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Take advantage of late summer rentals

Wednesday - 8/17/2011, 2:44pm  ET

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Summer is slipping away, but it's not too late for a great rental.

Not only are there more last-minute deals available than usual, many are cheaper. Vacation rentals can be as much as 40 percent less than this time last year, according to PackLate.com.

Thank the soft real estate market for that availability. Slow sales have more property owners willing to rent out their places.

Smartmoney.com suggests asking the local Chamber of Commerce about word-of-mouth deals or "friending" a rental's Facebook page to get user reviews.

Also, never wire deposit money even if it's last minute.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)