Deals on rentals at the Jersey Shore

May 15, 2013 9:07:02 AM PDT
"For Rent" signs abound in Ocean City, where many vacation homeowners had hoped the storm damage farther north would send more renters their way this summer.

But Terri Sivertsen of New Jersey Realty says that just hasn't happened.

She showed me a three-year-old rental property on 4th Street that, in past years, was fully rented well before May. Now it has an open week in July and one in August.

Sivertsen says she's been getting worried calls from owners.

"Now, it seems that people who do have some weeks left are starting to lower the rates just a little bit," Sivertsen says. "(They're) offering some incentives for some of the tenants to come down and visit Ocean City. We're ready for 2013."

Those incentives include dropping weekly rental rates as much as $100, and adding extras, like beach tags and amusement park tickets.

On Long Beach Island, where more homes were damaged by Sandy, you might think there would be fewer opportunities for rental deals, but that's not the case.

Dave Wyrsche of the Van Dyk Group says about 10% of the vacation homes in the Ship Bottom/Beach Haven area remain too damaged to rent. Still, overall rentals are down about 30%. He blames the chilly spring and people's fears about damage.

He urges potential vacationers to visit and assess the situation for themselves. "It's just a matter of people coming down and seeing for themselves we're indeed here and open and didn't get washed away."

Those who do visit and decide to rent, Wyrsche says, can find good deals.

"There definitely are some owners, I wouldn't say they're panicking, but (who) are starting to get concerned," he says. "And there's definitely deals to be had. We have owners that are certainly willing to negotiate."

Both Realtors caution against waiting too long to rent, though, as they expect rental rates to jump once there's a warm, sunny weekend.