Ever dreamed of owning a vacation home?
Matt Blashaw, host of HGTV’s “Vacation House for Free” and “Yard Crashers,” will be sharing his advice on how to achieve the vacation home dream at next weekend’s Raleigh Home Show.
The advice is based on Blashaw’s experience hosting two seasons of “Vacation House for Free,” where he helped families scout locations, pick homes and renovate them into attractive rentals that cover the mortgage and other expenses. This might sound familiar: Sanjay and Sejal Patel of Wake Forest appeared in an episode detailing the renovation of a Carolina Beach duplex.
Blashaw is sure to find a receptive audience in Raleigh, with the state’s mountains and coast inspiring vacation house dreams.
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In a phone interview, Blashaw explained his reasons for encouraging families to buy vacation homes. Instead of spending money on airfare and hotels, Blashaw said families can invest their money in a piece of property, which they can hand down to future generations. Going to the same spot year after year means families know where the best stores and restaurants are, the best way to the beach or the best hiking trails. Relaxation, he says, can start as soon as you unload the car. The key, Blawshaw says: “You just have to make it pay for itself.”
▪ Pick a place a couple hours away to get the most use out of it.
▪ Study the fully-booked rental homes in that location to know what they offer vacationers.
▪ Renovate wisely: Bathrooms and bedrooms have to be functional, not luxurious. Spend renovation money on gathering spaces: the kitchen, living room and outdoor areas.
▪ You have to be willing to rent the house during peak season. At the beach, that means from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In the mountains, it’s when people travel to see the leaves change color.
Blashaw will share advice, as well as before-and-after photos of his renovations on the home show’s main stage at 4 p.m. Sept. 9, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sept. 10 and 2 p.m. Sept. 11.
Want to go?
The Raleigh Home Show will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 10 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Tickets cost $7 for adults online or $10 at the box office; $5 for seniors, age 60 or older, purchased with ID at the box office only; and free for children ages 12 and under.
On Sept. 9, active and retired military, first responders and teachers get free admission.
To purchase tickets online: raleighfallshow.com/information
Other show highlights
▪ Serena Appiah is the Marketplace Events’ 2016 Home and Garden Trendsetter of the Year. She is author of the Thrift Diving blog who has been helping folks decorate, improve and maintain their homes on a DIY budget since 2010. She will be speaking at 5 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
▪ Faye Prosser, WRAL-TV Smart Shopper and author of “The Smart Spending Guide,” will teach a money-saving workshop on how to save on your grocery expenses. She will be speaking at 3 p.m. Friday, noon and 3 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
▪ Rhonda Benvie of Help Me Rhonda Interiors in Wake Forest will share the basics of design and her down-to-earth, work-with-any-budget approach to design. She will be speaking at 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
▪ Shanna Labrador of Wake Forest’s The Refab Lab will share her advice for repurposing and refinishing furniture with upcycled materials. She will be speaking at 7 p.m. Friday.
The cooking stage
The News & Observer’s Recipe site is sponsoring a cooking stage. You can watch cooking demonstrations and enjoy samples from these local chefs and cooks.
Sept. 9: N&O food editor Andrea Weigl will cook at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; chef Jean Paul Fontaine of Raleigh’s Babylon restaurant at 12:30 p.m.; chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio restaurant at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill at 1:30 p.m.; chef Jason McDavitt of Raleigh Beer Garden at 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 10: Chef Teddy Klopf of Raleigh’s Provenance at 11:30 a.m.; chef Michael Rigot of Raleigh’s Rye Bar & Southern Restaurant at 12:30 p.m.; pastry chef Daniel Benjamin of Lucettegrace in Raleigh at 1:30 p.m.; chef Jake Wolf of Capital Club 16 in Raleigh at 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 11: Food truck chefs take over the cooking stage. We’re featuring food truck chefs who will be cooking at upcoming Berkeley Cafe Takeover Tuesdays. Chef Brian Battistella of Raleigh’s Berkeley Cafe at 11:30 a.m.; two food truck chefs team up at 12:30 p.m.; chef David Perazzo of Baozi Food Truck at 1:30 p.m.; chef JP Murcia of KocinA Food Truck and Catering at 2:30 p.m.; and chef Steven Goff of Brinehaus Meat and Provisions at 3:30 p.m.