TODAY

TODAY   |  July 04, 2013

Summer rentals: Skip hotels, stay in a house

If you've waited until the last minute to plan your summer vacation, real estate analyst Dani Babb can help. She explains why renting a house might be a better choice than staying in a hotel and shares some of her favorite destinations.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> if you haven't planned your summer vacation yet you may want to think twice before booking at hotel near the beach. a vacation rental may be the way to go. here with a few houses from across the country is real estate analyst dani. you like the idea of renting a home as opposed to the hotel. how come?

>> it can be a huge cost savings, particularly if you are traveling with the aye family. not only can you have the price of the homes but if you need more than one room you have an entire house at your disposal.

>> you also have a kitchen.

>> you don't have to eat out for every meal. washer and dryer.

>> how do you even start to find one.

>> there's great websites. vrbo, vacation rentals.com. home away.com. these applications actually are smartphone compatible as well.

>> and then you go to a region you're interested in.

>> a region or city. however you want to search.

>> let's pick some cities and see what we have. wildwood crest , new jersey is a spot you like.

>> on the jersey shore . this is a more quiet neighborhood. it sleeps six people for $ 1600 . so great deal.

>> for a week. that's for an entire week. the home is one block from the water. so -- and you have water activities right there and you are also getting a really good deal on a house.

>> okay. how about the outer banks in north carolina .

>> love it there. gorgeous spot.

>> absolutely beautiful.

>> this home sleeps eight people. about $2400 for the week. and the home itself is highly upgraded. docks about 75 feet from the water. ideal location. beautiful. and there's wireless and wired internet. if you still want to work when you are on vacation. washer and dryer. great kitchen. upgraded. beautiful home.

>> that is terrific.

>> and you can share that with another family. it's not like you have to bear the whole brunt of the cost.

>> on the website you can determine if there are pets allowed if multiple families can share the home. you can ask the owners questions.

>> michigan, a place called perch lake .

>> perch lake . it's beautiful. this home is a log cabin home. it's a log cabin lodge. the entire home is made of knotty pine. it has a grahame room for kids. a jacuzzi hot tub for the kids. gorgeous decks. close to amenities. close to state parks , biking, hiking. beautiful home.

>> boy, that is --

>> and that's how much for the week?

>> 22 -- i'm sorry, $ 1200 for the week for eight people. you can easily fit --

>> or just do a bunch of couples and split it up.

>> absolutely.

>> let's move west a little bit. south lake tahoe .

>> if you are a skier, heavenly ski resort . two decks.

>> but in the summertime it's gorgeous, too.

>> it is absolutely amazing. this home will vary in price range based on what time of year you go. between $ 1575 and $2275. also sleeps eight people. two decks. one looks at the mountain. one looks at the lake. and a boat dock will accommodate up to three boats. if you are bringing something in or want some time on the water.

>> gorgeous.

>> it's a phenomenal deal.

>> for folks who want to go to california you like huntington beach .

>> surf city , usa. this home is about 20 minutes from most major theme parks . very tech savvy home. a gorgeous interior. the fireplace, for example, is glass fireplace, vis nibble a coup visible in a couple of rooms. you could have three families vacationing together and there's a brand new shopping center like next door.

>> and it's not too late now. we're already in july.

>> you'll find hundreds of thousands of homes available for the summer.

>> can you bargain a little on price?

>> particularly last-minute. if they say it's an entire week and you want three days, e-mail the owner. you may be able to get that for a much better deal.