Author Topic: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)  (Read 15215 times)

Offline mark

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2018, 04:36:44 PM »
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See, I don't think I can take the stress of that. I hate that about Airbnb. Don't the customers get seriously punished for cancellations? Then the owners should too.

That was our big concern the time we did airbnb for sdcc, luckily it worked out for us. But I don't think I would do an airbnb unless the owner's history was free of cancellations and it looked like people had stayed there during sdcc in past years.

One neighborhood i would recommend, though there doesn't seem to be much listed there at reasonable prices right now, is Little Italy. We have stayed there several times, once at a hotel and once with airbnb and, while it's not a nice and walkable distance from the convention center, it doesn't take long to get there on the trolley and you can use the hotel shuttles in the morning when the trolley is too crowded.

There is also the new Homewood Suites, which is where we had our backup hotel reservation. They do raise prices during sdcc but they have a 2 queen bed suite with a sofa bed and a kitchen. They also have a 2 bedroom suite which isn't currently available during sdcc but it might be worth checking back later as people cancel their backup reservations.

Offline joey125

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #76 on: April 16, 2018, 10:09:48 AM »
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That was our big concern the time we did airbnb for sdcc, luckily it worked out for us. But I don't think I would do an airbnb unless the owner's history was free of cancellations and it looked like people had stayed there during sdcc in past years.

One neighborhood i would recommend, though there doesn't seem to be much listed there at reasonable prices right now, is Little Italy. We have stayed there several times, once at a hotel and once with airbnb and, while it's not a nice and walkable distance from the convention center, it doesn't take long to get there on the trolley and you can use the hotel shuttles in the morning when the trolley is too crowded.

There is also the new Homewood Suites, which is where we had our backup hotel reservation. They do raise prices during sdcc but they have a 2 queen bed suite with a sofa bed and a kitchen. They also have a 2 bedroom suite which isn't currently available during sdcc but it might be worth checking back later as people cancel their backup reservations.

Thanks for the info.

We’re still waiting to hear back today and remain hopeful, but my husband and I have talked about doing this in the past. While I’m not big on roommates in the 2 dbl hotel scenario (although we always used to let people crash and clean up if they were sleeping in hall h line) an Airbnb with multiple bedrooms and a kitchen area is intriguing. When I’ve looked in the past they seem so expensive for two people—even the studios. Have you roomed with a group in the past? Should have asked these questions last year, I just naively assumed we’d get a room as we have in the past.
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Offline Cut That Meat

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #77 on: April 24, 2018, 11:57:15 AM »
Just passing along my tale: normally I'd stay with friends as an ex-SD resident, but this year with a couple extra people in tow, I decided to book an Airbnb for this year. In late February, I snagged a place in my old neighborhood, Clairemont, about 15 minutes from downtown, since I'm very familiar with that area and will be driving in that week. The hosts are not a Superhost which would have been nice, but I am fairly optimistic since I was upfront with them about it being SDCC. They only have a handful of host reviews, but based on all the dates blocked out on their calendar, it looks like a summer-only rental. Fingers crossed. I also believe Airbnb hosts are not allowed to relist for the dates in question if they cancel for no good reason (which admittedly is subject to interpretation).

We ended up negotiating what I thought was a fair price, since they did initially ask for more than their originally listed price. I'm keeping in regular-ish contact with questions and random notes just so we stay on their radar.

Offline clarrkkent

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #78 on: May 02, 2018, 07:27:38 PM »
I’ve rented Airbnb and VRBO before for other travels and been burned once on each. Owners can cancel at any moment and the renter has no recourse.  One instance I was cancelled on 2 weeks out because the “owner” was caught subletting the place.

Airbnb offered a measly 10% “rebate” off the canceled property total that I could use toward another rental. At that point, $60 wasn’t going to do much for $1500 properties now available in the same area.

Always have a refundable backup plan if you NEED a place in a specific area or specific time frame. You don’t want to be left scrambling for a last minute hotel, farther away, and likely triple the price for a last minute booking.




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Offline justboogie

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #79 on: May 03, 2018, 08:49:03 AM »
In 2015 I booked an Airbnb. After booking a condo right in Gaslamp the host turned out to be a scammer and stopped returning my emails and phone calls just a few months before CC. I contacted Airbnb and I was able to get my deposit back 100% with credit to book future Airbnb's. It turns out that the host had scammed multiple people. After that experience, and the fact that hosts charge an arm, leg, and your first born during CC, I will never go through Airbnb for SDCC. I'm sure other people have had pleasant experiences, but for me it was too much of a hassle.
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Offline dolphina

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #80 on: May 03, 2018, 03:20:22 PM »
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Just passing along my tale: normally I'd stay with friends as an ex-SD resident, but this year with a couple extra people in tow, I decided to book an Airbnb for this year. In late February, I snagged a place in my old neighborhood, Clairemont, about 15 minutes from downtown, since I'm very familiar with that area and will be driving in that week. The hosts are not a Superhost which would have been nice, but I am fairly optimistic since I was upfront with them about it being SDCC. They only have a handful of host reviews, but based on all the dates blocked out on their calendar, it looks like a summer-only rental. Fingers crossed. I also believe Airbnb hosts are not allowed to relist for the dates in question if they cancel for no good reason (which admittedly is subject to interpretation).

We ended up negotiating what I thought was a fair price, since they did initially ask for more than their originally listed price. I'm keeping in regular-ish contact with questions and random notes just so we stay on their radar.
I didn't realize you could negotiate, I thought what was listed was the price, didn't realize there was wiggle room for negotiating.
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Offline Cut That Meat

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #81 on: May 07, 2018, 11:27:18 AM »
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I didn't realize you could negotiate, I thought what was listed was the price, didn't realize there was wiggle room for negotiating.

In my case, I submitted the request to book with a message indicating it was for SDCC. Without accepting my booking request - they did not have Instant Book available as an option - they asked for a higher nightly rate than listed. As the listed rate was pretty reasonable to begin with and under my group's original budget, I countered with an amount that wouldn't break the group's budget and they accepted.

This is the only time I've negotiated price, as this is the first time I've used Airbnb in a situation with heightened demand and not just a normal trip. Since hosts are free to modify prices prior to accepting/confirming the reservation (unless it's Instant Book), I'm guessing you can always just message them directly and work it out from there. Think of it like eBay's Best Offer function.

In the case of SDCC, I would imagine hosts become more willing to be flexible as it gets closer to July and their listings remain available. Insert the usual caveats to tread carefully, YMMV, etc.

Offline Cut That Meat

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #82 on: October 17, 2018, 05:01:28 PM »
Figured I'd follow up on this in case anyone is thinking about looking into Airbnb or a similar rental service.

My 2018 stay went off without a hitch. The place was as advertised, I got a good rate per person, and am very pleased with the experience. I plan to grab another Airbnb for 2019, although this time with air conditioning!

Obviously Airbnb always carries a bit of risk whether it's SDCC or not, but I think the horror stories from years past aren't as common now. It's up to you how much you're willing to take on. If you are thinking about Airbnb though, I'd do the following to maximize peace of mind:

1) Avoid places/hosts with no or very few reviews (Superhost is recommended).

2) Don't book a place via Instant Book. Instead, look for listings where the host has to actively approve your booking request. With rare exceptions, if a host cancels for no good reason, they just can't relist their place at a higher rate (see You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login). However, if you book via Instant Book, they do have a little more room to bail on you and be able to relist without penalty (hence my tip #2; see You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login).

3) If you are still worried they are going to pull the rug out from under you, you can do what I did last year and be upfront in your message to the host about it being SDCC week. If they accept your request as is, great! If they ask for a higher rate, decide whether you want to negotiate or simply move on to the next listing.

5) Keep in regular contact with your host in the months leading up to your stay.

As far as the ongoing debate over short-term vacation rentals in San Diego, maybe a local can weigh in but it looks like the status quo will remain at least through SDCC 2019, based on You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login and
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Offline lawhoo

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #83 on: May 02, 2019, 07:54:07 AM »
I guess I have the horror story.  Rented a place through HomeAway in what looked to be a great location (a short walk to SDCC) at a good rate.  The owner just informed me that he's cancelling the reservation because he got "evicted" from his place.  Yet, when I go to HomeAway, I see that he's listing the place at a 4x increase on the rate.  I did get my deposit back (yeah!), but HomeAway has been no help at all regarding this guy's relisting of the place or in helping me get some restitution from this guy's shenanigans.  Additionally, he cancelled AFTER the SDCC lottery process had completed, so I didn't get an opportunity to throw my hat into that ring. 

I did manage to find a place by the airport near a trolley station, but I'm paying significantly more (snagging something downtown is way out of the budget).  Given what I've seen about AirBNB, I think I'd stay away from HomeAway, they have been less than useless in this process and in helping me out. 
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Offline marcia29

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #84 on: May 02, 2019, 08:09:36 AM »
Wow..that is horrible.  Glad you got your deposit back, and that you were able to find something.  I appreciate you relating your experience!!

Offline TardisMom

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #85 on: May 02, 2019, 08:42:31 AM »
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I guess I have the horror story.  Rented a place through HomeAway in what looked to be a great location (a short walk to SDCC) at a good rate.  The owner just informed me that he's cancelling the reservation because he got "evicted" from his place.  Yet, when I go to HomeAway, I see that he's listing the place at a 4x increase on the rate.  I did get my deposit back (yeah!), but HomeAway has been no help at all regarding this guy's relisting of the place or in helping me get some restitution from this guy's shenanigans.  Additionally, he cancelled AFTER the SDCC lottery process had completed, so I didn't get an opportunity to throw my hat into that ring. 

I did manage to find a place by the airport near a trolley station, but I'm paying significantly more (snagging something downtown is way out of the budget).  Given what I've seen about AirBNB, I think I'd stay away from HomeAway, they have been less than useless in this process and in helping me out.

Sorry this happened to you!  It must be a new owner who didn't realize he could gouge people during SDCC. 

Offline puppy

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2019, 09:17:14 AM »
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I guess I have the horror story.  Rented a place through HomeAway in what looked to be a great location (a short walk to SDCC) at a good rate.  The owner just informed me that he's cancelling the reservation because he got "evicted" from his place.  Yet, when I go to HomeAway, I see that he's listing the place at a 4x increase on the rate.  I did get my deposit back (yeah!), but HomeAway has been no help at all regarding this guy's relisting of the place or in helping me get some restitution from this guy's shenanigans.  Additionally, he cancelled AFTER the SDCC lottery process had completed, so I didn't get an opportunity to throw my hat into that ring. 

I did manage to find a place by the airport near a trolley station, but I'm paying significantly more (snagging something downtown is way out of the budget).  Given what I've seen about AirBNB, I think I'd stay away from HomeAway, they have been less than useless in this process and in helping me out.


Ooh.  So sorry.  It's why I can't risk renting such places for SDCC.

Offline Devorah

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2019, 10:25:51 AM »
I did an AirBNB once and I would never do it again. It worked out great and was in a fantastic location right next to Marriott Gaslamp, but despite that it just wasn't worth the stress.

I worried right up until we got there that there would be an issue or a last minute cancellation. When we checked in I got the feeling that things weren't quite on the level with the place as the woman told us to lie to the neighbors about being "friends of the owner". So I was stressing about that too the whole time we were there.

So again, even though it worked out, I wouldn't do it again. As a Planner with a capital P, my heart just can't take the uncertainty of it all.

Offline stl_ben

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #88 on: May 02, 2019, 11:24:16 AM »
I've had Air BnB work out fine, and not fine.
Ive learned to be upfront when you book the place and let them know you are there for SDCC.  If you omit that, once they realize its that weekend its likely they will cancel / up charge. 

Offline Cut That Meat

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Re: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)
« Reply #89 on: July 28, 2019, 08:10:48 PM »
Just wanted to report back on my Airbnb stay. No issues again for a second straight year. It probably helps that both years I've done Airbnb that I stay a little further out (this year, in the Allied Gardens neighborhood northeast of the football stadium) where there's less likely to be sketchy listings than in or around downtown.