My family and I are interested in renting a beach house somewhere in the Outer Banks. Two family members will be paying the entire rental fee for everyone.
Is it rude and/or insulting to negotiate the rental fee with a property owner? Especially this late in the season when the home still has open weeks? Anywhere on this site or another where I could post what we are looking for and what we are willing to pay? That way, perhaps vacation homeowners could find me/my request?
Starting off a conversation by requesting a reduction in rent and/or fees is not the best way to approach an owner
Have you searched the homeaway and vrbo sites for "specials"? There are properties that have an odd week or two open and owners may have reduced their rates to draw interest.
It is not rude or insulting to ask for or negotiate a rental rate. The manner in which it is done is often the issue for owners. Be friendly - talk about your family or group, your interests, your intention to treat their property with care (have you rented previously and did you have a good experience?), and then talk about the rate.
Don't speak as if you are entitled to or expect substantial discounts on rents and fees.
Have you done some research on the rates for the area and type/size of housing you are interested in renting? This should help you have a realistic idea of the cost and possible reduction you would receive. This will prevent you from being disappointed to learn that what you are "willing" to pay and what the housing you are interested in commands are two VERY different amounts.
My suggestion as an owner would be tell you to choose a house that is close (within 10%) of your budget. Please don't pick a $5,000 house when your budget is $2000. Don't start off in the inquiry with asking for a discount, simply inquire about the rates and leave it at that. After getting the rates, let the owner know that you are on a budget and would love to stay at their property and would they have any last minute specials to offer to put this property in your budget. See, you are asking for a special, not asking for the house for less than it's worth. That will impart the feeling to the owner that you think their house is worth less than they are asking and that you will treat it as such. Again, don't pick a house way out of your budget because you think the owner is desperate and you would be doing them a favor by giving them some portion of the going rate.