“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.
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 in The Villages?
The time from November through April 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, below you can see the rental rates for one home I found, a 3/2 Designer in Lake Deaton.
It’s clear to see just how much the rates change over the course of the year, depending on the season:
Keep in mind that the rates in that chart are not necessarily what it would cost for you to rent a similar home long term. Remember, we’re just talking about coming for a few weeks or a month to get a feel for the place.
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.
Finding a Rental
As you can see by the list that follows, there are A LOT of places to look for 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 VIR Group – 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.
The Villages Hometown Property Management – This is the developer’s rental division, so you’ll usually find a wide selection of rentals to choose from here.
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.
VillagersHomes4Rent.com – Started by Villages resident Don Crosby, and now managed and run by his daughter Judy VillagersHomes4Rent.com has literally hundreds of rentals listed on their site. This is not a website for full-service rentals. Private homeowners simply pay a fee to have their home and contact information listed on the site.
VillagesforRent.com – This site is run by JD & V Property Management, offering full-service management for owners of the homes that are listed for rent.
VacationRentals.com – This is another national site, similar to VRBO mentioned above.
ERA Rents – This is the rentals website for one of the bigger real estate companies in the area, and they have a decent sized property management division.
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“.
Good luck, and Happy Renting!