Consumer Reports: List your home as a hotel

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Vacationers’ search for alternative getaways has contributed to a 100- billion-dollar industry - with millions of people worldwide listing their homes on websites like Airbnb and VRBO to generate income.

Websites like Airbnb, FlipKey, and Homeaway have made it easier than ever for homeowners to rent out their homes.

And the market is strong. According to a survey by Consumer Reports 75 percent of people who’ve never used a homestay say they’d consider trying it.

How to start renting your home? Consumer Reports says the first thing to do is make sure it’s legal.

Vacation rentals aren’t legal everywhere, so you’ve got to look into the local laws before you list your home.

Your town or city hall can tell you what’s legal in your area. And consider a call to your insurance agent and your accountant.

When you’re renting your home you’re essentially running a business which means you’ve got to think about things like the type of insurance you need and whether or not you’re going to owe taxes on the income you earn.

Consumer Reports also says outfitting your home with a keyless lock, reliable coffee machine, and comfortable mattress will make it a more desirable rental.

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