Maximizing the Rental Potential of your Investment Property

By Natalie Hay, in All Communities

Thinking about purchasing an investment property? Want to know how to maximize your rental potential? We’ve teamed up with Christy Conaway from ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, leader in rental management at Bayside, to provide you with some helpful hints on how to set your rental up for success.
We’ve identified a few of the key features that renters are looking for in a vacation home, features that could help you increase your rental income, get booked faster, and ensure that your renters want to stay at your home time and time again (win-win right?!). By following a few simple steps, maximizing your rental potential can be a breeze. Let’s take a look:
When designing a home that you know will be a rental, the first step is making the right selections. “Don’t select flooring or carpet or furniture upholstery colors that easily show dirt and/or wear easily,” advises Christy. “These homes will get ‘lived in’ and you are at the beach, so sand is unavoidable. Spend a little bit more for commercial grade flooring and furniture. In the long run, you will be glad you did!” Hardwood and tile flooring area also good options, as they will be more durable, easier to clean, and will likely last longer. Choose a light colored hardwood to hide the dirt and sand, and a hickory or maple as it will provide some added durability.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend our dual fuel HVAC system for all new homeowners, but especially for a rental home. This system will pay for itself, as it is a smart system that will increase the energy efficiency of your home. LED lightbulbs are another energy saver that you should include in your rental home.“Use LED lightbulbs (and have some replacements where guests can find them),” explains Christy. “Not only are they more energy efficient, they last a long, long time.”
Your guests are on vacation at the beach, and most likely will want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. And who can blame them?! Help them enjoy their time outside by creating an ideal outdoor living space. Renters are looking for screened in porches and patios with tables and chairs. Provide a grill so they can cook their meals outside as well. Bonus points if you have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit!
Nice, new furnishings and splashes of color throughout can make a rental home look much more appealing. Renters tend to gravitate towards the rentals that look nicer in the photos, and your furnishings will certainly help achieve this aim.
More bedrooms and more beds will typically help get your home rented quickly, while also allowing you to ask more for the rental. Keep in mind that people often get the whole family together for vacation. The types of beds you include can make a difference as well, says Christy. “A king in the master bedroom. They are on vacation, so they want something at least as large as they have a home – probably larger.”
Include a larger table with plenty of seating – if you have room for multiple people to sleep, there should be a place for them to eat as well!
Include flat screen TVs connected with cable in all bedrooms if possible, along with a TV with a Blu-ray player and/or streaming device in the living room.
“Other examples of conveniences (some would say necessities) for a rental home include Blu-ray players (no VCRs or even DVD players) and a device capable of streaming (Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Roku, the current generation of WiFi enabled Blu-ray players) so guests can use Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go…” says Christy. And WiFi is a must! While you should have cable as well, I’m sure most would argue that having WiFi is even more important with streaming becoming wildly popular and WiFi being used on almost every cell phone, computer, and TV. “Make absolutely sure that your WiFi covers the WHOLE house with decent signal strength and that your router can handle lots of users,” adds Christy. “Odds are that the cheapest modem in the store is the wrong choice for your rental property.”
Bonus Points: Families will appreciate some kind of gaming system for the kids. A sound system or Bluetooth speaker would also be a big plus!
“It’s your home, but it’s going to be someone else’s home-away-from-home for a weekend or a week. So, think about what you and your friends have and use at home and provide it for your guests.” explains Christy. Having a kitchen to cook your own meals is one of the main reasons people will rent a home instead of going to a hotel, so it is important to have a well-equipped kitchen. Make sure to have proper cooking equipment, utensils, and dishes for them to use. “One of the many benefits of renting a vacation home is the kitchen. Many of our guests cook large meals while staying here.”
Other conveniences that are small but should not be forgotten are things like coffee makers, bottle openers, games, movies, and other miscellaneous items that people use on a daily basis. “Add a single-cup coffee maker, like a Keurig, Nespresso, etc. Don’t forget to stock starter items, like a small library of DVDs (include some for all ages), beach books, board games, a sampler pack of k-cups…” The little things will make a difference and will help your guests enjoy the experience. While you can ask them to bring their own disposables, providing them with a couple rolls of toilet paper and paper towels to get started is always appreciated.
Another tip for success from Christy: “Make a book of instructions for everything! Label your remote controls so they know what does what. Make it easy for your guests to enjoy your home.”
Location, location, location…Proximity and easy access to the beach, restaurants, and shopping is super important, but what is arguably even more important are the amenities and activities within the community. The convenience of not having to leave the community to get a relaxing and fun vacation is a huge bonus. Pools, tennis, volleyball, kayaks, golf, fitness centers, and any other activities will create an enjoyable vacation, especially when there is a little something for everyone! Keep the location AND the community amenities in mind before deciding on your investment property.
For more on Bayside and our new home communities at the Delaware Beaches, simply click here.
If you would like to find out how much you are able to rent your home for, get a free rental evaluation:
Christy Conaway
ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals
(302) 541-5959

Rainy Day Fun at the Beach

By Natalie Hay, in All Communities

rainy day activities
Rainy day at the beach bringing you down? Don’t worry there are still plenty of fun things to do in the area! You may not be able to soak up the sun or enjoy a full day at the beach, but those rainy days give you the opportunity to explore the numerous rainy day activities in our area, from bowling to laser tag to local history. Enjoy!
Naturally, going to the movies is everyone’s favorite activity on a rainy day. Check the movie times at Movies at Midway in Rehoboth Beach, Sun & Surf Cinema in Ocean City (with their awesome new recliner seats!) or the Clayton Theatre in Dagsboro (the only single screen theatre in Delaware).
You may not have realized it yet with all the time you’ve been spending on the beach, but our area also has a wide variety of shopping options. Try the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach or West Ocean City for big name shops and designer outlet stores. If you’re looking for smaller, local shops, there are plenty of options. Browse shops in downtown Lewes, Rehoboth and Bethany Beach, as well as Fenwick Island.
Whether you’re with the kids or not, challenging a friend or family member to a game of Skee-ball can be a super fun way to pass a rainy day! Check out boardwalk arcades such as Funland in Rehoboth Beach or Marty’s Playland and Sportland in Ocean City.
How about an adults only arcade?! Try your luck at Harrington Raceway & Casino, Dover Downs, or Ocean Downs for an afternoon or evening of kid-free fun. All three are also home to a terrific line-up of live entertainment throughout the year, so be sure to take a look at their events calendars.
Laser Tag
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t get your energy and competitive side out! Laser tag is a great indoor activity for kids and adults, but especially so on those rainy days at the beach. You can find laser tag facilities at Lefty’s in Lewes or Game World and Planet Maze in Ocean City.
Escape Room
Escape Room is a relatively new addition to the entertainment lineup in our area, and we can’t get enough. Challenge your mind by solving puzzles and riddles to ‘escape the room’. There are two locations nearby for Escape Room – one in Rehoboth Beach and another in Ocean City.
Always a classic go-to for those rainy day blues – your local library! Check out what events your local library may be hosting or just check out a good book and cozy up with it on a rainy day. If you aren’t a member yet, take this opportunity to become one.
Spend a few hours delving into the local history at one of the numerous museums in Maryland and Delaware. Learn about the history of the US lifesaving service at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum or the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum. The Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes showcases the area’s local history as the first European settlement in Delaware. Or take a drive up to Dover to the Delaware State Police Museum to learn about how the state police have and continue to serve and protect us here in Delaware.
Indoor Mini Golf
Don’t let the rain stop you from a family-favorite beach activity. Old Pro Golf in Ocean City has two different indoor mini golf courses for you to enjoy. Try the Undersea Adventure course on 68th street or the Safari Village on 136th street.
Stick with one of the classics and spend your rainy day on the lanes. There are a few bowling alleys nearby including Lefty’s Alley & Eats in Lewes, Ocean Lanes in Ocean City, or Millsboro Lanes.
Beverage Tasting
Spend the day tasting local beer, wine, or liquor (or all three!). There are several great distilleries, breweries, and wineries in the area. Check out Shore Craft Beer and Visit Delaware to see what’s out there! Some of our favorites are Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Crooked Hammock, Dewey Beer Company, Burley Oak, and Salted Vines.
Forget about sunny beach days – now you can look forward to those rainy days too 🙂

The Best Things to Do at Bayside!

By Natalie Hay, in Bayside

New to the area? Have friends visiting and need help deciding where to take them? No problem! With the help of our friends on Facebook, we put together a bucket list of the must-hit spots and best things to do at Bayside and in the surrounding area.
1.Beach Shuttle to Fenwick Island State Park
No matter the time of year, you can’t come to the area and not hit the beach! Whether it’s taking the beach shuttle in the summer from Bayside to Fenwick Island State Park, or spending the day at the beaches of Bethany Beach and Ocean City, it’s an absolute must to feel the sand between your toes and get a whiff of that sweet, salt air! Mary Lou Shores told us on Facebook that she prefers to “sit on the beach with my eyes closed listening to the beautiful sound of the waves.” And of course we can’t argue with Jane Borkey, who loves the fun of jumping waves on the beach!
2. “Attend a show at the Freeman Stage!” – Robin Walker
Not only does the Freeman Stage bring in big names such as Justin Moore, The Beach Boys, Gavin DeGraw, Andy Grammar, Phil Phillips, The Band Perry, and The Drifters, we also enjoy watching performances by local musicians, dancers, and singer and actors! What could be better than watching live shows with your friends and neighbors? And you don’t even have to leave the community! Check out the schedule of events here:
3. Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
Lynn Cattafi loves “paddling around the shallow areas of the bay.” She says, “there are so many little islands and spots to stop and enjoy and be.” We agree! Whether it’s using the community kayaks or paddleboards and launching into Assawoman Bay from the Point, or heading to other local kayak spots such as the Nanticoke River or Delaware Bay at Cape Henlopen State Park, getting out on the water is a great way to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
4. Assawoman Bay State Wildlife Area
Our very own Jay Hauck loves enjoying the great outdoors, so naturally he suggests heading to the Assawoman Bay State Wildlife Area. There are so many fun things to do here, including crabbing, fishing, walking the trails, kayaking, and birdwatching in the watch tower.
5. Pool Day
If you’re here in the summer, than it’s mandatory that you make time to relax by the pool. The kiddos can splash around while you lounge in the sun with an iced cold drink from the pool bar!
“My grandkids loved the splash pool. They preferred that to going to the beach!” said Bev Reed Witmer.
6. Crab Feast
“It’s not a trip to the beach without some steamed crabs!” – Ali Baker.
This area is famous for our mouth-watering blue crabs. Not only do you enjoy a delicious meal, but getting together with friends & family and spending the evening cracking crabs is an adventure within itself! You can catch your own in our bays, or pick up a bushel at a local crab shack such as Captain Mac’s Fish House, Rippons Seafood Market, The Crab Bag, or Fenwick Crab House.
7. Orange Crush at Harborside
The Orange Crush is this area’s signature drink, made up of fresh-squeezed orange juice, sprite, triple sec, and vodka. While you can get this drink at any of the local bars and restaurants, Harborside Bar and Grill in West Ocean City is the home of the original Orange Crush. It is an absolute necessity to enjoy a refreshing Orange Crush while watching the boats go by on Harborside’s deck…exactly where this locally famous drink got its start!
8. Ocean City Boardwalk
Whether it’s riding rides at Trimper’s, playing games at Marty’s Playland, or eating all of the delicious, greasy boardwalk food (Thrasher’s Fries!!!), the boardwalk in Ocean City provides endless fun. A perfect way to spend a summer night, or even just a nice place for a stroll in the winter!
9. Attend a Bayside Institute Course
For Bayside members (and guests if there is room in the class), we have a variety of classes and events to attend through the Bayside Institute! They’re held in various locations around Bayside – the Point, the lawn at Bayside commons, the Cove, and sometimes even the model home! There’s something fun for everyone. We’ve had birdwatching classes, baking/cooking classes, whiskey and cigars classes, and more! See the schedule of upcoming Bayside Institute Courses here:
10. Watching the Sunrise and Sunset
There are so many great spots to enjoy the serenity of watching the sunrise over the ocean or sunset over the bay. Valerie D’ambrogi says, “Sunsets at the point!!” and Lorna Cahn enjoys “watching sunrises and sunsets from my porches, my friends and all the things that go along with that!”
11. Assateague Island
Assateague Island is another nearby natural beauty, but this park is also home to wild ponies that you’ll frequently see roaming the park…including the beaches! Some fun things to do at Assateague include driving out on the beach, building bonfires in the sand, camping, kayaking, exploring the various hiking trails, and learning about the wildlife in the visitor’s center.
12. Golfing
Of course while at Bayside you need to play a round at the first Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Delaware! This challenging course also has breathtaking views of the bay, ponds, and wooded areas. Follow it up with drinks and food at The Cove!
13. Cruisin’ OC Weekend
During this annual car show, thousands cruise up and down Coastal Highway in their Hot Rods, Customs, Classics, and more. “My husband loves the muscle car weekends in Ocean City where we drive his 59 Chevy sedan down Coastal Highway along with hundreds of other car guys and gals,” explained Lynn Cattafi. No matter the time of year, there is always some fun special event going on in Ocean City! From Winterfest of Lights to Sunfest to the various car shows, check out for the calendar of events!
14. Water Parks
If you want to enjoy the sunshine and get active, than we highly suggest hitting one of the many water parks in the area! Check out Thunder Lagoon in Fenwick Island, Splash Mountain in Ocean City, or Jungle Jim’s in Rehoboth Beach!
15. Parasailing
There are multiple companies in Ocean City that will take you flying high in the sky for a parasailing ride, including OC Parasail and Paradise Watersports to name a few. This is a fun way to view the beauty of the Ocean City skyline, and you can ride over either the ocean or the bay.
16. Jet skiing/Boating
Jet skiing and boating are a few of the more fast-paced adventures you can enjoy out on the water. Rent a jet ski for a couple of people to zip around on the bay, or get a boat to fit the whole family and spend a full-day on the water.
17. OC Rocket/Sea Rocket
If you don’t want to captain your own boat for the day, get tickets to ride on the OC Rocket or the Sea Rocket! These speedboats take you for a ride in the ocean, where you will go up and down the coastline of Ocean City. If you’re lucky you may even get to see a few dolphins!
18. Fenwick Float-oars
Float-Oars is Fenwick Island’s favorite gift shop! They have two buildings full of home goods, clothing, fun toys & games, and souvenirs! Perfect for browsing, especially on a rainy day!
19. Frontier Town
If you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos, Frontier Town is a must-hit spot! This Western theme park is packed with fun activities. From a train ride, to panning for gold, to shows with cowboys and can-can girls, your kids (and you!) will not be bored! Frontier Town also has a water park, mini golf, an arcade, a high ropes adventure park, and a campground if you would like to stay overnight!
20. Happy Hour at the Model Home
Of course happy hour at the Schell Brothers model home had to be on the Bayside Bucket List. Once or twice a month we host a happy hour in our model for the homeowners! It’s so much fun getting together, and we always have a blast! Check out our Facebook page, stop by the model, or give us a call to find out when the next happy hour is!

Santa is Moving to Bayside!

By Natalie Hay, in At Schell Brothers, We Get It!

You heard it here first! Santa bought a home in Bayside!
santa-blog-4As the Christmas season approaches, Santa and his elves have been working day and night to prepare for another busy Christmas Eve! While Santa loves bringing happiness to boys and girls all over the world, he can’t help but feel exhausted every year as he lands his sleigh on December 26. Santa and Mrs. Claus decided that this year they finally needed to get a vacation home where they can relax and unwind during the summer months. And where else could be more perfect than Bayside?
When we asked Santa why he decided to buy a vacation home in Delaware, he said the choice was easy, “I’ve been all over the world, and haven’t found any beaches more beautiful than those in Delaware – with the soft sand and perfect weather, it just can’t be beat.” Santa and Mrs. Claus really wanted to escape from the hustle and bustle of big cities like NYC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore after a busy Christmas season, but they enjoy being close enough to the cities that they can still visit.santa-blog-8
Other area attractions are perfect for Santa and Mrs. Claus. Santa browses the outlets in Rehoboth as well as local shops in Fenwick Island and Bethany Beach to get Christmas gift ideas. As we all know, “no one likes a skinny Santa,” and Southern Delaware has some of the best restaurants for Santa and Mrs. Claus to fill up on fresh seafood and other delicious local treats.
It was obvious that Delaware was the best place for Santa to buy a vacation home, so what made him choose Bayside? First of all, Santa spends most of the year at the North Pole, so when he decided to buy a beach home in Delaware he wanted to be in the southern-most part of the state. He loves being just four miles from the beach, and Bayside’s beach shuttle makes it easy for him and Mrs. Claus to get to the ocean in the summer. Santa also enjoys unwinding with a relaxing game of golf, so when he played a round at Bayside’s Jack Nicklaus golf course he was sold!
When Santsanta-blog-5a first walked through a Schell Brothers home, he was thoroughly impressed. As a master craftsman, Santa recognized the unique quality of construction in the Schell Brothers homes.But Santa’s favorite aspect of Schell Brothers is the company’s commitment to bringing happiness to its employees and customers. Santa told us, “When I witnessed Schell’s culture and mission to maximize happiness, I was stunned. Bringing happiness to others is my mission as well, and I couldn’t be happier to work with a company that shares my beliefs.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus are so excited to spend their first summer with us in 2017. They are moving into a gorgeous new Sanibel (which Santa thinks we should rename the Santa-bell). The Sanibel was perfect for his needs: the three-car garage will fit his sleigh, and he will have some extra space to use as summertime workshop. Mrs. Claus can’t wait to make Christmas cookies in the chef’s kitchen, and Santa’s elves can’t wait to hang out in the downstairs rec room when they come to visit! The reversed living floor plan also gives Santa easy access to the rooftop, and his office space will allow him to work on his naughty and nice list throughout the summer.
Welcome to the Schell Brothers family Santa!

Bay Day or Beach Day? Exploring Coastal Delaware

By Natalie Hay, in All Communities

beach day_boat day
I wake up to the smell of scrapple cooking and coffee brewing, peak out the window, and… yes! Sunshine! I run out to the kitchen where my dad is playing “short order cook” and sit at the kitchen counter. I’m ready for the question he is about to ask: “Bay day or beach day?”
As a kid, this is the question my family asked every sunny summer day. Do we want to spend our day on the beach or the bay?
Either way, the day started the same. After breakfast my five siblings and I would quickly change into our swimsuits and start lathering on the sunscreen. On a beach day, we need to pack the cooler! We make a bag full of sandwiches, and throw those into the cooler with our waters, juice boxes, and snacks. We load up our beat up, blue van with an umbrella, beach blanket, beach chairs, towels, and boogie boards. All eight of us climb in and head over to the beach.
The next day is a bay day. We add putting on life jackets to our morning ritual, and head out. There are so many ways to enjoy a day on the bay. My dad would start putting up the sails on his Catamaran – the boat that he has had for many years and consists of two pontoons, a trampoline, and a mast. He would give us turns on the boat, loading up as many people as he could for a sail on the Assawoman Bay.
For me, the beach day/boat day showdown lives on. Every summer, whether I’m at the beach in Rehoboth or enjoying the bay life in Fenwick Island and Ocean City, I always enjoy a full day of fun in the sun. Delaware living boasts an endless supply of outdoor adventures, but my own recent adventures at Bayside have served as the perfect reminder of how much I LOVE life on the bay.
At Bayside, you can launch kayaks and paddle boards right from the comfort of your own neighborhood. The Point offers sweeping views of Ocean City and the Assawoman Bay. Launch your kayak, take a paddleboarding adventure, or even choose to just float around on inflatables from Sunsations.
If you own a boat or jet ski (or better yet, have friends who own a boat or jet ski!) you can enjoy even more incredible bay day adventures! Zipping around the bay, tubing, water skiing, and wake boarding bring on a whole new level of fun. You can even use a jet ski or boat as a mode of transportation to get to some of the amazing bayside restaurants. Think Harpoon Hanna’s, Macky’s, Fish Tales, or Seacrets, all with boat access! If you’re interested in renting a boat for the day, check out Shark’s Cove Marina in Selbyville or Island Watersports in Fenwick Island.
Other bay day activities include scavenging for dinner – clamming, fishing, and crabbing are all fun ways to enjoy a day outside. You can even go fishing or crabbing right off of the fishing pier at Bayside! Nothing beats a blue crab, especially after spending the day catching them yourself.
Whether the bay or the ocean, there’s nothing like spending a day on the water. And as we move into the local’s favorite time of year – SEPTEMBER! – it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the natural beauty that our local beaches and bays offer. Take a day, be it a beach day or a boat day, to soak it all up…you won’t regret it!

An Eastern Shore Guide to Cracking Crabs

By Natalie Hay, in All Communities

The smell of Old Bay and melted butter is making your mouth water. Armed with a mallet and table knife you can’t wait to begin devouring that oh-so-sweet crab meat. You crack open a beer, look down at the pile of perfectly steamed, bright red crabs, and think… “Where on Earth do I start??”
This is the point where many first time crab-crackers take the mallet and start whacking away. If you do this, you’re likely to end up with an unwelcome collection of hard shell in your meat and a whole lot of frustration. But don’t worry, I am here to help. And as a Marylander, it’s safe to say that I have a small amount of authority in the art of cracking crabs.
First, start by flipping the crab over so that it is belly up. Take your table knife and insert it under the “pouch” so that the pouch flips up. From there, you should be able to insert the table knife under the shell, and pull the whole top shell off.
What you’re looking at now is…pretty gross. You should see the gills surrounded by a yellowy-brown “mustard.” If you’re a salty Eastern Shore native- you may eat the “mustard” and actually like it, but it’s not for the faint of heart! The gills slightly resemble crab meat, and some rookie crab-pickers often go for the chewy morsels, but the truth is they should be discarded as well.
Start pulling the legs off of the crab one by one. If you gently pull close to the crab’s body, a good hunk of meat should come off at the base of the leg..especially on the back fin! Now you get to use the mallet! Break up the rest of the leg by taking a good whack at it with the mallet. For some smaller sections of the legs, you may want to break them apart by hand. Each section of the leg has a nice hunk of meat in it. The claw can be the most satisfying, with big pieces of meat in every section. However, even the smallest legs have delicious meat in them, so don’t skip over them!
Now that you are starting to get some crab meat I should tell you that there are two types of crab-pickers: the eat-as-you-go crab-pickers or the save-til-the-end crab-pickers. Some people like to eat the crab meat as soon as they pull it from the crab, while others like to save the crab meat and collect it into a pile so that once they are done cracking they enjoy a big reward. I personally eat the crab meat as I go, because I don’t have the patience to wait until the end! Whichever strategy you choose- I highly recommend dipping the crab meat in warm, melted butter and throwing on some more Old Bay- because you can never go wrong with more Old Bay. Others opt for apple cider vinegar, while some choose to eat the crab meat straight-up with no sauces, spices, or fixins. Either way, you’re in for a treat!
Back to the crab- once you have pulled off all of the legs and removed all of the meat from those, you can go back to the body. Break it in half so that you can more easily reach the area where the legs were connected to the body. Get any of the meat that may not have come off with the leg. Pick around all of the nooks and crannies- you don’t want to miss any of that delicious meat!
Once you are sure you’ve picked the crab dry… grab another!
Happy cracking!
Need help finding crabs in the area? Maryland and Delaware are chocked full of crab houses and seafood restaurants touting freshly steamed blue crabs this time of year. A few favorites for you to consider:
The Surfing Crab: 16723 Coastal Hwy, Lewes, DE
Claws Seafood House: 167 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE
The Crab House: 19598 Coastal Hwy, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Mickey’s Family Crab House: 39610 Jefferson Bridge Rd, Bethany Beach, DE
Captain Mac’s Fish House: 3720 Lighthouse Rd, Selbyville, DE
Crab Bag: 130th Street & Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD
Lazy Susan’s Hot Fat Crabs: 18289 Coastal Highway, Lewes, DE