I recently purchased a vacation rental online at VRBO for a cabin in the Cascades during the month of February. I was looking for a cabin closer to Steven’s Pass but ended up finding one closer to the town of Leavenworth, due to the short lead time and resulting lower available inventory of homes for rent. I paid $169/night for the cabin, one of the better values available. The VRBO interface made it easy to compare between cabins, amenities, location, and price to find a best match. Overall I was pleased with the purchase, but the rental experience didn’t quite meet my expectations of the surrounding area from information presented on the website. Information on each vacation rental clearly communicated features and amenities of the rental itself but failed to provide details on the neighbors. The cabin was in a beautiful area (check) in the snow (check), with a deck (check), a fire place (check), a gas grill (check), two bedrooms and one bath (check), clean and well kept (check), and conveniently close to town (check). All the settings for a peaceful experience, except for the 2 neighborhood homes a stone’s throw away that drive snowmobiles in their yard and the vacation rentals yard from sunrise to sunset and sometime after. I wouldn’t want to drive to each vacation rental to inspect the situation with neighbors, not feasible. It’s hard to replace the value of an in-situ experience in selecting a vacation rental (most people wouldn’t want to buy a home without visiting it first either), but having a rate the neighbors meter or more information from previous renters on the website about the neighbors would help in judging the price-experience-value for the rental and set expectations for the buyer beyond just the amenities of the rental itself.