only a couple good ones out there.