Have the perfect, stress-free vacation. These tips will help you find the right vacation rental for the whole family.
- Plan ahead
Start your search six months up to a year in advance. It might seem too early to make reservations, but keep in mind that the best vacation homes get booked fast, especially during peak season.
Choose a destination and set a date for you trip. Then look for a Realtor who knows the area – a local real estate expert can help you secure a rental. Their first-hand knowledge of the place will enable you to choose the best one.
If you’re interested in Naples, Florida, call Verona Walk Realty at 239.417.3300 or send an email to Info@VWRNaples.com.
- Ask around
Shop around for vacation homes. Search online and ask friends for recommendations. This allows you to make comparisons and find the best deal in the market. This also helps you learn more about the place you’ll be visiting. If it’s not too far from where you live, consider driving around and scoping out the houses yourself.
- Read the fine print
Once you find a rental that fits your needs, take the time to read the contract. Pay extra attention to the terms of payment, what’s included in the rental fee, and items that you’ll be held liable for.
The contract should clearly state whether you or the owner will shoulder utility costs, housekeeping, cooking gas, and other expenses. Keep in mind that heating and air conditioning costs for vacation homes can be exorbitant, so factor that into your budget.
It’s best to go over the document with a real estate attorney, especially if certain aspects of the contract are unclear.
If you’re staying for an extended period, ask the owner if they’ll be willing to give you a discount. You’ll likely have the upper hand in negotiations during off season, or if the home hasn’t gotten booked.
- Ask questions
Ask about housekeeping, and whether you or the owner will be footing the bill. Some rentals will have house cleaners come in at the end of the booking period, and the bill will be added to your total. Other owners expect you to have the house cleaned before agreeing to return your deposit. Clarify this with the owner to avoid arguments toward the end of your vacation.
- Document everything
Take photos or videos of the vacation home upon arrival to document existing damage so that you won’t be held liable for it. Pay special attention to problem areas. Do the same on your last day in the property. This will serve as evidence in case there’s a disagreement with the owner later on.
- Do a walk-through on your last day
Before check out, do a walk-through of the property with the owner or landlord. Make sure that they don’t see problems with the home. This will keep you from having to deal with unexpected bills. It will also give you enough time to address a problem if one comes up.
With these tips in mind, you’ll avoid the common pitfalls of renting a vacation home.