Looking For That Perfect Summer Rental; We’ve Got You Covered

This house in Yarmouth will cost you $5,000 a week this summer. (WeNeedaVacation.com, ID #4808)

This house in Yarmouth will cost you $5,000 a week this summer. (WeNeedaVacation.com, ID #4808)

Summer Renters Take Notice: Vacation season has already begun.

As one real estate agent put it, “people always come to the Cape.” While the numbers may fluctuate from year to year year, even the worst seasons on record have brought in a decent volume of summer rentals – and the summer of 2016 looks to be a good one.

Many agencies report they’ve had great traffic on their websites since as early as February. According to a representative from locally-owned vacation rental website WeNeedaVacation.com there are always a few early birds. But Waterfront Real Estate reports that in the last few years, more and more visitors have waited longer to actually book. While this could be due to economic instability, it could also be that the vacationers are holding out for better deals.

Price-wise, weekly rentals can come as cheap as $800 a week or as pricey as $16,000. Average weekly rates run around $2,600. Add an extra $800-$1,200 to that price if the unit is on the beach. Expect to pay more on July 4 and Labor Day weeks as well as the last week in July and first couple of weeks in August.

This 2-bedroom Yarmouth cottage rents for $900 a week in the summer. (WeNeedaVacation.com, ID #11653)

This 2-bedroom Yarmouth cottage rents for $900 a week in the summer. (WeNeedaVacation.com, ID #11653)

Still, the Cape and Islands remain an affordable and flexible destination for most holiday visitors. According to a representative from Waterfront Real Estate in West Yarmouth, the 2016 booking numbers are already ahead of last year’s.

Here are some helpful hints to secure a perfect rental:

The longer you wait the more items you can cross off your checklist. If you’re one of those people who NEEDS a few things, it is wise to book before the heat hits. Many homeowners don’t end up listing their property until later in the season, and there are still plenty of rentals on Cape Cod to satisfy the current demand. But if you have a laundry list which includes air conditioning and wifi, it’s best to start planning as early as possible.

Don’t assume that one area of the Cape will have more availability. One aspect of the Cape which distinguishes it from other New England destinations is that each area – even each town – has its own essence. Likewise, popularity throughout the Cape is pretty widespread. For every visitor who desires the Main Street/clamshack/nightlife vibe of Hyannis and the mid-Cape, there’s another who will go after the quiet/getaway/fall-asleep-to-the-sound-of-the-surf/ that Truro and the lower Cape affords.

This house in South Orleans rents for $2,000 a week. (WeNeedaVacation.com, ID #10043)

This house in South Orleans rents for $2,000 a week. (WeNeedaVacation.com, ID #10043)

Expect prices to be about 3 percent higher this year. According to WeNeedaVacation.com, property owners have raised their prices around 3.2 percent, where they normally increase by about 2.5 percent annually. This probably means homeowners have a pretty good level of confidence that their properties will rent and rent at a higher price than last year. And although the cost to book a home might be slightly higher this summer, the gas you’ll be pumping into your car will surely be lower.

Consider sharing a home. If the budget is tight this year, try reaching out to extended family or friends to split the cost of a larger home. Remember, renting a house actually has some cost-saving benefits, such as the ability to cook in instead of eating out each night. The only pitfall to this strategy is that there are fewer rental homes which can accommodate larger groups of people – and they can go fairly quickly.

Finally, if you’re considering a Cape vacation this year, check the listings each day. As we’ve said, many property owners post later in the season, and there often are cancellations which could bring that perfect cottage you lost out on in May back to the market in July.

— By Adam Forziati

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