Can you waive the cleaning fee if I clean the condo myself before I leave?
No. The cleaning fee covers not only the cleaning
fee paid out directly to the cleaning lady, but the inventory check and the
changing of the front door security code.
What utilities are included in the rental price?
Do you have Internet Access?
The condo rental fee covers all electrical charges, as well as free local
phone calls & Expanded Cable. Renters need to pay for their own long
distance charges via calling cards or a personal cell phone. Dial-Up internet
access is available for renters who already have their own ISP. As most of our
renters have not wanted Hi-Speed internet access, and having it available
would require us to pay for a long-term contract, we don't have it permanently
set-up. Personally, we have not had a problem getting unsecured Hi-Speed
access from others who have hubs set-up in the complexÖbut we do not in
anyway guarantee that as part of the rental.
What would the total cost be for a Peak Season
Rental without any discounts?
$4,280 ($3100 rent + $1000 security deposit + $150 cleaning fee + $30
credit check) *
*Of course assuming there is no damage, the $1000 security deposit will be
returned within 14 days after you leave the condo, so the effective total
would be $3280.
How do you set monthly rates?
We base our rental fees on what the market is charging for comparable
condos. When setting our rates we look at other units that have:
|Similar location (north Scottsdale will have higher rents than Old Town
Scottsdale; different complexes are more desirable than others)|
|Similar size (this unit is one of a few units that is considered
"large" at 1435 sq. feet)|
|Other units that have had around $20K worth of improvements/updates
within the past few years|
|Properties that are actively maintained (We stayed in many condos for
over a decade before we purchased our own. Almost all were rented by
property managers who made little effort to fix things broken in the
units and/or had owners that did not take an active role in maintaining
the units. They were rented "as is". Units that are rented
"as is" by owners can have lower rents. Also condos rented to
"friends" often have lower rates as well.) We spend a minimum of
2 weeks a year repairing and maintaining the unit. We do not consider
non-updated, hands-off for investment purposes only properties as comps.|
What makes this location particularly desirable?
We rented various condo units in a number of condo complexes for a decade
before we decided where we wanted to purchase. The following are just some of
the reasons we picked this particular condo:
|Centrally located within Scottsdale, yet in the Northern Scottsdale
corridor. Less than 1.5 mi. from the 101-Loop (the main freeway running
|Solid construction with built-in noise reduction components between
units. This particular development has concrete flooring between units
which means you canít hear your neighborís conversation (and they canít
hear yours), nor can you hear every time they shut one of their cabinet
|Proximity to Sky Harbor Airport: It is 17.5 miles from the airport, or
about 20 minutes.|
|Quiet location within the development. This is an upper end unit that
shares only one common wall with a quieter than a mouse neighbor.
The unit is tucked away in a corner of the complex far removed from
|Being from the Midwest, we wanted to be surrounded by a lot of
green-space. With land now at such a premium, this was one of the last
complexes built that allowed for luxurious grassy areas and an incredible
assortment of blooming desert landscape.|
|This condo is near the multi-use greenbelt pathway that runs through the
Scottsdale park system. You need to cross only one lightly traveled street
to get there. Several tennis courts are also available free of charge
within the complex.|
|Close to the pool. The condo is less than 30 feet from the pool gate
entrance which means we donít have to trek a half-mile with our pool
noodles or second guess whether itís worth it to run back and get
something else to drink. There also is a communal gas grill located just
inside the pool gate.|
|Close enough to shopping, food, and other necessities such that we can
walk and get much of what we need without renting a car. We usually go for
stretches of time without a car when we are there as you are located less
than 1.5 miles from Fryís grocery, restaurants, shopping, and the public
library. When we need a car, we simply rent it from Budget, located within
|Incredible views from the decks with a bright interior. It has a large
wrap-around deck that overlooks the pool on one side and a row of palm
trees and green-space on the other side. The unit is on the second floor,
surrounded by 5 sets of large patio doors and a generous roof overhang
that allows the light in, but keeps much of the sun heat out.|
|This condo is spacious with the largest floor plan within the complex at
1435 sq. ft. It also has a vaulted ceiling in the living room which
contributes to the feeling of openness.|
|Near medical services. We hope it is never needed, but just in case, the
condo located within 2 miles of Scottsdale North Hospital and the local
police station. A couple of Urgent Care Centers are also within walking
distance. The Mayo Clinic is a short car drive away.|
Can you tell me where your condo is located?
The condo is located in Northern Scottsdale, at The Villages III complex
within the McCormick Ranch development. The Villages consist of a group of
condos bounded by N 91st & N 96th Streets and E Via Linda & E Mountain
View Road. We do not give out the exact address to potential renters as we
don't want the unit sitting vulnerable when not being rented, nor do we want
to inconvenience those who are currently renting with potential renters
popping in to see the condo. We personally rented various condos for about a
decade before actually purchasing this one, and we were often inconvenienced
during our stay by people who just wanted to look at the unit for potential
future rental. So it got to feel like we had to always be ready to display the
unit for others and it felt invasive for us on our "vacation". To
compensate for this, we keep the pictures up-to-date on the website so you can
see exactly what you will be renting. If you want to see the general location
using something like Mapquest, you can enter the address of the Mustang
Library (10101 N 90th St, zip 85258) which is just blocks away from the unit
Can I rent this condo for less than 1 month?
The condo association in this particular development dictates that leases
be written for no less than 1 month. Someone wanting to rent for less than a
month would need to sign a one month contract and pay for the entire month.
This costs about the same a 2 week stay in the nearest Three-Star hotel .
Also, you can save money by cooking and eating some of your meals in-an option
not available to you when staying at a hotel. As our rents include utilities,
the tenant would then be eligible for a refund on the electrical portion of
the utilities that would not used when the unit was unoccupied.
Can I rent the condo for more than one month, but
less than 2 months (e.g. 6 weeks)?
If the condo has not been rented for the next consecutive non-peak seasonal
month, an extended stay can certainly be accommodated. A six-week rental
during the peak season is rarely available, unless there happens to be someone
else who wants to rent the remaining 6-weeks to fill up the 3 month stretch.
Since our condo association requires that we rent for a minimum of one month,
renting for 6 weeks would leave us unable to rent the remaining 2 peak season
weeks to someone else.
Have there been recent updates to the condo itself?
We are constantly improving the property. Some recent updates include
new: tile, paint, electrical, plumbing, lighting, linens, window treatments,
dishes, deck sealing, LCD TV in master BR, stackable washer & dryer, etc.
What items are included in the condo rental?
See our Complete Inventory
I have never rented a condo with a keyless door entry.
Why do you have it and what happens if the lock fails?
installed the deadbolt keyless door for added security and convenience. This
means you key in a number code to unlock the door. We found that we were
needing to frequently re-key the door because either workers or renters would
not return the key. It's fairly common practice for renters to leave the door
key under the doormat when they leave, making it readily available for some
unauthorized person to copy and use at some later time. Changing the entry
code between renters provides an increase in security for those who stay
there. Also, we like the convenience of just pushing the lock button when we
leave instead of having to fiddle with the key. In the highly unlikely event
that the lock fails (this only happened once because a renter chose not to
replace the dying batteries at the time), we have a master key in a secure
What's your policy on sending someone out to fix or
replace something in the condo while I am staying there?
Unlike many of the condos we rented prior to purchasing our own, we take
extra steps to maintain the inhabitability of the unit. We routinely do
maintenance and make minor repairs (e.g. grease sliding door jams, clean all
cupboards and drawers, fix broken drawers, scrub patio decks and furniture,
etc.) throughout the year. That being said, we do not send out a handyman or
cleaning lady during your stay to tighten a loose towel rack (a screwdriver is
provided if you wish to do it yourself), put a shower door back on track if
dislodged by a tenant during their stay, dust deck furniture, or change light
bulbs (also provided) or batteries in the remote controls. We certainly would
correct any major problems that might arise during your stay (e.g.
non-functioning major appliance due to age or failure and not as a result of
tenant abuse, or fix a broken heating-cooling system).
The condo comes with serviceable small appliances and electronics.
Replacement of any such items is left up to the discretion of the owners. For
specialized items ("Do you have a Panini maker?") please consult the
recently updated inventory list for a complete
listing of everything that is included with the rental .
How do I go about booking my time in the condo?
Multiple month peak season rentals and off-peak season rentals are taken on
a first-come-first-served basis throughout the year. Single month, peak season
rentals are taken starting in October of the prior year (you can book Jan. '09
starting on Oct. 1, 2008). To reserve the condo, we need to receive the $1000
security deposit. Rent and other fees are due one month prior to the time you
rent the unit.
What if I need to cancel my reservation for any reason?
In the case of non-peak rental months, we charge a cancellation fee of $800
(that is, we return just $200 of the security deposit) if you need to cancel.
For peak-season months, we keep the $1000 security deposit UNLESS we are able
to rent it out without little effort or additional advertising costs. If the
latter is the case, the security deposit will be returned.
Where do I park my car?
The condo comes with an assigned covered parking spot located close to the
front door. There are also plenty of unassigned spots for those who come to
How do I get my mail?
You will have an assigned locked mailbox located nearby in the parking lot
of the complex.
How is a condo rental different than booking a hotel room?
There are advantages and disadvantages for each one and, speaking from
experience, neither of them will be perfect. We have yet to experience that
ideal get-away where nothing went wrong. Despite everyone's best effort and
planning some problems may arise that are beyond the control of the person in
charge. How you personally prefer to handle such situations might be a good
indicator for which route would suit you best. Some people are willing to pay
more for the availability of a front desk that can give them the sense of
immediacy in dealing with their concerns, and/or they like the services of a
concierge to help them through various parts of their vacation. Others use the
smaller hotel space as a base during their stay, but they don't spend much
time there. In such cases, a hotel would be a better choice. Others would
prefer a sense of community and to forgo the noises of those loud neighbors
coming back to the hotel sometime after midnight. If this is the case, and you
prefer to be more self-sufficient throughout your vacation, a condo rental
might be a better match for you. For those of us that like to stretch out a
bit and cook some meals at home, a condo is a better choice.
Below is a quick glance at some of the differences between renting our
condo or staying at La Quinta Inn & Suites (a Three-Star hotel within 2
miles of the condo):
Peak Season, Dbl. Occupancy
(with no discounts)
$189.16 (incl. Taxes)
Based on 2008 Rates
1435 sq. ft.
Suite with 2 small
2-Story, 20 Units
3-Story, 140 Rooms
Upper End Unit
Surrounded by Lush Landscape
Next to 101-Loop freeway / Shea Blvd (major through street)
View of busy street or parking lot
Surrounded by concrete
1 month contract
BR1: 1 Queen
BR2: 2 Twin
Portable Twin Foam Mattress
BR: 1 King or 2 Queen
BR2: 2 Twin Rm2: Pull-Out Couch/Bed
|| 1 Full
Lg & Sm Appliances
Dishes & Utensils
| Small Microwave
|| Large Table Seats 6
|Room for Entertaining
||2-- Large Wrap-Around, Plus Small Deck
Paddock Deck Furniture
|| Pool Noodles
|Tennis Courts on Site
|| Yes - Included
|Available Gas Grill
|| Yes (50 ft. away)
New Stackable Washer & Dryer
|| Dry-cleaning for a fee
|Daily Made Service
Available for a fee
|Free Local Calls
|| Dial-Up Access with own ISP
Wi-Fi Likely, but not guaranteed
(Mustang library is 2 blocks away)
|Sense of Community
|| Yes -- Many owners & repeat renters
come to same area each year, generally staying for weeks or months
|| No-- visitors typically
staying for a few days
|Perfectly Problem-Free Stay
|| Not Likely!
|| Not Likely!
We have always rented through a property manager. How is renting through a
private owner similar or different?
A property manager simply serves as the intermediary between the owner and
renter. When we started renting in the early 90's (pre-internet), the only way
to rent a condo was either through word-of-mouth (e.g. you happen to be
fortunate enough to run into an owner during your stay who had not already
rented for the following year, or an owner happened to run a newspaper ad in
your local paper) or through a property manager. In the 10 years we rented, we
were lucky enough precisely once to rent a condo through word-of-mouth from the
actual owner. The remaining times we rented we went through a local property
The advantage of going through a local property manager is that he/she often
has a variety of properties available in different complexes which increases
your chances of finding a place to stay during the time frame you are looking
for. This route is also particularly helpful if you want to experience the
amenities and community of various locations and you don't want to do all the
leg-work yourself. In our case, the main disadvantage was that we always got
properties that were strictly investment properties for those who owned them. As
such, maintenance and attention to details that would make the space more
livable were not addressed as the owners' themselves nor the property managers
ever stayed there and "used" the space. Common issues included dirty
cupboards and dusty dishes, poor lighting, odd placement of or lack of
furniture, saggy mattresses and drawers and closets full of junk because no one
ever went through them to toss things out. However, despite those minor
annoyances, we were always just grateful to be in paradise.
The main advantage of renting directly from the owner is that you don't need
to pay for the commission that goes directly to the property manager.
Additionally, those rental properties that are actually part-time
owner-occupied, tend to be better maintained and more usable because the owner
stays there as well. Owners love reliable, repeat renters and renters often
enjoy the predictability of renting the same place year after year. This
arrangement can be a win-win for both owners and renters. The disadvantage is
that the unit might not available at the time you would like to rent it. Our
renters have reported no difference in the amount of time it takes to get
something repaired whether they have needed to call the property manager or when
calling us directly. We have a couple of reliable handymen that we have
occasionally needed to use during a renter's stay.