Cape Cod a renter's market?

Certain unlikely word combinations—"delicious haggis" or "budget Tuscany," for example—really stand out. So you can see why the headline, Cape Cod is a renter's market this summer, just about made me fall out of my chair.

For years, the conventional wisdom has been that if you don't book your summer Cape Cod rental six months to a year in advance, you'll be lucky to find a cardboard box to sleep in. But a recent Boston Globe article paints a different picture for this summer, one with more rental options and some major discounts offered by owners desperate to offset steep mortgages with those summer rents.

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If you do decide to jump at this opportunity for summer sand and sun, remember to make sure you understand what you're getting into before renting a house. If you want to be at the beach every waking hour, make sure the house you rent isn't miles from shore; if you want isolation, check that the rental isn't along a heavily trafficked stretch; and so on. And, ask about those extra beach-vacation-house amenities such as barbeques and inflatable beach toys so you can pack accordingly.

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