FAQ's
Home Rates Living Area Outside Master Bedroom Second Bedroom Kitchen Why Scottsdale? Things to Do FAQ's

Do you allow pets? No
Can I smoke inside the condo or on the patio? No
What are your current rental rates?
Do you charge any other fees?
Can you waive the cleaning fee if I clean the condo myself before I leave?
Do you offer any discounts?
What utilities are included in the rental price?
Do you have Internet access?
What would the total cost be for a Peak Season Rental without any discounts?
How do you set monthly rates?
What makes this location particularly desirable?
Can you tell me where your condo is located?
Can I rent this condo for less than 1 month?
Can I rent the condo for more than one month, but less than 2 months (e.g. 6 weeks)?
Have there been recent updates to the condo itself?
What items are included in the condo rental?
I have never rented a condo with a keyless door entry. Why do you have it and what happens if the lock fails?
What's your policy on sending someone out to fix or replace something in the condo while I am staying there?
How do I go about booking my time in the condo?
What if I need to cancel my reservation for any reason?
Where do I park my car?
How do I get my mail?
How is a condo rental different than booking a hotel room?
We have always rented through a property manager. How is renting through a private owner similar or different?

 

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)
2 BR/2BA
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 through Scottsdale).
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 doors.
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 thoroughfares.
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 Fryís.
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 itself.

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?

We 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 lock-box nearby.

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 visit.

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):

Poolside Condo
La Quinta
Cost/Night
Peak Season, Dbl. Occupancy
 $109.33 
(with no discounts) 
 $189.16 (incl. Taxes)
Based on 2008 Rates
Size  1435 sq. ft. Suite with 2 small
Density  2-Story, 20 Units   3-Story, 140 Rooms
Location Upper End Unit
Pool-side View 
Surrounded by Lush Landscape 
Next to 101-Loop freeway / Shea Blvd (major through street)
View of busy street or parking lot
Surrounded by concrete
Pool-Side  Yes  No
Minimum Stay  1 month contract  1 night
Beds BR1: 1 Queen 
BR2: 2 Twin
Portable Twin Foam Mattress
BR: 1 King or 2 Queen
BR2: 2 Twin Rm2: Pull-Out Couch/Bed
Baths  2 Full  1 Full
Kitchen Full Kitchen 
Lg & Sm Appliances
Dishes & Utensils
Small Microwave
Small Fridge
Dining Room Large Table Seats 6 None
Room for Entertaining Yes No
Outside Decks 2-- Large Wrap-Around, Plus Small Deck
Paddock Deck Furniture
None
Outdoor Equipment  Pool Noodles
Blow-Up Floats
Tennis Rackets
 None
Tennis Courts on Site  Yes - Included No
Available Gas Grill  Yes (50 ft. away) No
Laundry  New Stackable Washer & Dryer Dry-cleaning for a fee
Daily Made Service  Available for a fee  Included
Front-Desk  None  Yes
Cable  Yes Yes
Free Local Calls  Yes Yes
 Internet Dial-Up Access with own ISP
Wi-Fi Likely, but not guaranteed
(Mustang library is 2 blocks away)
Free
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 manager.

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.