An important consideration before you get too far along in the process is whether you have the right temperament to be a vacation rental owner. Not everyone does. You might even know someone who tried renting their home and gave it up as too stressful.
If you're the kind of person who hesitates to lend things and frets a lot about little damages, and Felix Unger (remember The Odd Couple?) is your hero, you're probably not going to be a happy rental owner. You'll be worried and anxious all the while renters are in your home (and you're not allowed to go spy on them!), and the few weeks' rental income won't be worth the stress.
On the other hand, if you tend to live your life with a degree of humor, forbearance and tolerance for the human condition, you'll probably adapt to renting quite nicely.
You will need to be able to roll with scratches, stains and breakage. They are part of everyday life, and you have to include them in the economics of your rental plan. In every season you will need to pay for cleaning rugs and sofas, repairing screens, and replacing small appliances and lamps, for example, without blaming the renters and without trying to take the cost of that normal wear and tear out of their damage deposits -- particularly if you otherwise like how your renters behave and want them to come back next year, because only one small claim on their damage deposit (especially if it's a really small claim) will be enough to drive them away.
Do you love to entertain? You will likely be a happy rental owner. The role you enjoy is ultimate host. That's a combination of anticipatory hospitality, thinking of what great experience you can create for your guests, and cheerful, "Not to worry!", handling of any mishaps, so the continuity of their enjoyment is unbroken while they're in your domain.
A large part of the hospitality personality is this mindset for the comfort of your guests. The canoe drifts away, the Internet mysteriously isn't working, and the responsibility to get it fixed fast is yours. It might be somebody's or nobody's fault, but it still has to be good-humoredly addressed. If you hate to be bothered with lots of little details, or even if you just don't have time, you will either have to adapt and make time, or delegate management of these details to another family member, a hired local manager or a professional rental management agency.
Do you have the hospitality mentality? A professional rental manager can help you decide!
2013 is Maggie Krainin's 40th year in Sebago Lake Region sales and rentals, and in that time, Krainin Real Estate has conducted over 25,000 happy vacation rentals.