HGTV Obsessed Episode 22: Scott McGillivray

On our summer vacation episode, Scott McGillivray, host of Vacation House Rules, talks about dos and don’ts for owning a vacation rental, then a designer and a travel expert talk about finding design inspiration in travel.

June 03, 2021

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If you’ve ever thought of investing in a vacation rental, then you need to listen to this podcast with Scott McGillivray. Scott got into real estate at the early age of 21. In college, he and his friends were struggling to find a place to rent. So Scott used some of his student loan to buy a house then rented out part of it to his friends while he basically lived for free. The next year he refinanced the home and got two more properties. By the time he was 25 years old, he had 25 rental properties!

Today Scott is still investing in real estate and has a business that educates people on how to make smart investment and renovation decisions. Scott is also the host of HGTV’s Vacation House Rules, Income Property and Buyers Bootcamp.

Vacation House Rules

Real estate expert and contractor Scott McGillivray shows homeowners how to unlock their vacation property's full rental potential.

When it comes to buying a vacation home to rent, Scott shares his list of 10 must-haves and his list of the biggest mistakes a buyer could make. He also reveals some key elements for having a successful rental and the bulletproof formula for making money at it. However, he does warn that even though the vacation rental market has doubled since last year, it is still a “luxury” investment so the value of the home and its potential income can fluctuate year over year.

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In our Defend the Trend portion of the podcast, Marianne asks Scott if he’s a fan of themed rentals. He says yes that he has been pushing them a while. “Owning a vacation home is a business and you need to have a brand,” explains Scott. “A vacation is not just an escape, it’s content now. The next generation has decided that going on holiday is not completely disconnected, it’s about creating content and experiences in their lives that they will then share, and if you have curated content that they can insert themselves into, then they’re willing to pay a premium.”

Scott McGillivray talks with podcast host Marianne Canada

Next up, Marianne talks to Angelique Velez about how she became an accidental furniture designer. During the pandemic, Angelique couldn’t travel to her favorite place Bali, so instead, she brought Bali to her home in Los Angeles with Balinese furniture. She created an outdoor daybed for herself and it got so much buzz on social media, her company now sells it and other Balinese-inspired designs. Angelique shares with us simple ways to get a tropical resort-like vibe in your backyard. Her top choices: a water feature, wooden wind chimes, a gong and a birdfeeder.

Angelique Velez and the daybed she designed with the feel of Bali

Marianne then talks with luxury travel planner Alexandra Stockton about destinations that cater to those with a love of art and design. Domestic locations includes Palm Springs for midcentury modern architecture, New Orleans for the art galleries, antiques, thrifting and architecture, and Austin because some sections make you feel like you’re in Europe. Internationally, Alexandra's favorite design destinations are France, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco.

Luxury travel planner Alexandra Stockton on a hammock at the beach

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HGTV Obsessed Episode 29: Sarah and Bryan Baeumler

Sarah and Bryan Baeumler of Renovation Island join Marianne to talk about the challenges of building and designing in a remote location. Then, Charissa Thompson, sports broadcaster and founder of the House and Home design studio, talks about the benefits of virtual design services.


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