It is bordered on the west by the Gulf of Mexico and the east by the Intercoastal Waterway. This is the draw. The proximity to clean ocean water is right at hand.
The majority of residents are high-rolling retirees...but seasonal visitors want less pricey accommodations.
With the economy the way it is, many sites have gone vacant for several months. When you call or email for info on a rental in Sunset Beach, ALWAYS think to negotiate.
The best advice I can give you is to do a quick mental calculation, and counter-offer at 20%-30% lower.
* Here's what you have going for you: Property taxes and hurricane insurance on these places are astronomical...and they increase each year. If an owner can get SOME money, to cover those costs that drain their accounts, they will take it.
Do not be adversarial, just say something light, like "Hmmm, that would take up a lot of my funds. I was looking for something in the $$$ price range. Which of your NEIGHBORING rentals are more in line with that?"
Let them come down. Property owners hate to see cash flow slipping away. Trust me, they have inflated the rent because of the slow economy, and their huge carrying costs. Be easy-going, but stick to your guns of 20%-30% lower on the real pricey rentals.
Give them your number. Say, "Well, please call me back if something opens up in my price range."
Remember, the longer you want to stay, the better you can negotiate down the price. If you plan to stay a month or more, I'd go for a 50% cut, unless there is a formal price quote for extended stays. (Then go back to your shot at a 20% - 30% drop.)
The vast differences in Sunset Beach rentals
These condos have a lot of amenities, but they can cost about $1500/week. You need to get that down to about $1000.
Houses can run about the same. Make sure you visit each one before signing anything, though.
There are more rustic accommodations for lower rates.
Cottages can also be pricey. Several look romantic, but have lousy TV reception and showers that are 24"x24". ALWAYS checkout cottages. ALWAYS look to negotiate down.
The Villas down at the far southern end have leased for under $600/month, recently. They are small efficiency apartments, but artists and writers seem to like them.
Whatever you decide about Sunset Beach rentals, make sure you do your "due diligence" research.