Exploring the love and labor behind a unique vacation home

A personal journey into how one family found the dream guest experience


Maria T. imagined a vacation home that was more than just an investment property—she wanted a place with a story she could share in a newly discovered area.

Equipped with a thirst for travel and a professional background in engineering, she and her family set out to explore the astonishing beauty of the Alabama Gulf Coast to realize their dream. Their journey led them to Dauphin Island, renowned for its maritime forest and indelible natural charm. It was during this exploratory phase they serendipitously crossed paths with Vacasa as guests.

"[Our] vacation home has an extraordinary story because it's not a dispassionate investment. It is a story—really,” Maria explains. “I never knew Alabama was such a beautiful place, and we traveled a lot along the Gulf Coast, where we stayed in various Vacasa rentals. Then we went to Dauphin Island, and I instantly loved the area. It's very different, very special."

With a perfect location set, the couple put their dreams in motion by securing a picturesque wooded plot on Dauphin Island near the beach. Now it was time to get to work.

Welcome to Dauphin Island...

Modern vacation rental management

Get a personalized estimate of how much your home could earn.

Peace and sea-renity

Maria shared that her engineering background encouraged her to build a home following Alabama's Gold-level FORTIFIED buildings standards. She also wanted to construct a dwelling that echoed the uniqueness of its surroundings.

"We bought the land in the forest near the beach because it was so fascinating. I hadn't actually seen a maritime forest before—I guess they existed everywhere, but most of them are gone due to development. Fortunately, half of Dauphin Island is still a maritime forest," says Maria.

Throughout the construction of her home, Maria's original intention stayed strong—this was more than an investment. It was a labor of love with extraordinary charm that needed to be shared.

"Originally, we thought it would be our retirement home 10 years from now, but it happened much quicker. Our experience isn't for everyone, but it's more about a work of love."

The value of personal, local partnerships

Maria reiterated that a part of their decision to partner with Vacasa surfaced after staying in several Vacasa-managed homes. While on vacation, they noted the care and professionalism that went into each stay. Those experiences proved Vacasa was the right partner to manage their vacation home on the guest side, but shifting development timelines demonstrated how well their partnership would work professionally.

Her interactions with Vacasa Sales Executive Brandon G. illustrated just that by showing the value of having a communicative local team always available. She shared that Brandon did everything he could to make their situation manageable and successful despite moving deadlines and no opening date.

"We prepared everything with Vacasa,” Maria recalls, “because we were expecting the house to be ready for spring break in March, but construction didn’t finish until July. Even as that date shifted, working with Vacasa was very, very professional, and very personal."

quote-mark Created with Sketch.
"Working with Vacasa was very, very professional, and very personal."
—Maria T., Dauphin Island homeowner

Maria also praised Vacasa’s Dauphin Island General Manager Teresa P. for her dedication and guidance in preparing the property for listing and prioritizing the guest experience. Those efforts established a deep trust and reassurance between Maria and Vacasa, fortifying their friendship and turning it into the strong relationship it is today.

Built for shared experiences

Peace & Sea-Renity is now open for guests. Maria shared that the guest experience reflects the island's mesmerizing effect, where every visit is an opportunity to rekindle a connection to nature and tranquility. She also says guests will find solace in the natural surroundings, refreshed by the treehouse-like setting on the porch, and invigorated by walks along the beach and dunes.

"What I really want is somebody to take good care of the property I love and share with others the beauty of the island. That's it," explains Maria.

"Vacasa has terrific and very professional local support teams on the ground. But they also have an excellent infrastructure that helps us understand everything from insurance to legal needs, and additional perks like the towel and linen service, marketing, and their own site for bookings."

quote-mark Created with Sketch.
"Vacasa has terrific and very professional local support teams on the ground. But they also have an excellent infrastructure that helps us understand everything from insurance to legal needs, and additional perks like the towel and linen service, marketing, and their own site for bookings."
—Maria T., Dauphin Island homeowner

Maria's journey to owning a vacation home on Dauphin Island is a testament to the power of personal connections and the appeal of natural beauty. What's more, her story also highlights how a rental house can be more than an investment—it can embody personality and hospitality in sharing the wonders of a beautiful place with others.

Through her partnering with Vacasa, Maria found a way to ensure her cherished property is cared for while she fulfills her dream of experiencing the island's magic whenever possible.

You might also like...

Caroline's story

How Vacasa tripled one owner's income and saved the family vacation home

Diane's story

How we helped one Vacasa homeowner share her “happy place”

Jon's story

How we helped one homeowner rent with ease—from 17+ hours away

Karen's story

How a Vacasa skeptic became one of our biggest believers

Patrick's story

How one homeowner earned over $200,000—even in 2020

Diana's story

How an experienced vacation rental owner found a company she could truly trust

Let's get started

Talk to us

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Call 888-711-0781 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.


Get more info

Not ready to chat? We’ll email you more info to explore.

California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.