Tips for finding the right winter rental accommodations in the greater Phoenix area. (Some tips applicable to other U.S. destinations)
The greater Phoenix area in Arizona is a popular winter destination for Canadians, particularly for snowbirds, who escape from the winter cold to warmer climates for months at a time. Although many own vacation properties there, there are also many winter visitors who rent accommodations. I’ve heard stories about difficulties in finding winter rentals in the greater Phoenix area and past experiences where the rental unit came with a few surprises.
Having spent three winters in the area, I can attest to the difficulties in finding rentals. Many rental properties are booked by the same people year after year or by friends of friends of the owners. I don’t have any magic answers, but can share what I’ve discovered about ways to conduct one’s search. I can also provide a few tips about what to ask about to know what you’re getting.
My experience is with the greater Phoenix area, but I suspect many of the tips I provide may apply to other popular U.S. winter destinations.
Many 55+ communities require a minimum rental term of 3 months. Some require criminal checks be done on renters. In that case, you need to supply relevant information and pay for the criminal check.
Finding a Rental
- Arizona and Away are the people we rented from in our first winter. If my experience is typical, their homes are well-equipped.
There are many 55+ manufactured and mobile home communities in the area. Rental units are available, but in my experience, they are difficult to find unless you are already connected somehow with a particular community. Many seem to be rented by friends of friends of owners. mhvillage lists units for sale and rent in a number of these communities. The focus seems to be more on sales than rentals. But you can use this to find out about the various communities and go to individual community websites. Sometimes those sites will list rental opportunities. Or you can contact the office directly and inquire.
Ask your family and friends. Owners like to rent to someone they know, even indirectly. You never know when a friend of a friend of a friend may be looking for a renter.
Consider finding a rental agency in the area and have them locate potential rentals for you.
Go to Google or some other search engine. You may uncover specific ads or sites other than the ones I’ve listed.
Be prepared to spend some time on the Internet, sending out emails, and making calls. Good luck.
Do you have other tips to avoid surprises or other suggestions for locating rentals?