How to Find a Rental

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The Villages Florida rentals“How do I find a rental in The Villages” is by far the most common question I get from readers. And for good reason. So I wanted to put together this complete guide for how to go about finding a rental which includes when to rent, how much you should expect to pay, where to rent, where to look for a rental, and more.

If you have other tips that you can share with readers from personal experience of renting in The Villages, please let us know in the comments.

As I advocate in my book, one thing you want to do before actually buying a home and moving to The Villages is to rent a home here for a few weeks or even a few months. Though I also advise you to take advantage of the Lifestyle Preview Program offered by The Villages, its simply not enough time to get a good feel for what it might be like living here year round.

When is the best time to rent?
The time from November through May is the busiest time of the year in The Villages. This means a couple of things. For one, it makes it much harder to find a rental. It also means that restaurants, golf courses, and everything else are much more crowded than during the summer and fall.

But, if you plan to live in The Villages full-time in the future, its good to get a sense of just what “crowded” means. It may not seem crowded to you. I’ve heard from people that couldn’t believe how bad it was, and I’ve heard from others who didn’t think it was that bad.

So, bottom line, if you want the best selection and prices, rent from June-October. If you want the best idea of what the busy season is like, rent during the busy season. I know that many of my readers have made it a point to rent during BOTH seasons, just to be sure.

How much does it cost to rent a home in The Villages?
As you can imagine the price of rentals will vary, depending on the season. Basic supply and demand economics at work. Other things that are common sense but you should keep in mind is that the bigger the home and newer it is, the more you’ll likely pay.

Location is also a major factor in the rent. In general, the more centrally located the home is, or immediately near the town squares, the more you can expect to pay.

Because prices vary so much based on location and time of year, it would be difficult for me to give you price ranges for each home type you’ll encounter in The Villages. But just to show you how much rates can fluctuate throughout the year, look at one home (a 3/2 Designer in Tamarind Grove) I found which lists their monthly rates through 2012:

2011 Rates
$1,800/Mo June Unavailable
$1,800/Mo July Unavailable
$1,800/Mo Aug Unavailable
$2,200/Mo Sept Unavailable
$2,400/Mo Oct
$2,600/Mo Nov
$2,800/Mo Dec

2012 Rates
$4,200/Mo Jan Unavailable
$4,200/Mo Feb Unavailable
$4,200/Mo March 1-29 Unavailable
$3,600/Mo April 2-30
$2,400/Mo May
$1,800/Mo June
$1,800/Mo July
$1,800/Mo Aug
$2,200/Mo Sept
$2,400/Mo Oct
$2,600/Mo Nov
$2,800/Mo Dec

Where should you rent?
As you probably know by now, The Villages is a huge place. This can make it that much harder to choose a rental. You might see a house you like that seems to fit all of your needs but if its far away from the places you’ll spend most of your time (likely certain golf courses and the town squares), it can be a pain traveling to and from over long distances, especially in a golf cart.

Speaking of golf carts, many of the rentals you’ll see listed also include use of a golf cart. I’ve written before about the golf carts that come with your lifestyle preview plan…they’re super slow. But you might have a little better luck with the carts at the privately owned rentals. If you don’t see any details about a cart being available with a particular home, be sure to contact the owner and ask.

If you can, try to find a rental that’s centrally located. But if you have no preference on golf courses or between the town squares, then it may not really matter. Go with the best home you can find.

To help in all of this, you should get a map. Looking at maps online just won’t cut it for this task. For $5 plus tax and shipping you can get a current map of The Villages from Banner Mercantile (352) 753-4676 or Market Square Mercantile (352) 753-2129.

Rental Options:
As you can see by the list below, there are A LOT of places to look for The Villages Florida rentals. Don’t focus your search on any one website. Be sure to explore rentals available on several of them. Also, its important to note that some sites show rentals where the owner is representing themselves (for rent by owner), and others are advertised and managed by local real estate agents.

The Villages Lifestyle Preview – As I mentioned above, this is something you should take advantage of, but its not the only thing you should do. You’ll want to spend a little more time here, and out from under the developers thumb, so to speak, before making your final decision to purchase.

VIR Vacation Rentals – This site has a good (and quickly growing) selection of rentals available in The Villages. VIR is a full-service rental management company, so you can rest easy knowing your needs will be taken care of from beginning to end.

VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner is a national rental website where homeowners pay a fee to make their rental listings available to potential short and long-term tenants. My wife and I have had pretty good luck so far finding rentals in other parts of Florida through this site, and I’ve heard from some readers who say they found their rental in The Villages on this site. – I mention this website in my book. Owned by Villages resident Don Crosby, has literally hundreds of rentals listed on their site. I don’t believe Don manages any of these rentals. Private homeowners simply pay a fee to have their home and contact information listed on his site. It’s a great resource to find The Villages Florida rentals. – This site is run by JD & V Property Management, offering full-service management for owners of the homes that are listed for rent. At the time of this writing there appears to be about 140 properties available for rent. – This is another national site, similar to VRBO mentioned above. I count close to 100 rentals listed at present. – Yet another national website where owners list their properties for rent.

ERA Tom Grizzard Realtors – This is one of the bigger real estate companies in the area, and they have a decent sized property management division. It looks like they currently have about 45 rentals available in The Villages. – Another real estate company, Realty Executives, they currently show more than 70 rentals available in The Villages.

The above websites are those that I’ve either used myself, know someone who has, or found on one of the various search engines. You might also want to do your own web search to see if you can dig up any other results for “The Villages Florida rentals“.

There’s really not that many listings in the classifieds of The Daily Sun. On an average day you might see 20-30 furnished rentals listed and maybe 5-10 unfurnished rentals listed.

Though you won’t find many rentals listed in the classifieds section on their website, there are some…here’s a link of you are so inclined.

Good luck, and Happy Renting!


  1. Herb Thieme says

    Another source with no real website but accurate and trustworthy help– call TV sales office and ask for rental info; they’ll turn you over to The Villages Hometown Property Management (not ownde by The Villages but closely affiliated). They have a number of furnished and unfurnished homes and villas that all have been inspected and meet their high standards. Or call THPM directly at 877-447-6217 or 352-750-1595.

  2. Linda Wheeling says

    I’d like to find out how many rentals are furnished vs unfurnished. Obviously someone renting for a month or two will want a furnished home. Whereas someone who wants to live at TV for a year before buying their own home may want an unfurnished rental. I assume the monthly rents posted in your article are for a furnished home, maybe one with a golf cart? Do you know if most are furnished, or if there are many homes rented for long term/ unfurnished? I will go to the links you provided and take a look for myself – thanks for giving us those links! But furninshed vs unfurnished is my #1 concern.

  3. thevillagesfloridabook says

    Linda- Someone else might chime in but I’d say its 3 furnished to every 1 unfurnished. Roughly.

  4. john troiano says

    why does the villages real estate not offer va mortgages? or the bank in the villages.?

  5. thevillagesfloridabook says

    John- I don’t know. I didn’t know they didn’t. I’ll look into it.

  6. Linda Wheeling says

    so, most rentals in TV are short term? seasonal? i need to go check all those links!

  7. Courtney Sams says

    Linda – we have a home in TV that we just listed on Don’s website – -and are willing to do short term or long term – for long term we can do furnished or unfurnished. It’s a great house in a great location. It is property #1962. Let me know if you have any interest. Long term rate is negotiable. Thanks!

  8. Gail says

    We used to find the home we’re going to be renting next year. We did the Life Styles Preview in January of this year and fell in love with TV. That’s all it took for us to know we want to live there. We found an unfurnished long term rental and put our deposit down a couple of weeks ago. While there were many more furnished than unfurnished we still found many choices.

  9. Kathleen says

    I’m looking to share rent in a villa and/or home in the villages long term. Any website I can go on to see if anything is available?

  10. Sheri and Curt says

    My husband and I have always had good luck finding rentals in The Villages thru the website (vacation rental by owner . com). You just put in the dates you are looking for and what city (The Villages) and state (Florida) and the website will pop up a list of available rentals along with contact info for the owners. We were very lucky and were able to rent twice a year from the same owner for several years, who even let us keep our suitcases/clothing at the home until the home sold. We would definitely recommend this website for finding an affordable vacation rental in The Villages, or any are to be perfectly honest.

  11. says

    there is also which is a by owner site also that shows rentals and those homes for sale. Happy hunting! by the way, we bought in the area after our rental ventures, not IN the Villages proper due to the excessive crowdedness and congestion during “peak season” but we LOVE the area and The Villages!

  12. john stecher says

    thanks for the above info but are there any homes for the handicap i am in a power wheelchair and need one level.

  13. Sandy says

    Do you know anything about Down Home Property Management Llc ( Vickie Joy)? I am going to rent a home at The Villages through them tomorrow. Thanks.


  14. Maddy says

    Where is the best place to advertise for a rental, I have a 2 bedroom2 bath, nicely furnished very private back yard .Looking to rent long term.

  15. Dolores Schmelzer says

    In regards to the question of Vickie Joy of Down Home Property Management, she has been the manager of our property for over a year now and we couldn’t be happier. Her business has grown so much in that year that her daughter, Stacey, also works with her now.

  16. Bill Keweshan says

    I am in The Villages for the third time. I am renting a home for the month of August. I live two hours away and have no plans to move here permanently but love to be here as much as possible.
    I am still working a bit and have a large family in my home area so my time is somewhat limited.
    I could come up for long weekends and perhaps a few weeks per month. I don’t care abut the time of the year.
    My thought is to have a website where folks like me can be contacted by potential home owners to work out some arrangement for such a situation.
    This might be interesting to some of the owners who don’t bother to rent in the regular market for a number of reasons but might like to defray some of their costs for the home they are not using all the time.
    This could be a very flexible arrangement and would depend on a lot of mutual considerations.
    Sound plausible or too complicated? One alternative is to post on the site Talk of the Villages and see what happens but this is a somewhat limited exposure for the renter.

  17. says

    After looking over a handful of the articles on your blog, I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog.
    I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website
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  18. Rusty & Judy Brown says

    We own 2 patio villas, both of which we rent through Down Home Property Management. We have been VERY pleased with Vickie & Stacey Joy! They have an excellent reputation and offer outstanding service to their clients! They are always extremely attentive to everyone’s needs and concerns!!!

  19. Charlie and Mickey says

    We recently experienced the Lifestyle Preview Program, I strongly recommend it. The Golf Cart was NOT super slow, it was governed at 19 mph, the legal limit for the not street legal carts, the developers did not bother us at all, the location was close to Sumter Landing, the house had everything you needed and was very nice. You can only do the Preview once, so go for the maximum time, it will not be enough. They provided us with tickets to a show at Savannah, tickets to the movie theater, passes for all Villages Amenities including Golf, daily newspaper and discount shopping. If you are considering The Villages take advantage of this program, and visit open houses which occur daily in The Villages.

  20. Cindy Pawley says

    Anyone can access the Daily Sun newspaper on line. You can find rentals in the classified section. We also drove the neighborhood where we wanted to rent, took photos of for rent signs and came home and called them all. The other sites you mentioned all all good resources.

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