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Owner rentals - South Beach

Oakville, Canada
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Owner rentals - South Beach

Looking for some advice in my preliminary search for accomodations next Jan (yes, I'm planning too far in advance!).

Have heard about Owner Rentals in South Beach--Mostly good reviews. Can anyone suggest good options? Who would I contact to arrange something like this? How far in advance should I book for a January vacation?

Thanks in advance, I look forward to some ideas.

Miami Beach, Florida
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1. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

Many vacation rentals through owners can be found at a website called http://www.vrbo.com/

It may be a safer route to go as it is guaranteed through the website as I understand it.

Jess

m
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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2. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

Remember the golden rule for vacation rentals: trust nothing, verify everything.

Here are some options:

vacationhomerentals.com/vacation-rentals/Mia…

vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/Miami-B…

vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/…miami-beach

tripadvisor.com/VacationRentals-g34439-Revie…

http://www.condo.com/Vacations.aspx

ownerdirect.com/accommodation/…miami-beach

floridavacationrentalsinfo.com/short-term-c1…

homeaway.com/vacation-rentals/…r229

http://www.airbnb.com/

London, United...
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3. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

www.flipkey.com

Oakville, Canada
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38 posts
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4. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

Thanks everyone.

I ran across VRBO yesterday---questioned if it was authentic.

If anyone has stayed at a specific place/unit and had a great experience, I'd be all ears! Seems pretty hit and miss when you read random reviews online.

Suppose another question would be -- how is mid-Jan in south beach? climate, things to do, busy?

m
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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5. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

VRBO is neither more nor less authentic than the other sites I listed. Avoid the ones that allow free postings, like Craigslist, too many outright scams there. With the more reputable sites you increase your chances of avoiding scams, but be aware that the ads are placed by individuals, so they can say anything they want. In paricular it's often hard to get a true picture of location and surroundings, and pictures can be old or misleading.

Look for places that have reviews, that have been advertised more than a few weeks, where the owner is forthcoming with all information including rates, exact location, references etc. If possible pay by charge card in case there is a dispute later. Ask for total cost including taxes and cleaning fees. Parking is a problem so ask about it if you have a car. Make sure you are dealing with the owner or owner's authorized agent. You can get ownership info for all Miami-Dade properties at: gisims2.miamidade.gov/myhome/propmap.asp

Most people who advertise on vrbo and the other sites are honest, some are not. Pitfalls include: renting a unit where the condo associaltion or city rules don't allow short-term rentals, unit in foreclosure, not as clean as you expected, owner hard to contact when you need the keys or other help, location not what you expected, etc.

Watch out for phrases like "heart of south beach", "close to everything" or "water view", those can mean almost anything.

It's not too early to plan for Jan if you are sure of your dates. If there is any uncertainty wait until you do know, you'll have a good choice at least until early fall.

Re. specifc places, what size/type of place are you looking for, how many people, what approx budget per night etc?

Edited: 12 April 2011, 16:33
m
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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6. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

Re. mid-Jan, it is high-season in the sense that there are many people in town from up north. It is not as crowded as late Dec as schools are mostly open again, but plenty to do, and all businesses are open.

The weather is generally good, mid 70's for the daytime high and low 60's for the nightly low are average. There is some variation, and a cold front can drop temps by about 10 degs (F) for a few days at a stretch. Chances are you'll get beach weather (temp > 75 degs) about half the time. Overall about 45 degs warmer than the Toronto area so I would not worry about it.

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7. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

Oh boy!

Very helpful pointers rk2005, thanks!

I've been looking for vacation rentals on craigslist ..... guess I should save myself a bit of stress by booking a hotel.

m
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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8. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

No, No, please, I am sorry if my post sounded too negative. I just wanted to list the things to watch out for. There are many good reasons to rent from private owners as well:

You can get a nicer place for less money.

Often includes a kitchen and separate bedroom

More suitable for groups larger than 2.

May avoid the hotel atmosphere (maid, doorman, valet, tanning butler...)

May be available when hotels are overbooked.

In other words, if you're willing to put in the effort, you can end up in a better place for less money. However, avoid vacation rentals from craigslist at all times, just too many scammers to worry about there.

If you're considering a specific place and just want a second opinion please feel free to post the details here or send me a PM.

Edited: 13 April 2011, 00:56
Cleveland, Ohio
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9. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

Hi, just reading through your post, very helpful info, thank you! I'm in contact with Harry Johnson to rent 4491 Prairie Ave. My daughter is getting married in March 2012 and I'm considering renting this for family members to be able to afford to come to the wedding! Do you know this area? Thanks so much!

Margie

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10. Re: Owner rentals - South Beach

That's very kind of you rk2005, thanks again.

I looked up sunspotmiami.com (via this website) and they own several suites in the Shelborne property; great prices, great pictures and great reviews on tripadvisor.com.

However, the Shelborne Hotel reviews (from the people who booked directly with the hotel) are horrible++. Totally different from the sunspotmiami.com reviews of the same property. Do you know if private owners have a different and perhaps nicer block than the actual hotel? Very confusing!