My wife and I have high standards...for different things. I want very reliable computers, high rates of return on investments, and reliable cars. My wife wants a very clean and tidy house with everything in its place.
After two experiences with Airbnb and VRBO places in Florida, we have concluded that they don't measure up to our standards. The places are owned by people who are making money by renting out their house or condo. Why don't we like Airbnb and VRBO (and similar sites)?
- The photos always make the place look much better than it is. They were taken when the place looked its best and no one takes pictures of the dark drab hallway with old carpet (see above) or the wornout deck furniture.
- The reviews are sparse and don't really tell you much.
- Once you are committed, there is no way to back out or get your money back unless it is a complete bust and you paid for extra insurance.
- There will be extra fees for things like gate passes, key fobs, cleaning..
- If something goes wrong like the Internet goes down, you are on your own to get it fixed. One time, the owner told me to go the Cable company store, tell them I was her brother, and get them to give me a new cable modem.
- You are guaranteed that the rugs are dirty, some of the light bulbs are burned out, the towels and sheets are cheap, the pots and pans were burnt and scratched by previous renters, the mattresses are bad, the TVs are old, the walls are marked and need painting, and the blinds and curtains have seen better days. Basically, the places are well used and there is no motivation for the owner to keep it up to a high standard unless they are getting bad reviews.
- The price is less expensive than a hotel, but not that much less expensive.
Both places we rented in 2015 and 2019 were OK and we enjoyed our time in the sun, but we had to adjust our high standards..