You've found a place in the sun, but you can't use it all the time. If you were going to rent it out -- perhaps to offset maintenance and mortgage costs -- what would be the best thing you could do for the place? "Add a hot tub," said Bill May, whose Sunspots Inns, Resorts & Rentals owns and maintains more than 100 resort and rental properties in Hawaii and the mainland. "It's a four-season amenity and something people really like to have available even though they might not use it. It would probably pay for itself three times over in less than a year." Vacation- and investment-home sales continue to rise. Consumers are not only looking to get a foot in the door to a reliable investment, but they are also seeking ways to get a leg up on resort-home competitors. "What people want and will remember is that the home is pristinely clean," said Penny Taylor, May's wife and business partner. "Renters remember crisp linens and sparkling floors and are after a spot where all they need to b...
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