What makes you choose a Vacation Home?

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by sames1, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. sames1

    sames1 Mouseketeer

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    For those of you that pick vacation homes to stay in, help me to understand something please.

    What makes you pick the vacation home that you pick? I mean, when you look through the list of homes on the vacation home sites, what sways you to choose one over the other?

    The reason I ask is that I have a vacation home on a lot of those sites and sometimes I get picked and other times I do not. I'm trying to understand what people really want so that I get picked more often.
     
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  3. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

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    Constraint #1: location. I prefer to look at close-in-properties because we often take mid-day breaks from the parks.

    #2: minimum # of bedrooms, bed configuration and baths. If there isn't at least one full bath per four people, plus at least an extra half bath, or enough beds for each kid, it doesn't matter how cheap it is---we won't fit.

    #3: I look at price next. I do a little bit of looking to get an idea for what might be "good". (Pet peeve: why must owners advertise one price, and then quote a lower one when you mail them? I've seen this more than once, and it baffles me. If you want me to look at your property, don't overprice it on your web site---especially if you know you'll be renting it for less.)

    #4: for properties with "good" prices and availability for my dates, I compare amenities. After this, it's usually a tradeoff between what's available, price, and location.

    What we *don't* pay attention to:

    * quality of furnishing (above a certain minimum): with young kids, we actually shy away from places wtih tons of high-end furniture---too much we can break/stain/otherwise ruin.

    * properties that lowball rent, but then add in extra cleaning fees, unusually high pool heat, damage waivers, etc. We only comapre total prices.

    * quality of web site---as long as it is informative, it doesn't have to be fancy/pretty. I don't expect a homeowner to hack HTML, though I'm sure many pay someone---it seems to me that, often, very high-end web sites are advertising investment properties, rather than someone's vacation home.
     
  4. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

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    I should probably talk about amenities that we consider in the tradeoff:

    * a good internet connection is pretty important. (I still have to keep up while on vacation.)

    * a games room is nice, but not necessary

    * a hot tub is nice, but not necessary.

    * a few games/movies/books/etc. is nice, but not necessary.

    * Above a certain size (and it's not *that* big. Maybe 32 or 36) I don't really care how big the TV is.
     
  5. minnie29uk

    minnie29uk DIS Veteran

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    Im sure you post will be removed(for personal advertising).But in the mean time,I really ,really think price is the main factor for the majority of renters.Most people want a bargain and see financial saving as the deciding factor.
    The other factors are more bonuses

    Dont shoot me down,

    Lynn :rotfl2:
     
  6. Sandy22

    Sandy22 <font color=magenta>Adopting a Princess<br><font c

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    #1 Location - proximity to the parks and safe community.
    #2 Price
    #3 Pets allowed (this is the main reason I chose to stay off-site for my next vacation)
    #4 Amenities: parking at door, # of bedrooms, how clean and fresh it looks in the pictures, access to pool...

    And finally I spoke to the owners and made sure I felt comfortable dealing with them.
     
  7. kilee

    kilee <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponsors/s

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    This post will actually not be removed because there is no mention to which home this poster owns. Many of our villa owners indicate time again they own a rental villa. As long as there is no linking, advertising, or telling us which # on which site, the post is fine.

    Now, that being said, I am going to move the thread back to the Orlando Attractions board. We are trying to keep the reviews board for reviews only.

    Now, I'll answer the question too..... :teeth:

    For us it's amenities vs price vs location. Whichever comes out w/ the best price but a lot of bang for the buck so to speak. We don't actually mind staying a little further out (like Davenport). However, I expect I'm going to get a lower price w/ better amenities, since I'm travelling. So far that has held true. I found I can rent a 5 bedroom house in something like Hampton Lakes or Calabay Parc in the moderate amenities range for $700 for a wk-- that same type of home w/ the same amenities will run me $1200 in Emerald Island. That being said I'm not going to use $500 in gas on my compact rental car driving the 15 minutes. So for us, we ultimately go for price I guess. However, I don't want a "base model" home.
     
  8. Logans_Dad

    Logans_Dad To infinity and beyond...

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    We are basically 1st timers (haven't been there in almost 20 years), and our decision on this Lindfields Villa was based on:

    1. Location - it had to be reasonably (almost very) close to WDW. That meant that I had to be able to identify the address of the property, whether from the owner directly, or by searching a county assessor/appraiser website. I also didn't want to be adjacent or too close to the new Western Beltway.
    2. Pool - this was a must and it had to be enclosed (screened). Given a choice between a villa with a pool and no spa or both a pool and a spa - guess which one got the nod. Pool heat was also critical and I'm not sold on electric heat pumps (or heat exchangers) so we pretty much stuck with gas pool heat (and expected to pay for it).
    3. Price - this was a consideration, but I was fully expecting to pay something more for closer proximity, balanced against amenties, age etc.
    4. Other Amenities - number of bedrooms was not critical in our (my :rolleyes1 ) decision as its only me, DW and DS. Having said that, the villa had to at least appear well appointed (not high end but reasonably nice), as well as well kept and maintained.
    5. Owner(s) - it may have been unfair but I eliminated all those properties for which I didn't receive a 24 hour turn around to my inquires. If they didn't care enough to answer fairly quickly, what kind of owners are they and how quickly would problems during our stay be resolved. The owner we almost rented from in OIC was fabulous, but was eliminated as our 1st choice once I caught wind of the new Western Beltway (the house was within a couple hundred feet). And I had to be comfortable with the owner as well. I realize that renting a villa is a 2-way street, but its still a lot of money to send away on almost blind faith.

    I also totally agree with the comments about TVs and movies - we're not going to WDW to be couch potatoes, but its nice to wind down a little before bed.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. mareed

    mareed DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the other comments here, but will add that I'll only consider a house/condo with a king-size bed in the master bedroom. Once a couple is used to a king bed, sharing anything smaller just isn't comfortable!
     
  10. crjack

    crjack DIS Veteran

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    We're probably in the minority but price is definitely not our first priority. We usually only do a full week vacation once a year (long weekend local after that) so I want to make sure the home we rent is a good fit for us and we're happy to pay a little more to get what we want.

    We are renting our third home in July and after our first trip I learned to look at the size of the pool. Swimming is our favorite thing to do when we are relaxing and we like a big pool.

    The first home we rented in Windsor Palms was lovely and the owners were great. The pool was a standard size for the development at that time. We then stayed at a different home, also in WP, and again lovely home with fabulous owners. The pool in home #2 though was bigger. Now we paid more for home #2 but for us it was worth it. I have given referrals out for both homes and owners but our preference is definitely for the home with the bigger pool. We live in Boston so our swimming season is limited and we don't have an inground pool so it's a real treat for us. For others, however, it's not a big consideration.

    Location is important for us and again we know we pay more to be closer but as we have branched out to Universal, Sea World, etc. we like to be in a convenient development.

    Location within a particular development is also something that I pay attention to now. Our rental in a few weeks is in Windsor Hills and some homes further back in the resort still had construction going on back when we were making reservations. Most likely it is complete now but rather than take that chance we went with a home closer to the main pool and clubhouse. We'll have children ranging from 9 -14 yrs. old and there is a path they can use to walk up to the game room, movie theater, etc. It's a nice option to have for the older ones as opposed to walking up with them or having to drive. Most homes have everything that you need but I do want to spend some time checking out the community ammenities as well.

    Furnishings are not a big consideration for us....it's only for a week, not my permanent home so whatever works for the owner is fine with us. I do like a tv in the bedrooms as a treat for the kids, even though most nights they are too tired to use it. Again, they don't have it at home so they enjoy it on vacation.

    I wouldn't rent a home unless the website was for the specific house I was getting. Fortunately the two previous homes we were in exceeded our expectations from what was on their home tours. For us it's important to know exactly what we are getting and we're happy to provide any necessary info for the owners as well.

    We think the pool homes in greater Orlando are such a great value and we love having another family join us so we can rent one. Everyone has different preferences though so it can be hard to please everyone.
     
  11. crjack

    crjack DIS Veteran

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    We're probably in the minority but price is definitely not our first priority. We usually only do a full week vacation once a year (long weekend local after that) so I want to make sure the home we rent is a good fit for us and we're happy to pay a little more to get what we want.

    We are renting our third home in July and after our first trip I learned to look at the size of the pool. Swimming is our favorite thing to do when we are relaxing and we like a big pool.

    The first home we rented in Windsor Palms was lovely and the owners were great. The pool was a standard size for the development at that time. We then stayed at a different home, also in WP, and again lovely home with fabulous owners. The pool in home #2 though was bigger. Now we paid more for home #2 but for us it was worth it. I have given referrals out for both homes and owners but our preference is definitely for the home with the bigger pool. We live in Boston so our swimming season is limited and we don't have an inground pool so it's a real treat for us. For others, however, it's not a big consideration.

    Location is important for us and again we know we pay more to be closer but as we have branched out to Universal, Sea World, etc. we like to be in a convenient development.

    Location within a particular development is also something that I pay attention to now. Our rental in a few weeks is in Windsor Hills and some homes further back in the resort still had construction going on back when we were making reservations. Most likely it is complete now but rather than take that chance we went with a home closer to the main pool and clubhouse. We'll have children ranging from 9 -14 yrs. old and there is a path they can use to walk up to the game room, movie theater, etc. It's a nice option to have for the older ones as opposed to walking up with them or having to drive. Most homes have everything that you need but I do want to spend some time checking out the community ammenities as well.

    Furnishings are not a big consideration for us....it's only for a week, not my permanent home so whatever works for the owner is fine with us. I do like a tv in the bedrooms as a treat for the kids, even though most nights they are too tired to use it. Again, they don't have it at home so they enjoy it on vacation.

    I wouldn't rent a home unless the website was for the specific house I was getting. Fortunately the two previous homes we were in exceeded our expectations from what was on their home tours. For us it's important to know exactly what we are getting and we're happy to provide any necessary info for the owners as well.

    We think the pool homes in greater Orlando are such a great value and we love having another family join us so we can rent one. Everyone has different preferences though so it can be hard to please everyone.
     
  12. BonnieA

    BonnieA I don't need no stinkin tag

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    Price and location are the deciding factors for me. If I find two houses with the same amenities for the same price, I will take the one closest to the parks. But if they are both in the same location then I will try and get the less expensive one if there is a price difference. Don't know what I would decide if they were both on the same street for the same price.
     
  13. Snoopymom

    Snoopymom DIS Veteran

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    We always seem to have different priorities depending on who's coming with us and our budget, (once they wanted to have a fishing lake, LOL) but it can be overwhelming, so I usually start with the owner direct web sites that let you put in your criteria and then they email you back with availability, price and their websites with pictures. It helps if they give me a lot of info and the price is better then what is listed on the website even if it's just a little better.

    As far as furnishings, we look for carpet rather than tile so that the little ones or the grandparents don't slip, a shady area by the pool, clean, uncluttered and simple, don't want to worry about breaking anything.

    It's not one of our priorities, but it sure was fun having Disney themed rooms for the kids one time...if felt like we were getting something extra for our $, and it makes a home more memorable when you're looking at so many.

    We received a Christmas card and a big magnet from one owner with pictures of the home on them, so that might be an idea to get repeat business, since a year or two later they may not be able to find the house again.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  14. minnie29uk

    minnie29uk DIS Veteran

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    No,I totally agree.Ive lost count of the number of times renters have said theyll book mine,but at a lower price.So in my experience,it is the price,

    Lynn :dance3:
     
  15. UKDEB

    UKDEB <font color=CC33FF>Found the Tag Fairy's hangout<b Moderator

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    I think you've got your answer as to why you sometimes get picked and sometimes you don't - we've all got differing reasons for choosing the homes we do. For the most part, my requirements are diametrically opposed to those of Brian Noble! To further complicate the matter, my 'must haves' aren't the same now as when we first started renting villas. Each time I add a few more to the list and, in many ways, I wish I was new to the whole thing with few expectations.

    Proximity to WDW is not an issue. When we first started renting, we didn't even consider it. Then we became famiiar with the area and it became a big deal. As you'll see from my signature, we've stayed at Formosa Gardens many times. This is partly due to its location, but also because, for a long time I've considered it to be the premier sub-development. Latterly, I'd have happily stayed further out if I could have secured the same level of accommodation for a lower price.

    In July 2003 and January 2004, we stayed at neighbouring villas on FG owned by the same person. He took us to Reunion (where he was buying) to show us around and we viewed a model home. From thereonin I didn't want to stay anywhere else and, after much internet searching, we found a private rental at an unbelievable price which we stayed at in January this year. For now, nothing else will do. We've booked to stay at another property there in October.

    I want to stay in a new property with the highest possible level of furnishings. For that reason, I've never bought my own property and I've never rented the same property twice. Price is not the overriding factor, but that's not to say it isn't a consideration. I found a property on Reunion which I was desparate to rent, but the owners had made the decision to enter it into Reunion's rental program and they wanted $6000 per week. Now, I am known for being extravagant and having what I want, but that is just ridiculous. Through sheer tenacity I've managed to find an equally amazing property for $2400 a week.

    I'm certainly not your typical renter, but I wonder whether there is such a thing? Maybe that's the problem. My list of 'must-haves' now includes (in no particular order):

    * Top of the range fittings and furnishings (and 'Floridian' decor is a complete no-no - I immediately close down any web page with any hint of it);
    * New property;
    * Flat screen TVs in all rooms;
    * Games room (but not just a games room - it has to be a proper room within the house itself, not simply a converted garage);
    * Spa;
    * At least 2 huge master suites with king-sized beds;
    * Computer with internet access;
    * Keypad access (don't want to be spending any part of my vacation driving to a Management Company's offices);
    * Pool not overlooked by another property (except to either side). Preferably a lake, conservation area, golf aspect to the rear;
    * Upgraded pool and lanai. Why is it that so many owners either spend a fortune on the pool or the furnishings, but not both?

    I don't understand owners who don't present their properties in the best possible way. That doesn't necessarily mean the flashiest websites, but the photos absolutely need to be top qualilty and large. Get them taken professionally unless you are a very accomplished amateur.
     
  16. Figment22

    Figment22 Hulk, MIB and MLB Fan!

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    This is actually my prime consideration also. It is just amazing to me how many homes/villas have only a queen bed in the master. I sleep on a king at home; I definitely want one on vacation. Two sinks in the master bath is something I'm used to at home also so that's another thing I look for.

    I also like a TV in every bedroom. My kids like to bring their Game Cube/X Box with them so for us this is a must. If you provide a video game system, keep it updated. The last villa we stayed at had only Playstation, not PS2 so that's a negative. HBO's a plus too, especially during Sopranos season. :teeth:
     
  17. hollyb

    hollyb DIS Veteran

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    This being our first time renting a house. We are looking for a great price, safe neighbor (keeping fingers crossed) and the most important part is a great inclosed pool. Our kids are little fishes and love to swim. For us driving 15-20 minutes to the park isnt a big deal for us.
     
  18. *shandi*

    *shandi* Earning My Ears

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    Wh have rented three consecutive years in February. The last two years were the same villa.

    For us, price does play an important part. But also, I look for a privacy fence around the pool area. A game room would be nice since I have two children ages 12 and 9, but I avoid the ones that have converted a garage as we drive down and I don't like to leave an out of state vehicle parked in the driveway for all to see. ( I know the locals know which are the rentals, but still....)

    Also, the number of bedrooms and whether the bedrooms other than the master have anything besides twin beds.

    And we don't mind driving a few minutes to get anywhere.

    Not real picky when it comes to furnishings, but do like it to look nice.
     
  19. Robinrs

    Robinrs DIS Veteran

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    We leave next week on our 34th trip since 1999 and our 3rd time renting a house.

    By now I not only know what I want I don't settle for anything less!

    I like homes in the Sunset Lakes, Lindfield's, Windsor Hills area, only because I know that area and can get around better.

    I like everyone in my party to have their own room AND their own TV. My only son is a teenager and I prefer NOT to watch what he watches!

    I like a private pool not overlooking any one elses'. We are early morning people and even at home we hit the pool at about 6am and need to be away from people!

    I also prefer owners who don't want their money too far in advance and accept American Express. I have a flexible schedule and cannot afford to lose my money if I have to reschedule.

    Also, now I need high speed internet access. I can do my job on the company laptop and I get PAID for it! After everyone is down for the day I put in a few hours a day and it's great to be paid while on vacation.

    I don't need a game room and don't like homes that have changed their garages to anything other than a garage. I also don't like the laundry in the garage.

    Yes, I do have a LOT of criteria but find LOTS of houses that fit my criteria everytime. It's so much fun to search for them and when I do find one it's like finding hidden treasure!
     
  20. florida_dreamin

    florida_dreamin The mouse calls me....

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    Here is my take:

    When you share a cost between three families (sister, parents and me) the difference bwtween 600 and 1200 is only 200 a piece for a week. Realistically the beach near us (Nags Head) rents a comparable house with pool for 4000 a week. Cost becomes less of an issue when we look at it like that.

    The size of the pool area DOES matter. Whenwe are not at the park, and not taking anap from exhaustion, that is where we are.

    When we visit Mickeyland, the size of a TV does not matter. I have a 57" at home and do not need that on vacation. We spend the time talking and swimming.

    Location has become important. In the past we have rented homes near Medievil Times, but now look towards Clermont due totraffic.

    We do not need a game room since I have a pool table in my house and we do that when we are not on vacation.


    What we look for is a clean house, in a decent area within 15 minutes from the park.

    Hope this helps!
     
  21. magicmouse2

    magicmouse2 DIS Veteran

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    I look for price and amenities anywhere within 25 mins of WDW is fine

    must haves in order for me

    non smking
    3-4 bedrooms
    Hot tub and large pool not overlooked
    lakeview
    games room including pool table
    decent furniture and decor

    When I eventually purchase a vacation home these are things that I will be looking for. Also really nice landscaping.
     

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