The Benefits of Vacation Homes for Disney and Other Theme Parks

Posted on Posted in general

Whether you're traveling to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you may be wondering about where you should stay. The choice of accommodations for these popular theme parks can include hotels, timeshares, vacations, and more. If you want to save money and see everything the parks offers in either location, vacation homes are a practical economical choice. Here are some of the best reasons why, and how you can experience the Disney magic in a whole new way for your family on a vacation home exchange.

Save significantly on your stay.

On the surface, a hotel price when you book it may look cheap, however, you soon have to add in fees, parking charges, and additional expenses. Food courts are available at all of the Disney hotels, however, these costs may be slightly higher than a trip to the local diner or store for breakfast foods. You can stay in a Disney vacation home for a flat price for a week or even longer.

Experience comforts of home.

If you want to relax on your vacation, a Disney vacation home lets you do so with all of the comforts of home. If you rent a home with a pool, you won't have to share it with hundreds of other people, and you can enjoy the hot tubs and other amenities the same way. Don't forget that vacation homes also come with equipped kitchens, linens, WiFi and other comforts of home that will make your vacation pleasant. You'll be able to store your food and other items more easily than in a hotel, plus wash your clothes for free.

Stay comfortably even with a large group.

For groups of four people or more, a Disney vacation home is perfect, because most can sleep 6 to eight people, and have multiple beds. You'll also see that you won't feel as crammed as you would be if you stayed in a Disney hotel, as many don't offer family suites. You'll also not have long waits for the bathroom.

Be close to the magic in minutes

Disney touts its hotels as being minutes from the parks, but many vacation homes are also minutes from the Disney property. If you stay on a Disney property, you get free bus service, however, you have to wait for the bus to arrive, and then it may stop at other Disney hotels along the way for pickup and dropoff. This means you're often waiting to go to the parks and may arrive an hour after you intended. With a vacation home near Disney property, you can just drive straight to the resort without waiting for others to board a bus. Vacation homes are also a good option if you want to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Legoland, or Universal Studios, because Disney doesn't offer direct transportation to these attractions.

The best homes for vacations at a Disney theme park are minutes from the attractions' gates. You'll also find that staying at one of these properties is just …

Are Vacation Homes A Big Waste of Money?

Posted on Posted in general

Rent is a waste of money, or is it? That's what we've been conditioned to believe for the last few generations. Even when the real estate market is more stable and prices are steadily increasing, buying a vacation home may not be the best decision for your wallet.

Should you buy a vacation home that you'll only use a few months a year? Let's take a look at a simplified example to highlight what it costs to own a vacation home. You purchase a vacation home, and the monthly costs including mortgage payment, real estate taxes, insurance, HOA, or other maintenance and utilities are $ 3,000 a month. You use the home for three months a year, although you're paying for 12. So, you're paying $ 3,000 a month for 12 months or $ 36,000 a year and using the home for three months at an effective cost of $ 12,000 per month ( $ 36,000 / 3). You could seasonally rent a similar home in the same area for $ 4,000 per month or $ 12,000 for the season. You'd be paying $ 24,000 extra a year owning the home versus renting it ($ 36,000- $ 12,000). Over five years, you would have spent $ 120,000 more to own the home ($ 24,000 x 5 years). Yes, the home might appreciate, but you would have to subtract buying and selling closing costs and a potential real estate commission from any appreciation.

Let's say you purchased a home for $ 400,000 plus $ 8,000 in closing costs for a total initial investment of $ 408,000. Let's assume it increased in value 5% a year (higher than normal market conditions). It would be worth about $ 510,500 at the end of the fifth year. If you sold the home and subtracted a 6% commission and $ 8,000 in selling closing costs you would net about $ 471,900. Your approximate profit would be $ 63,900, but remember you would have spent an extra $ 120,000 to own instead of to rent the home for those five years which would actually mean you spent $ 56,100 more overall (- $ 120,000 + $ 63,900).

Keep in mind that the home might have needed repairs and renovation work, which would have added to your cost as a vacation homeowner. You would, however, pay off some of your mortgage balance which would be a benefit of owning versus renting. But, know that during the first several years of a 30-year mortgage, typically 75% – 80% of each mortgage payment is interest and not principal repayment. You may also be able to deduct the mortgage interest on this second home, but the bottom line is for this vacation home, the overall financial costs would be greater than the benefits.

Every situation is different, but now you have the tools to conduct your own financial analysis. Sometimes it makes financial sense for you to buy versus rent a vacation home, and sometimes there are non-financial reasons to …

Youth Sport Teams Opting to Stay in Vacation Homes Vs Hotels

Posted on Posted in general

Youth sport tournaments are popular in most large US cities. Sports teams on the go now include everything from soccer to softball, volleyball to cheerleading. Team leaders and organizers often face the challenge of where to house their team. Unless reservations are made far in advance, hotels and motels are almost always booked. They also lack the youth-friendly accommodations that these events need for kids and teens to feel at home. All the more reason why youth sport organizers evaluate choose vacation homes for their teams to stay for any away activities, competitions and tournaments.

Close Proximity to Tournament Venues

Vacation homes are often just as conveniently located to tournament and sports venues as hotels and motels. For kids, teens and event leaders / organizers, being just minutes away from where events are held can be a key factor. Such homes are not only close to arenas, ball parks and convention centers, but they're also very often just minutes from major entertainment attractions that allow kids, teens and their charges to unwind.

There's No Place like Home

Tournament organizers and team managers are discovering that vacation homes can be very accommodating to youth sport teams. Many such homes feature kids / bunk rooms, two or three bunk beds and two trundles, which offer the extra convenience of allowing many kids to share the same bedroom. Some four-bedroom vacation homes can sleep as many as 16. And most have a sofa sleeper in the family room that sleeps an additional two.

Entertainment for Kids, Teens and their Charges

Many vacation homes are designed to keep kids, teens and their charges entertained, something they need after a day of physically and mentally challenging competition. These homes typically have smart TVs, action-packed gaming systems like X-Box, DVD players, Foosball, Netflix, and Wi-Fi access for smartphones, tablets and laptops. Such connectivity options also help everyone up to date on both local tournament activities and sports events throughout the world.

Pools, Spas and BBQs

After a busy day of tryouts and tough challenges, kids, teens and their charges need to unwind. Vacation homes let guests do something they usually can't do in a hotel or motel-prepare hot dogs, burgers or steaks on a BBQ in the privacy of their own backyard. No waiting for BBQs to be available or sharing yard space with strange hotel / motel guests. Each home usually includes a large outdoor dining table and chairs, plus a comfortable seating area. Most homes also have an in-ground, private, gated pool and a relaxing spa or hot tub. Here, adults can de-stress with their fellow charges while youth swim competitors can practice their techniques, again all in the privacy of people they know.

Three Square Meals

Staying in a vacation home lets guests enjoy healthy, economical meals for kids and teens – three times a day. Unlike hotels and motels, which offer inflexible menus, most vacation homes allow guests to prepare unique meals that fit their teams' health and taste preferences. Each home …

Vacation Homes: A Great Choice For Youth Sports Teams

Posted on Posted in general

If your sports team is headed for a big tournament, you've no doubt been challenged with where to stay. Maybe you've gone the hotel / motel route before. And one thing you've learned is, it's not the most economical way to go. Rates are sky high and reservations are nearly impossible with groups of tweens or teens. It's the same with meals-feeding a team of teens at a hotel can quickly eat up your travel budget. It's rare to find a hotel that has a kitchen or outside BBQ-where you can prepare economical home-cooked meals. And after a hard day of competition, you really don't want to share a relaxing spa or pool with strangers. It's no wonder so many youth sports teams are opting to stay in a vacation home.

Close to Youth Sports Venues

Vacation homes are frequently just as conveniently located to today's popular sports venues as hotels and motels. Many are also just minutes away from popular resorts like Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Anaheim Convention Center, water parks, Orange County's fabulous beaches and other attractions. Most homes are close to public transportation or vans and shuttles operated by sports venues and vacation destinations.

The Look and Feel of a Home

Vacation homes feel like a real home, not some impersonal hotel or motel. Youth sports groups and teams have found that these homes can be most accommodating to tweens and teens. Where else can you stay that offers kids / bunk rooms, two or more bunk beds and double trundles? These "team" accommodations allow many kids to share the same bedroom. Some homes even have four bedrooms, which can sleep as many as 16 kids / teens. A number of these homes have a sofa sleeper located in the family room to sleep two more kids.

Never a Dull Moment for Kids, Teens and Chaperones

Vacation homes are fully equipped to keep kids, teens and chaperones entertained. After a hard day of sports competition, everyone needs a break. Which is why these homes have smart TVs, fun-filled gaming systems like X-Box, DVD players, Netflix, Foosball, and plenty of Wi-Fi access for smartphones, laptops and tablets. These connectivity options offer just the right mix of information and entertainment for everyone.

Barbeques, Pools and Spas

Kids, teens and especially chaperones need to take a break from the rigors of competition. Vacation homes enable sports teams to do just that-in a way that can't be done in a hotel or motel. They let you prepare hot dogs, burgers and other outdoor fun meals on a barbeque in a private back yard. Forget about waiting for strangers to finish (or clean up) their barbeque. Or having to share an outdoor area with strange hotel / motel guests. Vacation homes almost always have a spacious outdoor eating area equipped with tables, chairs, and lots of comfortable seating. Many homes also feature in-ground, private, gated pools and a spa or hot tub-for the exclusive use of your team.

Healthy, Economical Meals

Hotels …

Renting Vacation Homes for Newbies

Posted on Posted in general

For a more cozy and warm ambiance while on a vacation, try to rent vacation homes instead of lodging in hotels. Whether you will be traveling with the whole family or traveling alone, whether you will be traveling for pleasure or for business, vacation homes can make you feel more comfortable and at home. If you are a newbie in renting vacation homes, here are some tips that you might want to follow.

Plan as early as possible.

Once you have decided where to go and what to do, jumpstart your search for a vacation home to rent. Avoid last minute reservations since they will cost you more and may strain your budget. If possible, plan and make a reservation as early as six months from your vacation date.

Look around and ask for referrals.

In these days, you can rely on the internet to look for vacation homes to rent. There will be a lot of online postings of homes that you can rent from different places. Aside from this, you will also be able to read feedbacks from previous clients. This will give you an idea about how good (or bad) the accommodation is.

If possible, try to look for a house to rent with a good locale. Although this may cost much, at least you are getting the best from what you paid for. You can also try to ask from your friends or neighbors if they can refer a good vacation house to rent.

Read and understand the contract before signing.

The contract is an agreement between the home owner and you, which would include details like who pays for the bills for the utility, phone and cable. Also, this would include who will be responsible for housekeeping. There are those home owners that have regular cleaners come by to take care of the house, while some would leave this responsibility to the renters.

Take note of the important details as well such as the furniture and basic facilities inside the house such as the heating system or air conditioning system. Get the contact number of the owner so you can contact him immediately for urgent concerns.

Document the area upon arrival.

This may take some effort from you, but it may save you from problems in the future. Upon arrival, take a photograph or video the area, especially in areas where there is damage so you can avoid argument upon checking out. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Check and recheck before checking out.

Before giving back the place to the home owner, walk around the area with him to ensure that everything is where it is supposed to be. Run through the bills that you have paid to avoid confusion or paying for them twice. Through this, you can assure the home owner that you have taken good care of his property.

Renting vacation homes for starters may be handful, but through careful planning and early booking, problems can be avoided. …