1. Choosing a Vacation Date
The three components of the price of a rental are: time of travel, size of property, and location of the property. If you are dead set on obtaining that choice piece of real estate with the ocean view or you are really riding your budget, you may want to alter your travel dates. Great times for heavily discounted rates are usually at the end of the season which goes from the last week in August to the beginning of September. These are great weeks for travel because the mad rush will begin to subside and the “crowd factor” will be nearly the problem it is in the mid-summer weeks. Merchants, restaurants, and other attractions generally charge less at the end of the season seeing as they are trying to squeeze as much revenue out of the tourists as possible. This is not true in the pre-season weeks making them less of an overall bargain.
2. Choosing a Property
The internet has no doubt revolutionized the way that people search for beach rentals. Forget calling landlords in the newspaper. Websites such as www.beachhouse.com and www.shoresummerrentals.com allow potential renters to search properties as well as view when each property has vacant weeks available for rental. These websites also feature rental prices by week and detailed pictures of each property. You will also have the ability to negate the use of a real estate agent and talk to the landlord themselves. This usually results in a lesser rental fee because the agent is not taking a cut. The ability to view the rental online before booking can make the difference between a good week and a bad week.
3. Talking with the Landlord
Once you have found the perfect property you need to contact the landlord to make arrangements. Make sure you ask the following questions:
1. Do you allow pets? Those that do not own pets or do not plan on bringing pets could be offended by odors from previous tenants. Many vacation nightmares have been originated from not asking this question.
2. Do you allow “senior week” or “college spring break” rentals? Those landlords that do allow these types of rentals are usually the ones with less desirable properties. Rent at your own risk.
3. Does this property share walls with another property you own? / Are the neighbors quiet? There would be nothing worse that a family shelling out good money for a rental and being placed next to a college fraternity’s vacation. Make sure you ask. Most landlords are asked this question very often.
4. Is their ample private parking? Parking is an eternal problem at the shore. Make sure that the property that you rent has parking of its own. Otherwise you could be forced to park a good distance from your beach house, or worse you will have to pay by the day to park your car.
Landlords are in the business of renting and business at the shore is extremely competitive, so naturally they will welcome your inquiring call with open arms. After you have asked the pertinent questions ask if they have a time that is specially discounted. If not ask if they are willing to work on their price for a set week. Remind all landlords that you are contacting them directly that you have found them without the help of a real estate agent, thus saving the agent’s commission.
If you are really budget conscious you may want to select several properties that are a match for you and call them a few weeks before travel. When it gets closer and closer to the week you want to rent, landlords get more and more nervous that a week might go by without revenue. This is usually motivation to work on price. Last but not least, be friendly! A problem-less possibly recurring tenant is priceless to a landlord.