A house manual is a document, printed or digital, that informs guests about the property they’re visiting. If you already provide a house manual for guests, fantastic! If not, you may want to consider making one for future guests. They can come in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve ever visited a home with a property manager, you’ve probably seen some pretty nice ones with lamination, high-gloss print and tons of local information. But as a vacation homeowner without the benefits of a property manager, you might feel a little lost on where to start.


No worries, we’ll show you an easy way to create an informative and helpful house manual for your guests.


House manuals typically include a host introduction, arrival and departure information, a list of amenities, appliance information, and important contact information. They’re especially valuable to guests because no one knows your home and your destination like the host! You can use a house manual to share your favorite local activities, restaurants and hidden gems. So, are you ready to step up your hosting game?


You can start by downloading the THIRDHOME house manual booklet template or U.S. Letter template for Microsoft Word or by starting with a template of your own. Our template only requires Microsoft Word, Letter size (8.5” x11”) paper and a basic color printer.


1.Start by clicking the button below to download our house manual template.

The booklet template uses U.S. Letter sized paper folded in half.


Download Booklet Template


The U.S. Letter template is best for traditional 3-ring binder layout.



Download U.S. Letter Template


2. Open the document.

House manual guide image


3. Now, all you have to do is swap out the template information with your own!

title page home guide tutorial


4. Don’t forget to add those personal touches to make guests feel welcome!

Personal touch to home guide thirdhome tutorial


5. Don’t miss important information for guests, like Wi-fi access.

Wi fi info house guide manual thirdhome tutorial


6. (For Booklet template) When you’re finished editing be sure to change your print settings to “Booklet” under “layout.” This template is designed to print out on two Letter size pages, front and back. Also be sure to set your Paper Handling for US Letter and scale to size. Use a high-gloss paper for a sleeker look.

printing guide house manual thirdhome
6. (For U.S. Letter template) Simply print your house manual on standard 8.5”x11” paper, hole punch and insert into 3-ring binder


7. Now all that’s left is to fold your two pages down the middle. You can secure your spine with staples if you like. 

folding house manual house guide thirdhome tutorial

9. Place a copy on your coffee table. Also, consider making a version for digital distribution (Save as PDF), so you can email it directly to your guest before their arrival!


Whether you used the template or a leather-bound tome, we hope that this inspired you to become a 5-star host! Remember, it’s the little things that make a house a home.


Happy hosting!

Being the perfect host for a home exchange or rental guest requires attention to detail.

It also requires thoughtful touches and plenty of communication. THIRDHOME Exchange members often receive high ratings for being thoughtful hosts. We’ve picked up on their best methods for high host ratings and are sharing them below!

Before arrival, consider compiling some of the following items:

But being a perfect host doesn’t end there. Keep reading to see how each room should be prepared for guests.

Below we’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when preparing your home for guests, room by room.


Before the hosting experience starts, reach out to your guest to confirm their arrival and departure details. Provide directions to the home and instructions for gaining entry to the property. Your guests will appreciate your tips and insider knowledge of the area.








Living Room


Outdoor Area

The above tips will have you receiving high host ratings on your next home exchange or rental hosting opportunity!

What have THIRDHOME Exchange members said about their hosts?

“David and Pennie were wonderful hosts, Pennie met us on arrival to show us around and ensure we had everything we needed. The apartment itself is in a great location near Battersea Park and walking distance to many areas like Kings Road and Sloane Square, as well as transport links to other areas. We had a great stay and Pennie was very responsive to any inquiries we had. Thank you!” – THIRDHOME member Claire

“We really enjoyed our week at this condo in San Francisco. Kathryn was a great host. She met us upon arrival and gave us a tour of the building. She also provided us with some great advice about the sights in the bay area. She was a quick e-mail away if we had any questions. The condo unit was immaculate and well maintained. Great host, great condo, great location, a very safe area, surprisingly quiet, and everything you’d want within a short walking distance. This place couldn’t have been more perfect.” – THIRDHOME member Linda

Want to host other like-minded travelers in your luxury second home by exchanging unused time? Don’t let your vacation home sit empty; click here to learn more about joining THIRDHOME.

Current THIRDHOME members, now that you know how to be the perfect host, it’s time to start hosting! Log in and click here to deposit stays and put your hosting skills to work!

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