image003As you may recall, our last post dealt with some suggestions about how you can cope with the reality of family and friends coming to stay at your home this season (or anytime, really). We’d like to add an “addendum” of sorts to that post as a reminder about how you, yourself, can be the “Dream House Guest” the next time you’re the one imposing on, er, we mean, staying in someone else’s home.

If you’re the one doing the traveling and visiting soon, here are some valuable rules of thumb to remember. (Because few things stick in our mind more clearly than having walked a mile in a host’s shoes.)

If You’re the House Guest, Then Here’s the Rules
The best way to teach others how to treat you is by example. By following these guidelines when you stay with a loved one, there’s a slightly better chance that they may return the favor the next time they’re in your neighborhood for a few days.

1) Let them know exactly when you’re going to arrive and depart. Some house guests stay too long, and some don’t stay long enough. Strike the perfect balance (our rule of thumb, “Always leave them wanting more”. It’s the best way to get invited back.

2) Ask about the house rules ahead of time. This will help them as much as it will inform you. Plus, it will clearly display that you respect their boundaries before you even get there. A good start to a visit, indeed.

3) Take an appropriate hostess gift. If you’re the house guest of a family with children, a small gift for the children is fitting, too (maybe a puzzle or book). Other gifts might include a book or a kitchen gadget. Wine (if that’s their thing) or flowers (but bring one already arranged – don’t just hand them a wrapped bouquet so they have to do the work!)

4) Check beforehand on available activities and pack accordingly. Not that this necessarily makes you the perfect house guest, it just shows that you’re smart.

5) Don’t ask if you can bring your animals. Arrange to have them cared-for at home while you’re gone. It’s an awkward conversation; don’t put your host in a state of an obligatory answer.

6) Don’t rely on your hosts for anything other than a free place to stay (and by that, we mean lodging – not free meals, too).

7) Buy your own groceries, and buy groceries for your host, too. (Especially if you’re eating meals together at home). We can’t stress this enough.

8) Lend a hand whenever you can. Help clean up after meals; offer to prep food, wash dishes, take out the trash, etc. Your hosts are not your personal concierge service – and you never want to make them feel as though they are. (Little resentments can become big ones very quickly, you know.)

9) Conserve towels. (That’s being kind to your hosts AND the planet.)

10) Be sure and let your hosts know ahead of time if you have any food allergies (but make it clear you’ll be happy to shop for groceries and even prepare foods to meet those needs).

11) Be on-time for meals and for whatever activities have been planned. Arrive when you say you will, or call if you’re running late.

12) Give your host personal time and space. They may be happy to see you, but it doesn’t mean they want to spend every minute of every day with you. You’ll enjoy your time together more if each of you has time apart.

13) Always offer to take your hosts out for a meal or two so they can enjoy an evening without cooking and cleaning – and simply bask in the glow of your company!

14) Keep your room tidy. Another one we cannot stress enough. All it takes is a glance into a messy room to create the impression you’re not caring for their property. And remember that just being there creates extra work for everyone – but little things like this demonstrate that you’re willing to pitch in and do what you can to help maintain a sense of order.

15) When you leave, strip the bed and clear the bathroom of used towels. Ask your host where the clean sheets and towels are kept so you can make the bed and replace used towels.

16) Before you leave, check for anything left behind so your host doesn’t have to package and mail things back to you.

17) Leave a parting gift. During your stay, you should have gotten a good sense of what your hosts want, like, or need. Use this information to purchase a small parting gift that shows your gratitude and decency as a human being.

18) ALWAYS send a written thank-you note as soon as you return home. It will matter more than you know.

House guests can be wonderful when they know and really understand the rules. Go the extra mile to make your visit as easy and pleasant as possible on your hosts. After all, who doesn’t love being invited to visit?

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide just the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!