It may only be February, but Chicagoans have summer vacation on their minds. In fact, February is one of the busiest months for booking Harbor Country summer vacation rentals, according to vacation rental expert and owner of Waya Rentals, Ron Morales. He said his rental agency, which manages more than 25 properties in Southwest Michigan, can receive as many as 200 inquiries per day.
If you’re considering renting a home or condominium in Southwest Michigan, Morales offers these tips to help make your quest for the ideal rental easier.
- Be honest about what you’re looking for in a home. He notes that being vague about the number of people who will be staying at the home, whether you have a pet, etc. will only end up causing problems for you, and may even result in forfeiting your security deposit. Instead, be upfront with what your plans are, including whether you’ll have extra guests, plan to entertain, have a pet or have any other special needs. “There are many different types of homes and environments in this area, which is why it’s so popular. So whether you plan to have a festive weekend with lots of friends, or are looking for something low-key for your family, be very specific about your plans and needs,” he said.
- Save time by using a rental service. “There are thousands of homes for rent in Harbor Country, so scouring listings can be overwhelming,” Morales noted. “That’s why rental agencies are so popular – we do all the leg work for you, and present you with a selection of homes that meet your budget, criteria and timeframe. And it’s all at no additional cost to the renter.”
- If at first you don’t success, look elsewhere. Booking a vacation rental should not be difficult, Morales notes. He says that unresponsive owners or landlords should be a red flag. “If you don’t hear from them within a couple of days, or have difficulty getting your questions answered, move on,” he said. “If they manage the rental aspect in an unprofessional manner, you can only assume the home will be maintained in the same way.”
- Ask questions. Morales said to come up with a list of questions, such as whether the home has a/c; whether there is a grill and if it’s gas or charcoal; how the kitchen is equipped; whether linens and towels are provided; what the parking rules are; whether there are any beach restrictions; or if there is access to a boat or wave runner rental. “You don’t want any surprises when you show up to begin your vacation,” he said.
- Save money by vacationing later. “Rental rates are at their peak in the summer months, so if you’re able to postpone your vacation until after Labor Day, you’ll typically get more for your money,” he said. “The weather is still usually very warm throughout September, but if you wait until after the busy summer months, you could save 25 percent or more.
For more information on vacationing in Harbor Country or to view homes for rent, visit www.wayarentals.com.