If you are a seasoned veteran with a history of securing a summer rental each year, you have likely already started your search for this summer, or even better, already secured your rental. But for most, summer plans begin to invade conversations and because vacations can be as near as local beaches or as far as Europe, finding the perfect summer rental can be daunting! Luckily there are some surefire ways to ease you into a “summer state-of-mind” by making sure you’re covering the basics:
When do I want to vacation?
The dates you are traveling will dictate where you should look. For example, June/July/August tend to be popular beach rental months, so areas like the Hamptons, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are good places to start.
Length of time, i.e. Memorial Day to Labor Day rental vs. two weeks, a month
If you’re lucky enough to be able to get away for a month straight, a rental home in Europe might be calling your name. If you want somewhere to get away for long weekends but easy access back to your day job – the Hamptons, Cape Cod and Nantucket are excellent options to explore. Keep in mind that prices skyrocket around holiday weekends – along with traffic and overrun beach towns. Opting for a non-holiday weekend could save you some money and a headache.
Location is key.
It is not just about the geographical location, i.e. city or country. The question you need to ask yourself is if the accommodations are in close proximity to amenities like beaches, lakes, restaurants, etc., and if so, it might be worth it to pay the premium for that proximity. After all, you only have one shot at a summer vacation!
Size and type of property – home, hotel, shared-rental, etc.
If it’s a family trip, couples get-away or girls vacation, your accommodations needs will change. Shared rental homes are always a preferred option for larger groups and help create a fun, relaxed dynamic. Added bonus for raiding local farmer’s markets and cooking at home with one – or two – bottles of wine.
What type of experience or memory are you seeking?
It’s important to identify what kind of vacation you want. Do you want to be constantly entertained? Relaxed? Maybe a little bit of both? For the adventurous types, exploring areas in close proximity to outdoor activities like hiking, biking, swimming or sailing are great places to start.
Pets, children, elderly family members, visitors, etc.?
Basically, what kind of party is this going to be? If you’ll be bringing the dogs, mother-in-law, brother, sister and best friend with you and foresee a lot of noise, it’s best to look for properties that are secluded and don’t feature cranky neighbors that want to go to sleep early. Be sure to consider who will be frequenting the place before you settle on a location.
If it is a private home – What amenities come with the property?
Make sure you are clear on what comes with your rental – does it provide housekeeping services, pool service, wifi, house-rules etc. Get all the details up front so you can arrange in advance for any conveniences that you can’t go without.
Protect yourself legally.
Don’t forget that if you are signing a lease, it is a legal document and it is recommended to have your legal counsel review it. It is never a good idea to go in blindly to a legally binding arrangement, particularly if you haven’t seen the space beforehand. Always be sure to have an attorney review and sign off before you do.
Get professional help!
Once you have decided on some of these basics, contact your local real estate expert to help you and guide you through the process. Most real estate professional fees are paid by the landlord, so why not take advantage of a professional to assist you? Plus, they may have the inside scoop on some off-market properties that might tick all the boxes you’re looking for.