Rentals already red-hot down at the shore

February 28, 2012 3:44:01 PM PST
Even though summer is still a few months away, families are already down at the shore hunting for rentals.

Lori Thiers of Warrington is one of three Bucks County moms walking through houses in Ocean City looking for a rental that can fit their families this summer.

"We need four or five bedrooms, definitely central air," she said.

Whether motivated by the warm winter or the improving economy, this group is part of a wave of renters booking plans for the summer, pushing the shore rental market way up over last year.

"Rentals are running about 15% ahead of what we would consider normal," said David Farina of Farina and Boeshe Realty.

Farina and Boeshe, in Sea Isle City, handles more than 1,000 rental properties. Realtors here say, these days, many people shop for rentals on the Internet. It lets them see what's inside a house without making a trip to the shore.

"You want to see how big the bedroom and living room and dining room are equipped," said Barbara Boeshe. "Is there enough room, furniture? Is there enough seating for 10 people?"

But realtors and police warn about Internet scams like the recent Long Beach Island rentals offered on Craigslist at unbelievably low prices. People who sent in deposits were duped and lost their money.