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Have you rented a house for a vacation?
Old 09-12-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Have you rented a house for a vacation?

Our daughter is getting married in San Diego next month, and we have rented a house there for four days for the wedding. We thought it would be much nicer to have a large 'home base' for the festivities, especially since there will be two elderly grandmothers joining us. We found a nice home in a nice area, nothing fancy but more than serviceable, and are paying about the same as for two three-star hotel rooms.

I'm wondering what others' experiences have been in renting vacation homes short-term? It seems to be somewhat a faith-based industry, since we really don't know the people we're renting from and they don't know us. We found this one on one of the large sites, and there are several good reviews for the property. I paid by credit card for some extra insurance.

And speaking of insurance, DH is asking if we need to have some kind of renter's insurance for this? I've searched the good ol' internet, but only find a few articles about how to get homeowner's insurance for your vacation rental property. Zilch on anything for the renter, other than travel insurance.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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I have rented houses twice through VRBO and both times I was very happy .

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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I've rented condos and timeshares on vbro and craigslist and other sites. Some for 1-2 weeks several for 2-3 months. All the rentals have gone well. The first time is a bit of a leap of faith. I've never taken out insurance.

ETA: They all worked out well. We were never dissatisfied, unlike some hotel/resort reservations.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
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Never taken insurance out and we have rented a variety of places, ranging from a brand new condo in Albuquerque to a Sears kit house on otherwise extremely wealthy Mason's Island, CT to a custom designed and built artist's house outside Taos. I have had more lousy experiences in chain hotels.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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We have used VRBO for two different houses - one in Hawaii and one in Orlando (which we loved and rented several times). Definitely a leap of faith - but it's so worth it! It helps when there are recommendations from previous guests on the site - adds validity.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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Websites like Homeaway and VRBO have a rental gauratee policy which covers fraudulent rentals.

We have booked using these sites and list our vacation rental on these sites. Dollar for dollar it's the best form of advertising.

Booking online has come along way.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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It has been the only way we've taken vacations for almost two decades. I have even rented a villa in Rincon, Puerto Rico with it's own ocean beach.

We just signed a contract on a one month rental in Florida for January. I've never had a bad experience and have had more positive surprises than negative ones. DW and I do spend hours over several weeks searching for just the right rental, and study the reviews.

Do your homework and it's the only way to go. I've never had insurance as I can never take enough stuff to worry about it.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the comments. We also used VRBO and I like the format. It's pretty loose -- I guess like the owners who are advertising -- but all seems to be in order. I only seriously looked at properties who had reviews. I'm looking forward to the experience (although as a "mother of the bride" I probably will be thinking about other things than a vacation house). I did get permission from the owner ahead of time to host a brunch at the house.

No one mentions insurance, except my DH, who tends to be overly cautious and somewhat suspicious. The HomeAway/vrbo insurance only covers very specific (and probably really rare) instances.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:54 PM   #9
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I have never rented a house, sorry.
Originally Posted by NeverBored View Post
I'm wondering what others' experiences have been in renting vacation homes short-term?
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:59 PM   #10
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I've used VRBO probably 6 - 8 times and I am in the process of renting through there for a trip next week to Estes Park, CO. I have never had a bad experience using that site.

I think I have always had better accomodations using VRBO than I would using a hotel.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:05 AM   #11
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I've rented house, condo and apartments for a week or so. Not considered insurance or taken any. I once rented a bungalow which comes with a cook and caretaker (husband and wife and they stay in a small house within the bungalow's premises). I'll only rent a place when I can find many good reviews on it or if it is through reliable recommendation.

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