Guest Post by: Dave Pollock
All About Deposits
After you select an Orlando vacation home, and confirm the dates, you will have to put a deposit on the home. This is normally around $200.00 per week. If you are renting directly from a home owner, they usually accept a certified check, PayPal, or even a credit card. I’m okay with any of these forms of payments. If you use a credit card, you will most likely have to give your credit card number, name, and security code. Not all people are comfortable giving this out, it’s up to you. A security/breakage deposit is often also required. It will be around $200.00 and is returned after the house is verified it’s in the same condition as before you arrived. If you cancel your rental, it will cost you the deposit or the full rental amount if it is within a certain number of days before arrival. If you are not a risk taker, consider travel insurance or be prepared to give your neighbor an early Christmas gift. The balance owing is usually due around 35 days before your arrival date. Always read the terms and conditions before you decide to proceed with the rental.
I wouldn’t rent a Florida vacation house unless it has the following amenities: A South facing pool. Trust me, you will want this. I made the mistake once, and never again. If you get a cold snap, the sun can help make up for the colder temperatures. If you find the sun too hot, remember that 99% of the pools are covered by a screen that helps block the sun’s intensity. A covered lanai is also a must. A lanai is basically a part of the patio covered by a roof. This is great for eating lunch shaded from the sun or taking a break watching the kids swim. A games room is also valuable. Games rooms are great for those rainy days or a break from the theme parks. They are usually converted garages, that have such games as air hockey (good for the Canadians eh!), pool, electronic darts, and foosball. Look for stools or chairs in the home pictures, to chill out and watch the pool game. Bring your laptop with you, because you’ll want the house to have Internet access, preferably wireless. This is great for researching day trips, restaurants, or other activities. Calling home for free is very convenient. Homes should provide, free long distance calling to the U.S. and Canada. Not to be forgotten, the basic amenities should be a fully equipped kitchen, cable TV and DVD players in each room, a large screen TV in the great room, stereo, games console, chairs and loungers on the patio, and house alarm.
Before you leave for your trip, make sure you have been provided the required information. This includes the electronic door lock and/or lock box codes, house alarm code and instructions, property management phone number, and driving directions with full house address (great for a GPS). Bring change with you in case you hit a toll on the highway. It happened to me, it was around midnight and I hit a toll with no attendant. Whoops no change! I kept going and hoped they would see I had a rental car and not fine me. For the record, I never received a ticket. Take note of where the closest grocery store and pharmacy are. The home owner’s house web site should have this. If not, when you get the address of the house, use Google maps to find them.
When you arrive at the home, take a few minutes and do the following: Take a walk around the house and if there is any damage, take a picture and then call the property management company. You don’t want to pay for someone else’s mistake. Take a stroll over to the pool, and if you paid for heat, make sure it feels warm. Take a drive over to the grocery store, which you research earlier right? Pick up food and a few cold ones. While you are at it, hit the pharmacy if you forgot to bring pain killers. Don’t want to make a run to the pharmacy if you have a headache.
After your vacation is over, and you are sporting the sunburn, there are a few things you have to take care of before you leave the home. Normally this involves removing the sheets from the bed, putting the used towels in the bathtub, start the dishwasher, put all trash in garbage can etc. After a few weeks you should also get the security/breakage deposit back, if you didn’t leave that spaghetti sauce on the carpet.
Renting a vacation home is a great way to spend a vacation with family and friends. If you do your homework upfront, you will most likely have a fantastic vacation with wonderful memories and dreams about next year’s trip.
About The Author: Dave Pollock and his wife Lois own a beautiful Davenport vacation home in Sandy Ridge. It’s the perfect retreat for anyone looking for an affordable vacation home with a private pool. The home is located within a short 15 minute drive to Disney and other Orlando attractions. Consider renting the Pollock’s “Sun Retreat” next time you come to Orlando. www.OrlandoHouse.me
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