Written by Nicole Johnson
Wife to Elliot Johnson
Editor at BaseballWifeBlog.com
Renting sight unseen is a common occurrence for baseball families.
Especially when it comes to spring training.
While teams usually set up deals with apartment complexes for minor league teams for the season, and a hotel room for minor league players that aren't traveling with their families, those that have family joining them at spring training figure out their housing for spring on their own.
The team pays a living-out expense, but if you're not looking for roommates, you're not often going to find a place that doesn't require you to pay out of pocket. Players don't get actual paychecks during spring training, but rather live-out money and meal money.
As soon as families have a team in place for the season, the wives usually start their digging for finding a good place to live for that 6-8 weeks in Florida or Arizona. Here are some tips from the women that have been there when looking for a place.
1. Start looking as soon as you can. If you have a multi-year deal and know that your'e going back to the same place, try to reserve the place you love right away. Most people won't let you reserve a place without a deposit down, so keep this in mind. If you can't afford to lose the money, it's probably best to wait until you know you're going there for sure.
2. Look into corporate housing in the place you're going to. There are often short-term furnished rentals available this way. However, they often come at a higher price.
3. Also look at vacation rentals through VRBO or HomeAway. People buy income properties with the sole purpose of renting them out during peak seasons.
4. Check the location on google maps, and google the person you are speaking with. Check out their facebook page, if they don't look legit, they probably aren't.
5. Ask for references. Any landlord or property manager will be happy to offer up names for you to speak with. Be weary of those that seem they have something to hide.
6. Check the tax assessor website and confirm that the person you are speaking with is the person that owns the property. Don't feel bad confirming their identity. They can easily confirm yours.
7. Speak with others that have rented in the area before. Those that know of a good realtor or property manager will be happy to offer that information to you. People that have been traded to another team may have something available for you.
8. Speak with the team's clubhouse manager or travel secretary. Especially if you get traded last minute, they are a valuable resource and can help you find something that may have been in place for the person you were traded for.
9. Google the images. Save the images from the property and go to google. Click on images. In the search bar, there will now be a camera, click it. Upload the image. Google will now bring up everywhere that image is located on the web. If it looks like that same image is in places that aren't the specific location you're looking into, proceed with caution.
10. Read the lease. Most property managers will require you to sign a lease. Read over it before you sign it and have a friend or your agent look it over if anything seems off, too.
11. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Face it- you're looking at rentals in vacation locations that are in high demand for the time of year you are going to be there. If it sounds like you're spending way less than you should be for a really nice place, you need to go to extra lengths to ensure this rental is legitimate. Do not send money until you can confirm that this place actually exists and is what they say it is.
Good luck in your spring training search. Enjoy the sunshine!