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4.Identify your first, second and third choice of dates for renting cottage. With several dates, you’ll save time when making arrangements.
If you find a cottage that you really want and you have some flexibility in scheduling, having alternate dates ready allows you to book right then, saving yourself time and hassle of having to re-check everyone’s schedule and call back – and risking losing those dates in interim.
5.Call telephone numbers for vacation cottages that seem to meet your needs and speak directly with either owners or person who is handling property.
Be prepared with a list of questions. This allows you to compare apples to apples, and keeps you from forgetting something important during conversation.
It also gives you a feel for person who will be your contact should you rent cottage and then encounter a problem. If you don’t get a warm, friendly welcome to your inquiries, don’t expect anything different when you call with a problem.
6.Ask what amenities are included. You may learn of something that’s not on your list but is perfect for your plans.
Other things to consider: Is there a welcome basket? Will owner stock refrigerator for you, before your arrival? Is a newspaper delivered? Can you make arrangements to receive mail? Are there plates, utensils, pots, pans and other essentials for eating and meal preparation – or will you have to bring your own?
7.Inquire about restaurants, events and activities and other forms of local entertainment that are close by, perhaps within walking distance. Here’s where your list of preferred activities comes in handy. You should be able to find links to local attractions, calendars and restaurants on website of your vacation cottage rental.
8.Are owners Local? Do they live nearby? Local owners are a wealth of information about area and can give you tips on great out-of-the-way places that aren’t in guidebooks. They also care about your enjoyment and comfort while at their cottage.
This can make a huge difference; especially should something need immediate attention in cottage. There’s nothing worse than calling rental company about a stopped-up toilet and getting somebody’s bored teenager who’s manning phones for summer.
9.How long has owner been renting vacation cottages? If owner has worked with rental properties, they know what tenants expect and how to get things done.
If this is a new venture, beware. The owner may be in it for “fun” and have no idea how to prepare cottage so that you can have a great vacation.
10.And last, when you look at pictures, can you see yourself having a great time there?
If pictures make you want to go right now, and answers to questions above meet your satisfaction, you’ve found yourself a cottage for a great waterfront vacation rental!
Joyce Shannahan and husband Duke have been in real estate for many years. They are gourmet cooks, great hosts and know how to make guests feel welcome. Heartsworth Cottage, their waterfront vacation cottage rental in the waterfront town of Onancock, Virginia, is on the water with dock, tri-level deck, gas grill, and is filled with the comforts of home, including a bountiful welcome basket with wine. Visit them at http://www.onancockcottage.com