Newbie - Is personal use counted by days or nights?
I'm under contract for a ski-in/ski-out condo in Keystone Colorado. I'm going to use the condo primarily as a STR property, but would like to maximize personal use without going over the 14 days/10% IRS rule. I've read lots of short articles about this rule, but none of these articles really seem comprehensive and I want to make sure that I am following the rule properly. Does anyone know of a really thorough discussion of this? I want to be very confident of how the rules work on this before I start promising days to family members.
1.) Everything says "14 days," but STRs are rented by the night. If I use the property from 6 PM one night to 8 AM the next morning, does that count as 2 days against my 14? And on the other side, if I arrive at the property at 8 AM, then leave at 6 PM the next day, does that count as 2 days against my 14?
2.) What counts as work on the property to justify using it? When I close on the property, I'm going to repaint it, install furniture, etc. If I take a short hike during lunch, I'm sure that's not going to disqualify that day as a work day. Where's the line with this? If I drive up there to replace a broken microwave, then ski the rest of the day, spend the night, and leave the next morning, can I still count that as maintenance?
3.) Can I simply rent the property from myself (at the fair market price) for additional days? Obviously, I'd have to pay tax on that, but I can imagine situations where it's cheaper to pay those taxes than to lose the preferential tax treatment of the property.