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Old 03-05-2018, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,819 posts, read 19,910,927 times
Reputation: 23222

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Regardless of whether or not you use VRBO, what you might run into is that most aged restricted communities don't allow rentals of less than 3 months .
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,756 posts, read 4,175,271 times
Reputation: 15486
I have used VRBO and Homeaway a few times with no problems. The houses have been as seen and described in the photos and information.

Just a NOTE OF CAUTION! do NOT correspond to the owners or managers by EMAIL.

Use the VRBO site to exchange questions and information. (there is a message board that you can correspond through)

The VRBO site gets hacked and non owners (scam artists) will reply to you through email. They spoof you into thinking that they are the owners. VRBO calls this email phishing, but NO, their system is hacked and they refuse to admit it or do anything about it.

https://tastesliketravel.com/vrbo-we...ld-be-scammed/

Be VERY CAUTIOUS if you are being offered a great deal. If it sounds too good to be true, listen to your gut.

ONLY book through the site, using a credit card. Do NOT agree to going through the "owners" privately with bank to bank transfers.

I am writing this caution because this is exactly what happened to me with a gorgeous place I "thought" I'd rented for 5 weeks in Florida this winter (2018). We and another couple lost $4000+
Because we hadn't booked with a charge card USING the VRBO website, VRBO couldn't/wouldn't do anything about it.

I even talked to the "hacker" on the phone. Sounded like a lovely man. Yep, hook, line and sinker.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:19 AM
 
1,324 posts, read 649,311 times
Reputation: 4264
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
I have used VRBO and Homeaway a few times with no problems. The houses have been as seen and described in the photos and information.

Just a NOTE OF CAUTION! do NOT correspond to the owners or managers by EMAIL.

Use the VRBO site to exchange questions and information. (there is a message board that you can correspond through)

The VRBO site gets hacked and non owners (scam artists) will reply to you through email. They spoof you into thinking that they are the owners. VRBO calls this email phishing, but NO, their system is hacked and they refuse to admit it or do anything about it.

https://tastesliketravel.com/vrbo-we...ld-be-scammed/

Be VERY CAUTIOUS if you are being offered a great deal. If it sounds too good to be true, listen to your gut.

ONLY book through the site, using a credit card. Do NOT agree to going through the "owners" privately with bank to bank transfers.

I am writing this caution because this is exactly what happened to me with a gorgeous place I "thought" I'd rented for 5 weeks in Florida this winter (2018). We and another couple lost $4000+
Because we hadn't booked with a charge card USING the VRBO website, VRBO couldn't/wouldn't do anything about it.

I even talked to the "hacker" on the phone. Sounded like a lovely man. Yep, hook, line and sinker.
Valuable information. I thank you!
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:24 AM
 
3,715 posts, read 3,125,677 times
Reputation: 7866
Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
I have used VRBO and Homeaway a few times with no problems. The houses have been as seen and described in the photos and information.

Just a NOTE OF CAUTION! do NOT correspond to the owners or managers by EMAIL.

Use the VRBO site to exchange questions and information. (there is a message board that you can correspond through)

The VRBO site gets hacked and non owners (scam artists) will reply to you through email. They spoof you into thinking that they are the owners. VRBO calls this email phishing, but NO, their system is hacked and they refuse to admit it or do anything about it.

https://tastesliketravel.com/vrbo-we...ld-be-scammed/

Be VERY CAUTIOUS if you are being offered a great deal. If it sounds too good to be true, listen to your gut.

ONLY book through the site, using a credit card. Do NOT agree to going through the "owners" privately with bank to bank transfers.

I am writing this caution because this is exactly what happened to me with a gorgeous place I "thought" I'd rented for 5 weeks in Florida this winter (2018). We and another couple lost $4000+
Because we hadn't booked with a charge card USING the VRBO website, VRBO couldn't/wouldn't do anything about it.

I even talked to the "hacker" on the phone. Sounded like a lovely man. Yep, hook, line and sinker.
This is not especially good advice.

I and many other owners encourage renters to contact us directly to avoid the exorbitant fees that vrbo and homeaway tack onto every rental now. They (vrbo and homeaway) now hide the owners' email and phone numbers from prospective renters in an attempt to control the rentals and then tack a 9 to 13% fee onto every rental. I tell prospective renters to google my name and city to find my personal website so they can contact me directly. We both save substantial money and they can be certain of who I am before booking with me.

Not every direct rental through an owner is a scam. Common sense will prevent most of the infrequent frauds attempts.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,878 posts, read 2,290,893 times
Reputation: 5600
As a AirBnb host for 4 years,rest assured owners are as concerned as renters as to who they are renting to/from. Read the reviews other have left about a property. We have 40-50 reviews of ours. Not sure what "hidden" fees are being alluded to, we only have a cleaning fee that's displayed right in our listing. Who wants to be sitting on beds in a hotel room for days or weeks when you can have a whole house to enjoy your stay? We don't allow people to "instantly book". We communicate with them, especially if they haven't been former Airbnb users. We only rent to those over 25, no parties, or large groups.

Airbnb handles the money, I wouldn't rent, or operate a rental handling it myself, it protects both parties.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:26 AM
 
Location: ma
27 posts, read 32,102 times
Reputation: 21
I've stayed at two such rentals... One was newly furnished after a hurricane it was the best but there were some areas like the outdoor cooking and pots and pans weren't the best. New Jersey shore

the second time I should have made a big, big issue as the place was crawling with ants and I asked the owner numerous times and finally took care of it myself. I also hated the linens they were so worn I had to wash before I could sleep. Luckily, I brought blankets with me and laid on them to sleep. the cook ware and furniture was awful, awful.. i wish i would have given the bad review! South Carolina shore
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
1,465 posts, read 1,534,415 times
Reputation: 1885
We rented the first vacation rental home over ten years ago with the company called Disney Vacation Homes. After renting a house instead of staying at a motel or hotel, we absolutely prefer renting homes and condos instead of staying at a motel or hotel. The exception to the rule is if the stay is only for a day or two, then we'll still use motels or hotels. If we go overseas, we stay at hotels. We've been renting VRBO homes and condos for about ten years, in Florida, and Hawaii, which was another possible retirement location.

When you rent a house or condo, you absolutely feel more like you are living in the location, even if it's only for a week or two, verses staying in a motel or hotel with just one tiny room. Another upside to staying at a vacation rental home is you don't have to eat at restaurants for every meal. We'd rather cook our own meals. The downside is you have to time your remaining food and bottles of water carefully as you approach the end of the visit, if you fly, because you can't take much with you on a flight.

We want to see a minimum of a few reviews. The reviews have to be mostly positive. If there's a negative review, it has to be judged. Sometimes a negative review is complaining about something that is not important to us. The most crazy review was a motel review where they were complaining about people riding motorcycles down the motel hallway! If the VRBO rental prices are too low, that could mean trouble. Also check the area of your rental and where you are home hunting with both Zillow and Trulia. Zillow gives you more historical real estate pricing information. Trulia gives you a crime map, which is useful for both your real estate search and your VRBO rental area search. Crime areas are sprinkled around in Florida much more than other areas we've traveled. If the home has a pool and hot tub, you might have to pay extra for the pool and hot tub to be heated. Without paying for the heat, the pool and hot tub might be unusable if the water is too cold.

We've had some less than ideal experiences renting vacation homes. Sometimes you experience crappy beds that you would never own yourself. Be careful that the rental is not too close to noisy train tracks, roads, or off the end of an airport runway. Same thing for the properly you want to buy. Sometimes, the rental has salt, sugar, and some basic things. Sometimes the rental is stripped clean of any of those items, forcing you to buy those items. You'll also have to buy paper towels, toilet paper, sometimes dish washing soap, washing machine soap, and dryer sheets.

We used to be looking in SW Florida for housing because of the higher concentration of possible sink hole problems in central Florida. Sink holes are a concern, but shouldn't be an overwhelming concern. There are problems with Naples, Venice, and Port Charlotte. In SW Florida, most homes are equipped with metal storm shutters, because you will need them. If you're not too close to the coastline in central Florida, the homes don't have storm shutters and don't seem to need them. Be sure to look up the flood zones and the evacuation zones when you are looking at real estate.

The homes in Naples tend to be much more expensive. The lower cost homes in Naples tend to be closer to the higher crime areas. Venice tends to have more consistent housing values than Port Charlotte. There aren't a lot of big box chain stores near Venice, mostly mom and pop boutiques. Port Charlotte has mixed houses. You might have homes that are below $200K and above $400K right next to each other. Some HOA restrictions, but not too many could be a plus. If you have no HOA restrictions, you could have homes close to you with bare dirt, or weeds on their front lawn, and their lawn decorated with old junky trailers, old boats, old RV's, dead cars, old toilets and other junk surrounding a run down house. The trashy homes near your home will lower your property value, and will make it harder for you to sell the home you buy, in the future. Think very carefully about choosing an area where you are more likely to be in a forced evacuation area. I think that's a much more important factor to be thinking about than the very tiny risk of sink holes. You can buy sink hole insurance too.

Also, compare the cost of living to where you're coming from. The cost of insurance is much higher, and the fees are higher. But the no state income tax is a huge factor that an easily overcome things in Florida that cost more, if you have a retirement income stream and a lot of pretax retirement money that will be taxed when the money is eventually taken out of the pretax accounts. The closer you get to the coastline, you will have drastically higher housing costs and much higher insurance costs. If you have to evacuate, more than once a year, or prepare for a possible hurricane that weakens or turns away, several times a year, that could be a reason you'll move to a different part of Florida in the future, or leave Florida. Forced evacuations and repeated hurricane preparations can be a major impact on your life.

There's a lot to consider when you're home hunting in Florida. A visit in the summer is an excellent idea, which we also did to find out if we could hack the heat and humidity. We found that the summertime heat and humidity wasn't that bad before 10 AM and after 6 PM or 7 PM. We could stand up to about 20 minutes in the mid-day summertime heat and humidity, before we had to get to the car ASAP and crank up the AC on full blast to cool down. The almost daily afternoon thunderstorms were interesting. It would rain very hard, sometimes hit our area, sometimes miss. After about 60 minutes after the storms passed through, it would dry up and be nice again. However, we only visited during the summertime for a week and a half. Months of high heat and humidity, endlessly, day after day, might start to wear you down over time, in the longer term. If that happens, we plan to drive back to Minnesota and stay with the in-laws that are still stuck in Minnesota for many years, until they retire. Or, we could do some travelling during the summers. Our work calendars will be totally empty when we're both retired!
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:47 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,308 posts, read 15,356,670 times
Reputation: 9493
Many of the added fees are for legitimate things, like state and local taxes. A hotel wouldn't add those fees in to the quoted room rate, either, you'd only see them in the final quote.

Obviously I don't want to pay more than I have to, but assuming those taxes are actually paid by the owner, it does mean it is a legal, permitted rental.

For instance for a 7 night rental in Lake Tahoe this summer, my rental fee is $1,200, the taxes are $175, the "service fee" is $133, the cleaning fee is $100 and the refundable damage deposit is $250. I assume the $133 is VRBO's cut.

As far as renting directly from the owner, if I like the rental and the area, I might talk to him directly after I've stayed. I also want the rental to come with a local contact number (owner or agent) to deal with problems. We once rented a nice condo on Maui that was advertised as a non-smoking unit in a non-smoking complex (it had a "designated smoking area" on the grounds, away from the building and pool) and the people below us spent all day out on their balcony smoking so much that we couldn't leave our windows open. A call to the owner resulted in a call to the building manager and the problem was quickly fixed.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,445,912 times
Reputation: 15683
Default Q: Anyone Do VRBO??

Q: Anyone Do VRBO??

A: Yes.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:58 AM
 
4,776 posts, read 6,615,394 times
Reputation: 6785
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post


I've never looked but... 55+ and VRBO seem out of synch with each other.
Are there a lot of VRBO (or furnished sub lets) at 55+ communities?

I don't know about in Florida, but in Hot Springs Village (Arkansas) there are a lot of them, houses and condos. We rented a condo there once for much less money than a hotel room, while getting much more room (2 bedrooms and 3 toilets and sinks) and a cleaner, quieter place on the lake. It was a totally positive experience.
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