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Old 10-25-2008, 12:29 PM
 
739 posts, read 867,043 times
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Just curious if you were to make this investment, where would you go and why? Obvoiusly you'd want the best chance to have it booked most weeks/months of the year.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:10 PM
Status: "Happy Holidays!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Miami
6,476 posts, read 13,137,023 times
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I would buy one in a place I would want to vacation at, and that isn't in Florida. So make sure its in a place you would want to vacation. Also most 2nd homes are within in 3 hour car ride, of ones primary home I believe they say.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
6,778 posts, read 12,875,200 times
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Your safest bet, if you are looking to buy and rental and keep it rented would be as close to the beach as possible. I live on the west coast of Florida and love it here. Try Englewood, Venice or Sarasota-most of the beach rentals stay rented a good portion of the year. The rental company that I deal with says that he can't get enough pool homes to rent. So I would look for a home with a community pool or one that has a private pool. Although some landlords don't want the liability or up keep of a pool.

Another idea would be closer to Disney World. A lot of people visit Florida to go there.

Good luck with your venture!
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,381 posts, read 3,674,703 times
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The first real introduction I had to vacation/seasonal rentals was when I first moved to Naples Florida back in the early 1990's.
On my street in the Moorings there was a home that was used seasonally. A retired Doctor from Canada rented the house every year, paying $6500/month for 6 months a year. When I heard that I thought wow lets rent our house each year. Find a house on the panhandle and rent in during the summer and live off-season migrating from one house to another. Then the shock value of the monthly rent price wore off and I came to my senses.

The seasonal/vacation rental investment model does work. I have customers from the UK that purchased waterfront properties in Punta Gorda Isles as rental properties. They average over 40 weeks/year occupancy with an average weekly rent of over $1000. The property model is a 3/2 with heated pool. They have hired local husband/wife teams that handle the change over and grounds/pool maintenance. They get all their clients by advertising on vacation rental websites. One of the things that surprised me was their success in the summer months. Most people drop the rate drastically but by targeting UK and European portals they have been able to do a good business without big cuts.

Several years ago an investor bought a good number of properties on Venice Island that he turned into vacation rentals. The location provides walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, and golf which keeps the properties rented most of the year.

Most of the vacation rental websites will have calendars as well as rates/fees published, so you can quickly learn what you could expect in a given location. Most vacation rentals charge a cleaning fee over and above the rental rates so the costs associated with the turnover are a wash.

By choosing a good location and buying right, you can operate in the black with the added benefit of having your own vacation property.

The two areas of primary concern will be insurance and taxes. Coastal areas are where most people want to vacation so insurance will be higher and you will not be able to homestead so taxes will be subject to increase if the market goes up. Of course market appreciation could be part of a exit plan.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:03 AM
 
Location: warwick UK
2 posts, read 22,554 times
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Hi,
This is my first attempt at this so please bear with me! I am a recently widowed 49 year old in the UK, and have decided to sell my property here and buy a 3 bed 2 bath with pool probably in Venice, Florida. I have done a lot of research and think after all expenses I can still make at least $10,000 a year renting it. I love golf and can also use it to bring my family and escape the crappy English winter!! I think the American housing market will recover quicker than the UK housing market, so with any luck it will be a sound investment - watch this space!!
Sezipip.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:00 AM
 
23,995 posts, read 32,322,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sezipip View Post
Hi,
This is my first attempt at this so please bear with me! I am a recently widowed 49 year old in the UK, and have decided to sell my property here and buy a 3 bed 2 bath with pool probably in Venice, Florida. I have done a lot of research and think after all expenses I can still make at least $10,000 a year renting it. I love golf and can also use it to bring my family and escape the crappy English winter!! I think the American housing market will recover quicker than the UK housing market, so with any luck it will be a sound investment - watch this space!!
Sezipip.

I think you're highly over-estimating how many weeks you'll keep it rented. Additionally, if you sell your home in the UK, where will you live when the US home is rented?
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,381 posts, read 3,674,703 times
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When you look at the seasonal rental market you need to compare the typical approach, which is the one month minimum rental, to the vacation rental approach which is a weekly minimum.

When looking at renting in the Venice area be aware that many communities have rental restrictions. The type of restrictions run the spectrum of limiting the frequency or the duration, or both. In some communities the tenant may even need to be approved. So be sure that your read the recorded Home Owner Association documents.

The city of Venice has attempted to control weekly rentals in neighborhoods, but thus far court challenges have decided in favor of the home owners right to rent their properties.

Most property managers will not handle weekly rentals, so if looking into vacation rentals you will need to search out the few property managers that will deal with weekly rentals or look into self management.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
268 posts, read 591,229 times
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Bob -

For a long time, I was thinking about buying abroad. I dropped $5k in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil then walked away (safety reasons). Flipped a property on Costa Rica, would have stayed there but to many Americans/overpriced/overrated. Right now I am looking at downtown Fort Lauderdale. I am 43/single/ no kids. I travel at will and only need my Laptop. I own a Condo in Daytona but don't live there full-time due to differents in lifestyles (98% retirees/no singles/no much to do - I also rent it).

Sezipip -

Try Marbella or Benalmadena (Spain). I was just there and saw many Brits. The Costa de Sol is a direct flight (3 hours to England Malaga-London) and I saw a lot of Brits there, only one American in 2 months! Personally, Malaga area is typical european, people seem rude and espanolos keep to themselves. Dogsh*t on the sidewalks, etc. Econmy there is horrible and a lot of Brits have Pubs and small eateries for sale... and they can't give them away! But seems like good deals can be had in south coast of Spain due to Spain's horrible economy. Check it out! What you got to lose?

One poster says 3 hour by car, your vacation home; good tip, but what if you want to buy abroad? Well it's a hard call to make... dropping $300.000.00 for a vaction home in these hard times is enough to stress anyone out.

FWIW: I'm looking at California also. I used to live out there. Heading back for a 30 day experiement trip; Los Angeles area.

Last edited by The Floridian; 04-28-2009 at 10:09 AM..
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
4,669 posts, read 8,634,129 times
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I don't know anyone in the Panhandle, even those who bought pre-boom, that manages to be cashflow positive on a vacation property when a mortgage was involved. A short term rental agency will take their 25-40% comission off the top, and there are going to be shrinkage and breakage issues issues that range from the annoying to the expensive. If you're in a condo association or a high amenity HOA, special assessments are also pretty common, especially since many insurance policies won't cover full cost of storm damage.

I've heard the same thing about the Orlando area- too many people trying to do Just That, massive overbuilding happened and in order to book rentals, you have to price your weeks lower than your cost of ownership.

Only buy a vacation home here if you a) utterly love the area enough that you want to spend a lot of time there and b) don't feel like you're having to cut into other investment projects to do so, and from there, assume any rental income after management fees, insurance and taxes to be a pleasant bonus rather than a way of justifying the purchase.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:11 PM
 
Location: South Walton Florida
187 posts, read 686,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
I don't know anyone in the Panhandle, even those who bought pre-boom, that manages to be cashflow positive on a vacation property when a mortgage was involved. A short term rental agency will take their 25-40% comission off the top, and there are going to be shrinkage and breakage issues issues that range from the annoying to the expensive. If you're in a condo association or a high amenity HOA, special assessments are also pretty common, especially since many insurance policies won't cover full cost of storm damage.

I've heard the same thing about the Orlando area- too many people trying to do Just That, massive overbuilding happened and in order to book rentals, you have to price your weeks lower than your cost of ownership.

Only buy a vacation home here if you a) utterly love the area enough that you want to spend a lot of time there and b) don't feel like you're having to cut into other investment projects to do so, and from there, assume any rental income after management fees, insurance and taxes to be a pleasant bonus rather than a way of justifying the purchase.
You know I don't wish to debate you on this point however, do you remember my WaterSound Beach Thread on that lesser message board? That home I called out as a vacation rental winner was loaded with examples and sold almost immediately in front of the whole message board.

I'm scared to get involved with vacation rentals on speculation that they will appreciate their way to profits. I am stuck with the simple old school theory of cash flow off rental or it's just to rich for my blood.
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