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Whether it's the state of the economy or because you just don't get around to using the place a lot, you may find yourself thinking for the first time about renting out your vacation home. Join the club, said Christine Karpinski, who owns several vacation rentals and is the author of "How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner." She is also a spokesman for HomeAway.com, a vacation rentals website. "I'm hearing from lots of consumers who already own and are looking to start renting," she said. Although she said as a homeowner she's had to resolve occasional hurdles with the properties, she's big on the financial benefits and has found that with thorough preparation, the process usually runs surprisingly smoothly. Five things to know about getting ready to rent out ...