Private homes with private pools are Rob Kincaid’s specialty — both as rentals and as properties for sale. This 3-bedroom Twin Palms home is decorated in the Hollywood Regency style and lets its guests “test drive” the Palm Springs way of life in a midcentury home, starting at $335 a night. Photos by Rob KincaidThat difference between vacationing midcentury style and living it is a line that Kincaid’s clients enjoying walking. Of the 100-plus vacation homes for rent through his company, about three-quarters of them are midcentury. Some clients are families looking to rent anything from a one-bedroom condo to a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom private home as they take a break from big-city life and escape to Palm Springs with the promise of near-perfect weather and a private pool. Other clients are couples — on a mission.
But just because you own a stunner of a Cody doesn’t mean that you — or your home — are meant to be thrust into the rental cycle. “It’s very important for a homeowner to decide, ‘Is this going to be my house or is it going to be an investment?’ And there’s a big difference,” Kincaid says. “The benefit of renting out a private midcentury home is the prospect of generating good steady income,” Kincaid says. “The down side is realizing that when people stay in your home, there’s going to be wear and tear and inconvenience and frustrations that are the cost of doing business.”
A thick skin and realistic expectations will go a long way for homeowners who decide to put their house in the hands of the general public. (See the Q&A sidebar to find out which homes make the most successful rentals.) “We encourage people to weigh the pros and cons,” Kincaid says. “For most people, the good fortune of the income generally outweighs the annoyances, the wear and tear, and the headaches that come from sharing your home with others.”
The good news is that renters who cozy up in one of Kincaid’s properties sign a strict lease forbidding that they turn their rental into party central. In an effort to be good neighbors and keep Palm Springs a peaceful place, no parties or events are allowed.
The reasons that people keep renting and keep buying are numerous. Kincaid says some simply enjoy the fact that these homes are unencumbered and uncluttered. “People always say, ‘I was really inspired by the things that weren’t in the home — no magnets on the fridge, no clutter on the counters. They are open and airy, and people like that because it’s so different from where they live full-time.”
Kincaid has rented to guests from as far away as Toronto and Ireland. In a matter of weeks, even these long-distance vacationers have bought a place of their own. “Palm Springs is the kind of place people fall in love with — and sometimes on the first date,” he says, speaking from experience. “It’s a small town that’s bigger than life because of the architecture, the people, the vibe, the weather. People change occupations or leave jobs because they want the pace of Palm Springs. It’s just such a magical place. And the abundance of midcentury homes here is part of the magic.”