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Home Away Vacations?
Old 08-09-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Home Away Vacations?

This may have been covered under an older thread but I couldn't find it.

Does anyone have any experience with renting a condo/home/apt via Home Away Vacations?

I found a great place for the winter but I'm just a little worried about internet scams, people advertising who don't really own the place etc.

Home Away has an insurance policy to protect such things, but I'd hate to get there, bag in hand, and not have someplace.

Right now, the place looks legit but.....
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Ive used Home away and VRBO for rentals in the US and abroad (6) times. Never had any issues. Assuming we are talking about the same thing. I found nothing under Home away vacations just Home away.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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Yeah. homewaway.com
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #4
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Yeah no problems. All the ones I did were with reviews but 1. We talked to the lady in Italy and went ahead with it. Worked out fine. If you are wary just go with the reviews.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:21 PM   #5
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I had never heard of this site before, looks nice and I see they have an app. I had posted a question earlier about recommended B&Bs that was met with a resounding silence - this may be a solution. Thanks for posting!
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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Next month will be the fourth time I've used VRBO and have not had any problems so far.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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I have used VRBO and never had any problem. I'm not familiar with the other mentioned.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
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Like anything else you need to do the leg work. I found you will run into things you wished were better. Even on the best rentals. If you have the attitude where you adjust and move on. Things seem much better. If a certain thing is important to you. Like a must have. Make sure you check with the owner.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #9
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We've used both VRBO and Home Away, and have not had any problems with either one.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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I have used both vrbo and homeaway in the past 4 years and have never had any problems once I spent the time to read all the reviews. I also will allow some time to have an email correspondance with the owner to make sure they seem reasonable. It is hard to beat the experience of having more space and a neighborhood feeling while on vacation, and I prefer a home/apartment rental to a hotel most of the time.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:07 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies! Does anyone know if/how Homeaway tries to insure you're dealing with the actual owner/manager?

I guess I'm paranoid b/c recently in our area there's been a rash of home rentals by people who don't own the properties. People show up only to find they've been scammed.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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I can't answer the "actual owner" question but we've rented condos and houses via websites for years (Spain, Ireland, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Texas are the ones that come to mind) and have never had an issue. We do make it a point to exchange multiple emails and/or phone calls before sealing the deal and I think once we did change our minds about staying at a property due to being dissatisfied with the manner of responses.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #13
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We have had good luck with VRBO. We just spent 4 days in a condo at Sanibel Island we found on VRBO. We originally went through the rental office of the small condo complex where we had stayed before but their standard line was "7-day minimum" so we went through VRBO and found an owner that would do 4 days. The rental office then handled collecting the deposit and we dealt with them for final payment and keys when we arrived. Very easy.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #14
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We've rental vacation places over the internet 3 times. I think we used VRBO twice and Homeaway once but they are basically the same. A lot of places are advertised both places.
1. Apt in New York worked out perfectly. Owner was very nice. She was out of town and responded quickly to any questions we had.
2. Cabin in Colorado was disgustingly dirty and there was nobody to contact at the time of night that we got there. I believe the owner used a management company and they were worthless. We got a hotel and got our money back.
3. Last week in Chicago. The owner travels between SF and Chicago and came back into town the day we got there. She owns a 4 plex and rents out whichever ones shes not using. She was a scatter brain. We rented the bottom floor apt but she put us in the top floor because she had an ear infection and couldnt go upstairs herself. She asked up to switch apts after a few days when she felt better which I agreed to trying to be nice. The place wasnt clean when we arrived at 11am but check in time was 3PM so that was fine. We left our bags and went out to sight see. We got back at 4PM and it still wasnt clean. Now we were sweaty and tired and wanted to jump in the shower but couldnt because the cleaning guy was there. He finally finished and left....and then my wife finished cleaning because the guy did a horrible job. After 2 days she asked us to move to the bottom apt at 8:15AM. I told her we wouldn't even be up by then, let alone showered and packed up. We were ready to go at about 9:30 and she told us to leave our bags and she would move them when the bottom apt was ready. We went out to do our thing again and returned home hot and ready for a shower at 4:30PM. The place wasnt even close to being clean yet and they were waiting for a videographer to arrive. At this point I had had enough. I had paid her in cash and I demanded my money back. She gave me an acceptable amount of money back and we sat out on the stoop on my computer and bid for a hotel on Priceline for the remaining 3 days. We got a 4 star hotel with an awesome view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago river for less than the vacation rental cost. My wife wanted the vacation rental because it had a kitchen, but all we really needed was a fridge which the hotel had. The furniture in the apt was mismatched junk, it had a lot of rooms but it had no room. The layout was terrible. All in all, it was a nightmare and I had never been more happy to be in a hotel.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
2. Cabin in Colorado was disgustingly dirty and there was nobody to contact at the time of night that we got there. I believe the owner used a management company and they were worthless. We got a hotel and got our money back.
3. Last week in Chicago. The owner travels between SF and Chicago and came back into town the day we got there. She owns a 4 plex and rents out whichever ones shes not using. snip The place wasnt clean when we arrived at 11am but check in time was 3PM so that was fine......snip
So what were the ratings on those two?

I have rented many times with VRBO and AirBnB all over the world and have never had a problem. However, the ones I rented had perfect to almost perfect ratings.

I can tell you about many hotels I had poor experiences with. I still use hotels for short stays of when we are only a couple. But our recent family trip to Europe...Paris/Venice/Barcelona, we rented flats and the cost savings was substantial (about $200+ Euros a night) with more space. That's a decent dinner with a good bottle of wine!

However, there are some things you don't get renting houses of flats. Like up to date fire systems/sprinkler systems, security...etc.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:59 AM   #16
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We've also found a winter home rental through VRBO or homeaway. If you are really paranoid, and I've done this - find out what county the home is in (if in the US), then do search for that county's Auditor - you can then find the tax maps and see who is down as the owner. It does give you piece of mind knowing that the name you are corresponding with matches up with the owner on the property records!! Do ask about all things important to you - we like to have internet and premium cable - which they will get connected but we pay for it. But it's really nice to have more space and we love the home in AZ we've been renting for the last few winters. Good Luck!
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VRBO/HomeAway
Old 08-19-2012, 06:06 PM   #17
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VRBO/HomeAway

We've used both (moreso VRBO) all over the world and never had a serious issue. We also sometimes stay in high-end hotels and resorts and usually the by owner properties are not as meticulously cleaned or kept up as the higher end properties (e.g., Mandarin/Ritz/Four Seasons). But, you get exactly the unit (if in a resort) you signed up for, and oftentimes nice things like a kitchen full of spices/booze/extras. Also, laundry is key since we like to travel light and hotel laundry is expensive. In many places, we like VRBO for the ability to stay in normal neighborhoods versus commercial/hotel/touristy areas. We've never had a major issue in terms of fraud or whatnot.
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