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Airbnb/Hotel Booking for Trip to Find Long-Term Rental


Sorn
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I'm planning a two-to-four week trip to the Lakeside area starting sometime between late January and mid February 2018.  My goal is to, within that time, locate and procure a long-term rental to start that summer (i.e., June or July). I've been to the area before and stayed at Airbnbs. Seems like a good plan, right? Fairly long visit, pretty far in advance, and flexible timing on everything. Here's the thing: just about all the Airbnbs and hotels are already booked up. I'm seeing a few options starting a little later in February, but even those are saying "HURRY! ONLY ONE LEFT!" 

I guess this is my question: is it really that jammed up or is there something going on here? Am I trying to book too early? Are the travel sites trying to leverage me into impulse buying? Is internet booking just not the way things are done around there? I'd appreciate any input or tips on where I'm going wrong or what I could do to improve the odds of success here. Thanks!

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You will get plenty of responses. IMO, your plan from A-Z is not a real great plan.  Your arrival dates are in the middle of high season, finding a long term rental during that time to begin around 6 months later is not a reasonable expectation, IMO. Everybody and his brother want to "check out" lakeside but lakeside isn't that big. If folks knew what you are looking for in a rental they might be able to PM you with a lead but it cannot be discussed in specifics on this board, since the owner is in the RE biz.  Where, size, BR's, and most importantly.......how much are you willing to pay?  Welcome and best of luck.

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Totally agree pappysmarket. It's getting very busy and even people who live here are having a hard time finding nice long term rentals at reasonable prices. In general, renters have to give two months notice THEN it can be proclaimed "available"... except that it's already gone to someone who knew someone.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck. It might be prudent to just look around the different areas/developments and decide which ones work for you in terms of your needs. Make a list and prioritize, then you will have narrowed down your search.

And I think you meant 2019. And I sent you a pm.

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You will need to go to the local Facebook pages for rentals  and there are 5 or 6 of them. Then go on the general information pages, and there are a dozen of those active.  On those pages you should list what you want with all the information but not your price.  Let the responses come in without limiting yourself to a specific price.  It is already very slim pickings for winter season as you have found out.  Making it even more difficult is that for those who have arrived here and are finding it is not for them they are breaking leases by finding a replacement tenant so the original tenant gets their deposit back.  So word of mouth and who you know is taking on an even greater importance.  

 

The most clever thing I have seen recently was a couple who are looking for a place asap.  On the postcard-sized card is a photo of them and their dog.  It lists every social media address they have along with their phones and emails.  On the back is a list of what they are looking for in a rental.  They have been handing these out.  Very clever.

 

Do not dismiss making your Facebook page public because I know rental agents who use that method to see who the people are and how they live where they came from and this helps them cull out renters from the huge numbers of people coming to their offices and calling them.  

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The rental and purchase situation here is getting much tighter and pricier and beginning to affect the basic economics of living here IMO.  My wife works information and other things at LCS where newbies and prospective residents show up and she says the numbers showing up there have grown by leaps and bounds.

Now we have the BBC just recently here doing a production about retiring lakeside.  We are definitely on a lot of peoples' radars these days, folks!

Be prepared to pay more and settle for less whether you are a renter or a buyer.  

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4 hours ago, solajijic said:

You will need to go to the local Facebook pages for rentals  and there are 5 or 6 of them. Then go on the general information pages, and there are a dozen of those active.  On those pages you should list what you want with all the information but not your price.  Let the responses come in without limiting yourself to a specific price.  It is already very slim pickings for winter season as you have found out.  Making it even more difficult is that for those who have arrived here and are finding it is not for them they are breaking leases by finding a replacement tenant so the original tenant gets their deposit back.  So word of mouth and who you know is taking on an even greater importance.  

 

The most clever thing I have seen recently was a couple who are looking for a place asap.  On the postcard-sized card is a photo of them and their dog.  It lists every social media address they have along with their phones and emails.  On the back is a list of what they are looking for in a rental.  They have been handing these out.  Very clever.

 

Do not dismiss making your Facebook page public because I know rental agents who use that method to see who the people are and how they live where they came from and this helps them cull out renters from the huge numbers of people coming to their offices and calling them.  

I think solajijic described it perfectly.

Using an analogy, a friend tells you about a promising company whose stock is selling for $20.  A while later he reminds you it's now up to $40 but he still thinks it's a good buy.  Then it gets to $95 and everyone wants a piece...........lakeside is now at $220 so be careful how many shares you buy. When you need to reveal your social internet history to be considered as a customer...................well....................

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8 hours ago, Ferret said:

Totally agree pappysmarket. It's getting very busy and even people who live here are having a hard time finding nice long term rentals at reasonable prices. In general, renters have to give two months notice THEN it can be proclaimed "available"... except that it's already gone to someone who knew someone.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck. It might be prudent to just look around the different areas/developments and decide which ones work for you in terms of your needs. Make a list and prioritize, then you will have narrowed down your search.

And I think you meant 2019. And I sent you a pm.

"Reasonable prices" is relative. You can still rent a house here for less than the equivalent value would earn here in interest. Hell you can barely rent a room in many parts of the US for what an entire house rents for here.

 

 

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11 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

When you need to reveal your social internet history to be considered as a customer...................well....................

Kinda like checking your skin color, no?

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19 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

  Where, size, BR's, and most importantly.......how much are you willing to pay?  Welcome and best of luck.

Not sure about that "how much you are willing to pay". Have seen a person state up to $1500 per month and all of a sudden, the place that was normally  renting for $1150 suddenly is available for $1450 ! :D

 

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1 minute ago, Hud said:

Not sure about that "how much you are willing to pay". Have seen a person state up to $1500 per month and all of a sudden, the place that was normally  renting for $1150 suddenly is available for $1450 ! :D

 

What's wrong with that?  😂😂

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Thanks for the input and pms. I did mean 2019 - not sure how 2018 has gone by so quickly. We're looking for a smallish place, 1-2 bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms, somewhere between West Ajijic and Chapala for about $800 - $1,200 a month.  I didn't realize my trip was set for the peak season, but see that you're right. This may be rougher than anticipated. I may have to break my social media boycott and get on facebook...

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12 minutes ago, Sorn said:

Thanks for the input and pms. I did mean 2019 - not sure how 2018 has gone by so quickly. We're looking for a smallish place, 1-2 bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms, somewhere between West Ajijic and Chapala for about $800 - $1,200 a month.  I didn't realize my trip was set for the peak season, but see that you're right. This may be rougher than anticipated. I may have to break my social media boycott and get on facebook...

Oh, don't get THAT radical !!! (I'm a facebook boycotter, too.) At your price range, you are a good long term prospective tenant, but there's nothing like "boots on the ground" when you start looking. When you're ready to come down, repeat your request shortly before that on this web board and one of us may have what you're looking for.  If you are pet-free, it will increase your chances of finding a rental, and if you're flexible about the location, that's better yet.  Meanwhile, there are some B&B's that will give you a good temporary rate for a few weeks or a month while you're looking.  One is Casablanca, located in the center of Ajijic and recommended by others.  Best of luck.

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12 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

If Casa Blanca has to give any kind of a discount in the middle of high season............where's Joseph when he's needed?

Joseph sold the place several years ago.  They have several kinds of accommodations; rooms, suites, etc., and if booked well in advance, may have what the poster needs.

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Just now, gringal said:

Joseph sold the place several years ago.  They have several kinds of accommodations; rooms, suites, etc., and if booked well in advance, may have what the poster needs.

Yes, I know Joseph sold, which is why I suggested he might be needed back since anyone currently running the place who feels they need to give a discount in January or February is not in touch with reality.  With the current demand curve it might be a good idea to advertise your weekly rate as 8 times the daily rate and see if they bite.

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41 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

Yes, I know Joseph sold, which is why I suggested he might be needed back since anyone currently running the place who feels they need to give a discount in January or February is not in touch with reality.  With the current demand curve it might be a good idea to advertise your weekly rate as 8 times the daily rate and see if they bite.

Let's not get carried away in the facetious channel.😎  Do I know that Casablanca does this during high season? Nope.  Just assuming they might when a customer signs up for multiple weeks.  Maybe I've lost my marbles.

 

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In lean years we gave a weekly rate when it was necessary to fill rooms. February in particular was always full at the daily rate, no discounts needed. Every owner has to decide for themselves.  Some of our fellow innkeepers got nervous if they weren't booked solid for the winter in September and started offering discounts. We were comfortable sticking to our daily prices and very seldom were sorry for doing that. Nobody ever felt sorry for us in the low season and offered to pay high season rates and we never felt sorry for charging what we did in high season. It was just a business where you do your best to maximize your revenue.

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22 hours ago, Sorn said:

I guess this is my question: is it really that jammed up or is there something going on here?

There is something going on here. Mexican tax authorities are trying much harder, and are now much better equipped, to deal with scofflaws. U.S. tax authorities are trying much harder and much better equipped to sniff out undeclared foreign properties. Then many homeowners want to cash out while the US and Canadian dollar is "sweet". So there is lots for sale, but they are also available for rent, by word of mouth, etc. These are long term rentals if the seller is stuck on getting the "suggested retail" price, but there are still lots of bargain hunters, buying properties that must be sold (for whatever reason), and they are paying "below wholesale". Could you live in a property which is also for sale? Many would not, but maybe it is not so difficult if you negotiate an agreement with a property owner. It is not a good idea to leave a property vacant anywhere in Mexico.

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All valid points, but in my experience, renting out a property you want to sell is a mistake if it's as good a market as this seems to be.  Being a renter in such a property would feel pretty precarious, and the renter is hardly motivated to encourage a potential buyer. I had an unfortunate experience with just such a situation.

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There are no filters for renting to people here as there is up north - references are for the most part useless and there is no credit history information.  So a Facebook page can tell a lot. However color just isn't important and never occurred to me to use for that purpose and I doubt any of the nationals running rental services think about it either. 

Anyway what can be told is if people keep their homes and yards neat and tidy.  Do they have family and friends or are they loners?  Are they consumed with politics of either bent?  Do they seem to have an angry personality or a needy personality seeking validation from others? Do they have an extreme focus on animal rescue?  Are they curious about the world?  Have they travelled?

 

It's just one of the tools now that people use to decide who to rent to just like others use it to decide who to employ or who to date.  The world is changing.

 

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24 minutes ago, solajijic said:

There are no filters for renting to people here as there is up north - references are for the most part useless and there is no credit history information.  So a Facebook page can tell a lot. However color just isn't important and never occurred to me to use for that purpose and I doubt any of the nationals running rental services think about it either. 

Anyway what can be told is if people keep their homes and yards neat and tidy.  Do they have family and friends or are they loners?  Are they consumed with politics of either bent?  Do they seem to have an angry personality or a needy personality seeking validation from others? Do they have an extreme focus on animal rescue?  Are they curious about the world?  Have they travelled?

 

It's just one of the tools now that people use to decide who to rent to just like others use it to decide who to employ or who to date.  The world is changing.

 

It is changing, and if it continues in this direction, it will turn into a society beyond anything science fiction writers could imagine.  I, personally, don't think it will be a better world. But, as in all else...YMMV.

 

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5 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

Could you say that again......slowly?

Meaning that a house investment can earn more if that money were invested in government bonds than income from rent. Not all homes, but a lot seemed to be priced like that.  

 

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