Timeshare or the Vacation Rental Dilemma

Vacation rentals in a private home or condo are a great idea … except for all the ways they are not a good idea at all.

And nothing illustrates this more clearly than a recent issue that is brewing on Florida’s Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach.

Located just south of St. Petersburg,  Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach are the quintessential Florida beach communities. Charming, beachy, with quaint restaurants and shops, these two island villages are true residential communities.

People live here year-round; lucky people, because the views of the Gulf of Mexico to the west and to the east, Tampa Bay beneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, are spectacular. Some of the residents are retirees, but many are working families that commute across the Manatee or the Cortez bridges to jobs in nearby Bradenton or other cities in the area.

Residents love their island lifestyle, the fishing piers, their low-rise buildings and unobstructed views. Although they value tourists and appreciate the revenue of a limited number of vacation rentals… they want to keep that number limited.

This is so much the case that last week’s Popcorn & Politics meeting held outside the  offices of the local newspaper, The Islander, focused much of its attention on the topic of vacation rentals and what it described as, “the accompanying problems for residents.”

These Florida coastal residents see vacation rentals as a quality of life issue.

Why Timeshares Instead of Vacation Home Rentals

Typically, timeshares, like hotels, are built in areas zoned specifically for multi-use, vacation housing. When you rent or buy a timeshare, you are taking vacation ownership in a locale that is designed to accommodate and host vacationers.

Timeshare rentals and resales make an important contribution to local economies and are generally highly welcomed in areas where they are built. Timeshares also afford you peace of mind in many ways that renting a private home does not.

You know when you vacation in a timeshare resale or timeshare rental that the resort maintenance staff will be available to serve you should your timeshare unit or condo have plumbing problems, a faulty air conditioner, or any other problem that can crop up in the real world. But when you rent a private home for vacation, how do you know that these problems will be easily and quickly resolved?

When you rent a private vacation home you really don’t know about the maintenance, the security, the service or any of the other details that can be critical difference makers in your vacation experience. And while timeshares are built to be your vacation home away from home, they still afford you the privacy of not vacationing in a stranger’s house.

Renting a private vacation home can work out great. But it can also come with a lot of challenges. Do you want to vacation in a community that may see you as one tourist too many? Do you want to deal with an absentee-owner who may or may not respond quickly to your needs? And do you really want to share a stranger’s sock drawer?

… Or do you want to enjoy a timeshare vacation where the details are taken care of for you and the deals are irresistible?