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Toyman01 UltimaDork
9/29/14 4:02 p.m.

I have a rental house that I've been renting month to month for about 3 years. It's in a historic area, walking distance to shopping, bike distance to the beaches and minutes to historic downtown Charleston by car. I'm considering turning it into a furnished vacation/weekly/monthly rental at a substantially higher price. It's renting now at about $1200/month. As a vacation rental it looks to be about $1000/week. Most of the houses in the area look to be staying booked about 80%. That's pretty real money and I can do a fair amount of work for that.

Anyone done this or used them as a owner or a renter?

Cone_Junkie SuperDork
9/29/14 4:16 p.m.

I've used AirBnB quite a few times.

First time I used it was in Flagstaff on our trip to the Grand Canyon. It was cheaper than the local hotels. As a bonus, the owner was a private tour guide for the Canyon and gave us all the great spots to hit.
We used it again the next night when we traveled down to Sedona. Mixed feelings on that one, but nothing was mis-represented. Still cheaper than hotels in the area. Especially since everything was last minute and had limited hotel availability.

My best experience was on our trip to New England a couple weeks ago. We got a Brownstone on Commonwealth Ave in Boston for $150 a night. Location was absolutely incredible. The owner was great to deal with and arranged to stow our luggage for a while since we arrived many hours before check-in. Again, cheaper than a local hotel, but better facilities IMO.

Also used it for a last minute change while in NH. We ended up in a private lakehouse in Wolfsboro. A private lake house was MUCH better then sharing a house with a half dozen other extended family members.

Just as a renter there was a pretty extensive identity check. Two forms of ID, valid email, Facebook account, and directly sent a photo of myself. Everything is done electronically, no need to even meet the landlords.

Storz Dork
9/29/14 5:13 p.m.

I've used vrbo several times with good luck.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/29/14 5:17 p.m.
Storz wrote: I've used vrbo several times with good luck.

Yup. Great system.

bgkast SuperDork
9/29/14 5:36 p.m.

We just used VRBO to get a place at the coast last week. It worked well, my wife is now looking into turning on of our rentals into a "vacation rental"

klb67 Reader
9/29/14 6:10 p.m.

I've used vbro close to a dozen times, mostly for New Year's trips with friends. With a dog and 2 kids, a rental house and typically 4 to 6 adults, a rental house works much much better than hotel rooms. Pet friendly is definitely our limitation. I think all have been very positive experiences.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/29/14 6:26 p.m.

I'd look into the Air BNB squatter case more if I was looking to go either of these routes.


nderwater PowerDork
9/29/14 6:58 p.m.

I've used both services and help manage an ab&b listing. Before Ab&b That property had lost money for years because the long-term rental market wouldn't support what was needed to cover expenses. Now the owner has averaged more than a grand profit per month on the place for the past year and a half thanks to ab&b guests.

Toyman01 UltimaDork
9/29/14 7:14 p.m.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine:

That's interesting. I would think the large hotel chains would nip that in the bud pretty quick.

johndej Reader
9/29/14 9:20 p.m.

Ive used vrbo with good success, was for spring break a number of years ago and noone would rent to people under 25. Worked out well after we exchanged a few emails.

I'm I interested in the air bnb as there's a big bike race coming to our city next year and I could crash at my girlfriends place for a week and rent out my apt. How does it work to sign up?

calteg HalfDork
9/29/14 9:50 p.m.

Wife and I just got back from an Italy trip. We visited 6 cities and used AirBnB for 5 of them. Overall a really positive experience, and a great way to get a jumpstart on the hangouts the locals use. Every place we stayed at was cheaper than a comparable hotel, and most of them were better located. In some cases they were a pain in the ass to find though

jde Reader
9/30/14 9:22 a.m.

Have used VRBO once or twice. No issues.

cdowd HalfDork
9/30/14 9:57 a.m.

My sister lists her spare bedrooms on AB&B. They are almost completely booked all the time. lots of repeat people. I think she get $70/night in Tampa. Adds up to pretty good money.

Duke UltimaDork
9/30/14 11:56 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine wrote: I'd look into the Air BNB squatter case more if I was looking to go either of these routes. http://www.businessinsider.com/airbnb-squatter-is-officially-kicked-out-2014-8

Wow, what douchebags. If they're not naturalized, they need to be sent back to whatever hole they crawled out of post haste. If they are naturalized, they need to spend some time in the hole.

Duke MegaDork
9/3/18 9:57 a.m.

Huh, I made the last post in this thread.  Weird.

Anyway, reviving this thread to see if people's opinions have changed in the last few years.  Seems like nearly all the tenant-side experiences have been pretty positive.

DW and I are looking to spend a 5-day weekend in the Rhinebeck / Woodstock area at the end of October.  I don't relish the idea of 4 nights in a typical hotel room (and they are scarce, as well) so we are looking at the HomeAway / VRBO / AirBnB options.  Seems like we can get some pretty decent cottages for the same price or a little more than a nice hotel.

Obviously I don't expect specific property reviews, but we've never done this.  How has it worked out for you guys?

Indy-Guy UltraDork
9/3/18 10:18 a.m.

My family has used vrbo for our vacation destination a few times. Always a good experience.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/3/18 10:19 a.m.

My only experience is a 2-night stay at an AB&B in Gettysburg PA for a wedding in June.  3br / 2ba house for less than a 2 queen hotel room.  Winner winner chicken dinner.

bmw88rider SuperDork
9/3/18 12:22 p.m.

Here is the biggest thing as a host. Make sure you include the cost of the extras. Stuff like the maid services to clean after each visit, the cost of supplies, and damage. I treat the AirBnB better than my own home some times just because I like to have a house instead of a hotel as I stay in Hotels for work every other week. 


There is a lot more work involved with an AirBnB than a rental. As long as you are ready for that, it's all good. 

914Driver MegaDork
9/3/18 1:00 p.m.

I've only used VRBO with great success.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
9/3/18 1:16 p.m.

Three great visits and one bad experience.  

My wife/son were going through Utah this summer and folks had trailers and tents in the dessert on Airbnb.  

Klayfish PowerDork
9/3/18 5:47 p.m.

I've used VRBO for at least 12-15 trips to Disney.  Never been steered wrong, very happy with it.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/3/18 6:26 p.m.

I'm in a VRBO rental at Watkins Glen right now. I understand the owners live in central PA somewhere and bought the house as an investment. So far, no complaints.  Most of my contact has been with the owner, from what I can tell.  I plan to be in the same house next year for the Vintage Festival. Hopefully with a working Triumph (the Tour de Marque for 2019) instead of my MINI.  Although with the weather we're having up here, I'm glad to have a car with A/C.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/3/18 7:27 p.m.
Storz said:

I've used vrbo several times with good luck.

Us too.

pheller UltimaDork
9/4/18 11:55 a.m.

Without getting into too much of the debate about Vacation Rental impacts on housing markets being made unaffordable...


Do you think systems like AirBNB and VRBO, with "renter ratings" could help the long-term rental markets as well? I know many AirBNB owners do "long term discounts", so a renter who stays for a month pays less than a renter who stays for a weekend. In talking with the those folks, they LOVE IT because it allows them get a better understanding of who's renting and why, and lets them look up their past rental reviews. 

dculberson UltimaDork
9/4/18 12:00 p.m.

We stayed in an Air BnB house for a week recently and it was awesome. One thing to keep in mind versus a hotel is there's no house cleaning service, your supplies (toilet paper, soap, etc) are often bring-your-own, and you're expected to clean the place up some before leaving. We had to bring our own bedding and "make" the beds when we left (make as in no sheets but pillows and blankets laid out like the bed was made). Still, it saved us many hundreds if not a thousand dollars over a more traditional hotel / resort.

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