Furnishing fundamentals

Baan Wana Villa "Madam Anne" is one of our favorite clients. I recall meeting up with her many years ago when she and Jimmy bought their home. They were getting settled in and looking for someone to assist them with getting the house organized so everything would be in order when they returned to the UK for the summer.

I casually asked her if they had been to the beach that day, to which she answered in that lilting Scottish accent, "Of course not, wi’ve been tooo busy setting up the hoose"

After all the trials of purchasing and having your dream house built, few allocate the energy to turning the house into a home. During the building phase you got to deal with a few English speakers representing the developer. Thereafter you have to get stuck into the nitty-gritty of local Phuket life where few in officialdom speak English and the details are often somewhat cloudy. Setting up home here is challenging enough without the additional worries of what do you need to do to set it up for rentals. That where your rental agent can be worth their weight in gold.

When furnishing your property, you will find that a budget of between four and eight percent of the purchase price provides a good guideline. The watchwords when furnishing are replaceable, repairable and widest appeal. High design, whilst visually impressive can be a little impractical. The white leather sofa would be great in a Frankfurt studio but not for rampaging kids with pool access. Check the websites for rental agents and see if they provide suggested inventories for free. You would be surprised to find how many items you overlooked and blew the last of your budget on a Bose entertainment system.

The best advise is to provide the things that you would expect to have in the home.

Baan Wana Villa Phuket now has, as may furniture and d?cor shops as Bali. A staggering choice is available to the weary shopper. How do you decide what is best for your rental program? Firstly, find out whether the developer provides a furnishings package. It should include everything you need, not just beds, sofa, coffee table, TV and a reclining Buddha. Phuket has a number of fine furnishings companies such as Ikaya (no, not IKEA) and R&R, which offer a number of styles colors and finishes to choose from whilst being attractive and practical. Most will offer continuation on certain items for up to five years making replacement a breeze. Best of all, they will deliver and install everything so beach time is possible.

Make sure you have a space to store your personal belongings. The space under the stairs with the breaker switches and water mains is not ideal, as it will need regular access. It is not untoward to have a lock fitted on one of the wardrobes with a small private sign indicating as much. Believe it or not, folks aren’t that interested in your “smalls” but it is your stuff after all.

Baan Wana Villa Discuss with your rental agent about TV and Internet connections if they are not included in your Common Area Management fees. There are now a number of options available in Phuket with different packages available to suit your needs. They often offer specials and discounts and your agent should be able to assist you to get the best service for your rental needs.

It’s always good to have a selection of board games - especially for those low season rentals and some DVD’s. I have a clear out of my collection before high season and place a selection in my rental home. Most of the titles have just been released overseas anyway and it doesn’t matter if it goes “walkabout”. How many times am I going to watch Bridget Jones anyway?

Lastly, check with your management company what is covered under their insurance policy. Then discuss your needs with a broker or insurance company. Insurance, whilst comparatively cheap in Thailand, does have a couple of interesting quirks. If you spent a fortune on that Buddha statue, best lock it away with your smalls. You probably don’t treat it with the respect your Thai friends would expect and specifying on the policy would make you weep anyway.