Every year (almost) we rent a house at the beach for a week of vacation time with our family. Now that our three children are grown, and two are married, it can be difficult to coordinate our schedules so that we can all be together for an extended time. All of us try to make it a priority to set aside a few days to come together. And it’s vacation, so it’s not hard.
Of course, as your family grows and people mature, you look for different things in a house. This year we will have two granddaughters with us. Yay! In years past we wanted a ping pong table. Now we need some quiet areas. It’s a good idea to jot down some must-haves for your house, along with budget and the dates that are good for everyone.
NO. 1 BUDGET, DATES AND LOCATION
Obviously, these 3 are the basics of any decision. In our family we go to the same beach every year, so that’s a given. And budget is obviously important too before you start looking. You will see everything from condos at $1000 per week to enormous homes over $8000 per week. It’s good to be clear on this subject and how much everyone will be paying. With seven adults’ schedules it can be tricky to find the right week for everyone, so start early in the year nailing that down.
NO. 2 START EARLY
Another reason to start early on your search is that the best houses go quickly. I know some groups find a house that suits them, then they book it year after year. But years when circumstances have kept me from an early search, I have been frustrated because the best houses have been snapped up. Get everyone to agree on a couple of possible dates and start looking as soon as possible.
NO. 3 SIZE OF THE RENTAL
Your budget goes a long way in determining the size of the rental, but usually everyone wants as big a place as possible, with each couple having their own bedroom and bathroom, ideally. Occasionally couples will share a hall bath. And I have learned that it is best for the bedrooms to be located away from the living area. Then the night owls don’t keep the rest of us awake and the early risers don’t bother everyone either.
And be sure and notice the size of the dining table and number of chairs. I have seen rentals with 5 bedrooms sometimes have small tables with only 6 chairs. Make sure there is plenty of space for your crowd if you plan to eat together or play board games.
NO. 4 WHAT’S PROVIDED IN YOUR RENTAL
Beach rentals sometimes provide some beach gear, like chairs and umbrellas. Also amenities like grills and outside dining tables and chairs may be included. We take note of the number of TVs and the wi-fi set up also. Be aware of these extras since it will help as you are planning what to bring with you.
NO. 5 NUMBER OF LIVING AREAS
This last recommendation is a nice to have if you can afford it. Having more than one common area allows for different activities which is especially nice when you have a group of people of different ages and interests. Some might want to play games or do puzzles while others are watching TV or movies. Sometimes having a covered porch or deck along with the living room will suffice, but I always look for a house with more than one family room.
And I get Mr. Bee and daughter Bee to look at the listing as well. They will often notice something that I have missed. If there are any questions feel free to message the owners.
What are your priorities when renting vacation places?