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RISMEDIA, Feb. 6, 2008-Even though temperatures outside are still hovering near freezing and Fourth of July heat is months away, now is the time to find better oceanfront summer rentals on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the New Jersey Shore or the Maine Coast.

“Winter is the time to select vacation homes in the great locations, with the most amenities and at the best values,” said Diane S. Turton, who is the broker of record for Diane Turton, Realtors, a leading residential real estate firm that has been serving the Jersey Shore for over 20 years.

Families or couples often begin their search by contacting real estate firms that have an office in the waterfront community where they plan to spend their summer vacation. They talk with rental agents about the types of homes or condos that are available on NJ’s Long Beach Island, New York’s Fire Island, the Hamptons, Cape Cod and other seaside areas. Also, renters need to provide details about their vacation dates, budget and the amenities such as air conditioning, hot tub, big screen or Internet access that they want in the home. With those facts, the agent can scan the firm’s inventory and quickly prepare a list of suitable summer rentals.

Skilled agents can also suggest rental options that first-time or experienced renters may overlook. Families, couples and adults 55-years or older usually want different types of summer homes. Local agents will guide renters by providing details about communities, recreational activities, nightlife, restaurants and special events that occur during the summer.

With those facts, prospective renters can view the properties by visiting, for example, The website has photos and details about each home. Even though the Web is a useful tool when searching for a summer rental, agents ask their clients to visit a few properties before making a final decision. Taking the time to see the property is a good idea.

“Now, during the off-season it is easy to visit a number of rental homes in less than hour,” said Pam McGuire, who manages the Diane Turton, Realtors’ Lavallette office.

While visiting the location, the agent can explain what it is like to stay in the community for a week or two. And, the agent can answer questions about parking, beach passes and much more.

“When our clients see their summer home and walk around the community, they get very enthusiastic about vacationing here,” said Denise Bousanti, who manages the firm’s Beach Haven office on Long Beach Island.

Before searching for your summer rental, here are some questions to ask:

– Who is going? – Count heads including guests, then decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms will be needed.
– What are price ranges for properties? – Prices begin at $950 a week for a modest cottage and go up to $12,000 a week for a grand Victorian by the ocean.
– When is your vacation? – Families can save money by renting in May, late September or October, while rents are market rates during July and August.

For more information, visit or call 1-877-DTURTON.