Once you’ve decided that you would like to enjoy the Snowbird experience you need a place to stay. That’s where Snowbird rentals come into play.
How do we find our snowbird accommodation after we have decided what location we’ll travel to each winter?
The advent of the internet has been a blessing for those of us seeking Snowbird rentals.
Before you rush off and rent the first property that appeals, consider the following, since internet listings can be positive or can create problems for you.
The Internet Lies About Snowbird Rentals
Our experience has been – and we have booked numerous times with information obtained via the internet – that although we believe the vast majority of folks that post things on line are honest, every now and again things you find are not true. There are lies. The poster may be fabricating the entire listing, or, and this may be more typical, the poster of the Snowbird rental property leaves out information that will affect your stay. For example, something like this happened to us. We found an ideal location, booked our stay, arrived months later, absolutely loved the premises, threw open the window curtains at the rear of the complex, and saw something like this:
Committing to a long term rental via the internet only can be risky.
How do Snowbird renters protect themselves?
There are things you can do to protect yourself when booking a Snowbird rental from afar.
Who is actually renting the property: Do you even know if you are dealing with the authorized renter or owner of the property? Often a Snowbird rental will be available in a village, in a mobile home encampment, or in the ubiquitous trailer parks (some of which are palatial almost beyond imaging ). Almost – if not all – of them have an association which can be found on line. Find the association contact information and ask. Ask who owns such and such property, are they in good standing, and if the owner of the property is not the person renting, as the association who that person is.
Does the renter have a website: Snowbird rental properties are available year round and often for many years. Those in the business of renting to Snowbirds often have a website built to help in the renting. While websites today are cheap and easy to deploy, a renter that has one automatically moves up in the rankings of legitimacy. Much of the information you need can be found on a well-built rental website.
A short visit: If you have the financial ability and the time, before committing to a multi-month retail, make a quick visit. Your boots on the ground cannot be beat for finding out what the Snowbird rental will be like, and what is around it.
Internet maps: Many locations around the world have been visited by the mapping people and photographed by satellite. Use an internet browser to find the maps of your intended rental area, and look at the street maps for industrial or commercial locations immediately adjacent to your intended destination. Use the satellite view to zoom down as close to your location as you can to see what’s around. If the program has a view from the street, use that to have a look at ground level. You can learn a great deal about the location using these tools.
References: Don’t be afraid to ask the renter for references from folks that have stayed there before. In particular, see if they can provide references from other renters that visited from your home country or even state or province. If you have any doubts, get references, and contact those references. Often, when you’ve done talking with them, if you say, “is there anything else about this place you would like to tell me” you may get an earful of issues that bothered or concerned that renter that may not have been issues that you asked about.
What are the terms of payment: We will never rent from a facility or person that demands payment for the full rental fee up front. That’s a red flag for us.
Typically you will be asked to pay 10% immediately to secure the rental, 60-90 days before the actual arrival time expect to pay 50% of the balance, and 30 days before arrival the balance will be due, though some enlightened renters will allow renters to hold 10% of the payment until they arrive at the Snowbird rental.
We take our time vetting various rental opportunities through a variety of criteria before settling on one. Over the years our diligence has paid off, with almost no surprises when we arrived for an extended stay at our Snowbird destination. It will pay you dividends to do so as well.
You may be interested in the pages Snowbird Rental Listings and Snowbird Payments.