Location: 1661 SW Coast, Lincoln City, OR, 97367
We rented this home on the Oregon Coast for several of us to stay in during an annual family reunion. We made our decision based upon the photos on the owner's web site. The house did have a breathtaking view and wireless internet throughout, and it was in the very popular town of Lincoln City. There's the good.
Now for the bad and the ugly:
Unfortunately, the photos must be ages old because the ones I took depict the current condition of the home; the ones on the owner's web site depict what it may have looked like at some point in the past, but they are absolutely not representative of the state of things presently. There was general agreement among our group that they built the place ages ago (never mind that the letter accompanying the contract describes it as a "new" home) and haven't really done much to it since then.
When we arrived, four of us tried to use two different provided keys and none of us could get them to work in the locks for several minutes. Once we finally did get inside, we were greeted with a laminated, two-sided 8 1/2 x 11 sheet in very small type containing the "rules" for occupancy of the home. (Two summers ago for this same event, we stayed in a brand-new million-dollar home where the ONLY rules were to turn off the lights and lock the house when we checked out.) This was insulting and silly and set a bad tone for all of us who had each traveled thousands of miles to get there.
First and foremost, we were instructed that each member of the party had to read and agree to the rules, which included such things as putting blankets under the legs of the furniture when we moved it (who goes on vacation to move furniture?) and not wearing sand-filled shoes into the house. Duh!! There were even instructions about the proper method for putting down the footrest on the recliner chair!
In addition, some portions of the place were in such a state of disrepair that it was astonishing anyone could have been so concerned about potential damage. For example, the doors of the ancient refrigerator and freezer were both missing pieces, so they were useless for food storage. The aforementioned door locks were difficult, if not impossible to use. There was water damage on the ceilings in the master bedroom and living room. The linoleum (yes, it was linoleum!) was peeling in the master bath and the cove molding was falling off the wall. The lone ice cube tray had a crack in it and kept leaking all over the freezer until we went to the store and bought new ones. There was ONE kitchen towel in the entire place for a group of 7 people staying one week. The sheets in the master bedroom had to be stripped, washed and put back on the bed because they stunk.
The owners claimed to have parking for three cars, because there was a two-car garage and another space, but parking three cars would have been possible only if all three had been Minis! The garage had lots of stuff stored in it, and any time anyone needed to use a vehicle, we had to play musical cars. Plus backing down that driveway onto a blind hill on a narrow two-lane road with no shoulder on one side was really thrilling.
Finally, the owner made much of the importance of not doing anything to offend the neighbors because she had been given special dispensation by them and the City to use the home as a rental and rowdy vacationers could cause that to be revoked. What a load of hogwash. Every other house up and down that street (and dozens of other streets in the area for that matter) is a vacation rental.
We are realistic and understand completely that you get what you pay for, but at close to $300 a night, people have the right to expect that a place will be clean and that things will be in working order. Furthermore, we have a right to expect that people who own very ordinary, so-so homes won't behave as if they are renting out the Taj Mahal. All in all, we had a good time at our reunion, but it was in spite of SeaHaven, and not because of it.