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Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

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McHenry, Illinois
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269 posts
21 reviews
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Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

I have never used a site like Homeaway or VRBO...they are asking for 50% down to book and the balance 90 days prior to arrival. Is this normal?

Thanks for any input!!

Richmond, Texas
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846 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

We have used VRBO the last 3 years to book a condo at Nautibeach as well as a condo in Playa del Carment. The owners of the units we have rented asked for 50% deposit at time of booking and the balance 30 days prior to arrival date. 90 days out seems a little much. I recommend you make sure your cancellation policy is in writing and is suitable for you. Good luck, we've had nothing but good experiences with our rentals.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Isla Mujeres
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10,120 posts
133 reviews
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2. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

Last fall we booked a 2-BR suite at Ixchel Beach Hotel through vacationrentals.com. Their policy was also to put 50% down with the remainder due, I believe, 30 days prior to the trip. In our case we were a bit nervous about sending the deposit because at that point we had NOTHING in writing--we were promised a contract when the deposit was received. I asked a friend who owns a condo at Ixchel whether this owner was legit and his contact info was verified. I also took the precaution of contacting the hotel after our reservation was made to ensure they had it in their books. They did, and everything was fine.

So the policy is normal. Just be sure you are dealing with the actual owner, as there have been a few cases where people have been able to post false listings and disappear with the deposit. You can contact those who have reviewed the place recently, or ask here in this forum whether anyone has experience with the property you have in mind. Another way is to use one of the rental agencies on Isla (such as islamujeresvacationrentals.com) because they know the owners and their properties. They may be able to arrange for the same property you are looking at.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
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12,606 posts
49 reviews
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3. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

We have booked condos several times and yes this is normal.

IMO the PITA factor (just more red tape, having to send money sometimes to owners in the US, etc.) and the money to be paid in full (with no refunds usually!) is the biggest and only real drawback to renting condos.

Appleton, Wisconsin
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664 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

I just booked with owner for March and 50% now and balance 90 days out - I pay through paypal so I am not so much worried - paypal would stand behind it if something happened -

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251 posts
93 reviews
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5. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

We've booked three times on Isla with vrbo, 2 times at Ixchel, once at Casa Azul. (And many times in the US with vrbo and in Europe with Homeaway). It seems as if each listing has different requirements. I appreciate being able to talk personally with the owner as it seems I have many questions--but we have yet to have a problem. I have confidence in these, as Homeaway and vrbo are owned by the same people; I understand that they and several other listing agencies are headquartered out of Austin.

Calgary, Canada
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606 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

Real Estate (rentals or purchase) and/or items purchased with multiple payments – like a deposit followed by a final payment – are not eligible for Pay Pal Buyer protection.

McHenry, Illinois
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269 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

Thanks all!!

Austin, Texas...
2 posts
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8. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

Try DepositGuard. They hold your payment until after you arrive to check out the property.

9. Re: Vacation rentals...such as Homeaway???

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