Have you heard of a home share and want more details on what exactly that means? Home share vacation rentals is a relatively new concept that is most popular with young people between the ages of 18 and 44, and has steadily increased in popularity over the last five years. The best known home share websites are Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and Housetrip. However, are you a frequent traveler and ever considered investment in a timeshare instead of spending your money on temporary lodging? Read below to understand the differences between timeshare vacation investments and home sharing vacation rentals.
Home Share Websites – Growing Trend
A recent study indicates that the private accommodation market such as rentals found through home share websites grew at incredible rates that were faster than the total US travel market in 2016, and its estimated growth is set to exceed $36 billion later this year. That’s quite a lot of hard earned money spent on vacation rentals! Home sharing services provide an online platform where property owners rent out their homes for short or long term use to potential travelers, and potential travelers search for properties based on criteria such as number of rooms, amenities, location and ease of cancellation. Once you find a property that interests you, check the calendar for availability. Some properties you can instant book right away, and others you must submit your request and wait for the owner to respond with a confirmation or denial. If you are confirmed, you will either pre-pay for the rental, or just use your credit card through the website to leave a deposit to secure your booking.
The Downsides of Home Sharing Rental Websites
Typically, home sharing rental websites like Airbnb offer lower prices than you can find at hotels or resorts. If you are on a budget, then a home sharing rental could be a good option for you. However, there are many downsides to renting through a home sharing website. One negative of using these services is the risk that comes along with renting a property sight unseen. It is possible that the advertised property will turn out to be different than you expected based on photos and descriptions you saw online. Some properties are even misrepresented on purpose by dishonest owners trying to scam innocent travelers. When you rent a property through a home share website, the property’s cleanliness, location or furnishings may leave a lot to be desired once you see the property in person.
Another downside is that if you do have an issue, the owner may be unavailable or unattentive to your complaints. If that happens, you may end up ruining your vacation experience by wasting time trying to resolve the issue at hand. One positive to home sharing websites is that online rating systems are in place so you can leave reviews of the property. This is designed to help both travelers and owners know what to expect from each other. Another risk to consider is that you may encounter situations where fake owners illegally list properties to rent, and you pay for a rental that you do not get to choose. This is unlikely to happen, but it is a risk to be aware of. In order to better protect yourself, it is recommended to only book properties that have good traveler reviews.
Pros of Timeshare Investment
Now that you know the potential risks involved with home shares, would you consider a timeshare investment instead? As a genuine timeshare owner, you know the property well and won’t be disappointed or taken unaware. Another benefit to timeshare ownership is the bonus of access to a variety of staff that want to make your vacation great. Front desk concierge, courteous staff members, and friendly house cleaners are all ready and willing to assist you during your vacation.
Many other services and amenities are available at timeshare properties such as beautiful pools, gyms and world class spas that you can enjoy. These amenities are unlikely to be available if you use a home sharing website for your vacation rental. Timeshare staff are well trained and provide excellent customer service to make your vacation memorable and stress-free. Always ready to resolve any issues or concerns you may have during your vacation, they will also be glad to assist you by making reservations, arranging tours, or scheduling airport transfers. If you rent a home sharing property, remember you are on your own to handle any and all arrangements.
Both home sharing properties and timeshares are interesting choices for today’s traveler. Remember that while economical, home share rentals come with a risk for major issues that could potentially ruin your vacation. On the flipside, timeshares are reliable and provide excellent access to amenities, quality services and a consistent level of comfort that you can trust. Now it’s up to you to decide which choice is right for your needs.