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Old 09-28-2010, 07:53 AM
 
6 posts, read 29,717 times
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We are looking to buy a vacation home in Orlando area. Does any one own a vacation home there? Which county would be a better choice? We are now looking at orlando and kissimmee area. We have 2 girls, 1 and 3 year. We are planning to spend at least 2 months each year. Do we need to buy a car or can we just rent a car for the time we are staying there? If we decide to spend a year, does it have good preschools for the girls? What is the property tax like? And is it easy to rent the house out? We would prefer a condo so that someone else will do the maintaining job. I looked through the threads here and saw a high crime rate out in Orlando, what are the areas I should avoid? We've never bought a vacation home before, so any advice and suggestions are highly appreciated and very welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Orlando FL
1,065 posts, read 3,739,079 times
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If you are planning on renting the property to vacationer's during the parts of the year you will not be using the property you would have to purchase a property in an area zoned for short-term rentals.

Typically these area are not going to have good public schools, private pre-schools though are everywhere, you'd just have to do a bit of research to find one within a close enough driving distance.

Buying vs. renting a car, is going to be purely a personal decision. I'd get some quotes for 1-2 month car rentals down there to figure the cost, then see how inexpensively you can purchase and store a car here that meets your needs.

Property taxes you can typically estimate to be approximately 2% of the value of the home per year or less. They do change every year based on what the property is worth. The county property appraiser's office has all the taxing information posted publically though so you can look up the taxes for any given property you may be looking at. Your agent can assist.

Renting any property out easily or not will of course depend on where you purchase, the community, and your property manager. If doing short term rental the property manager and maintenance will cost quite a bit extra along with small licensing fee's you have to pay operating essentially a hotel. For short term rental though, typically the closer you are to disney the better it will be to rent out, also taking into consideration community amenities for your visitors. STR's are usually quite irratic though in terms of your vacancy rate though, so don't purchase unless you are capable of supporting the vacation home on your own with a very low occupancy rate for a couple years until repeat vacationer's start coming back to your place.

What was your budget for the property? And what size did you need? These will help us narrow down what area's we can suggest.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:41 PM
 
433 posts, read 1,089,164 times
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I agree with Greg.. you will need to make SURE that you can cover all costs, in case the home will not rent out while you are gone.

Good properties in Osceola county, with some #'s for you to consider:
Address Type Sales Price Sq ft Pr Sq/ft money down P&I Tax/Ins Total Upkeep Util Actual Monthly Pmt
7926 GOLDEN POND CIR 4 bed 2bath 160,000.00 1,975 $ 81.01 32,000.00 128,000.00 742.40 $ 316.67 $ 1,059.07 $ 250.000 360.00 $ 1,669.07
2683 AUTUMN CREEK CIR 4 bed 3bath 189,900.00 1,761 $ 107.84 37,980.00 151,920.00 881.14 $ 354.04 $ 1,235.18 $ 250.000 360.00 $ 1,845.18
8109 POMO DR 5 bed 4 bath 180,000.00 2,136 $ 84.27 36,000.00 144,000.00 835.20 $ 341.67 $ 1,176.87 $ 250.000 360.00 $ 1,786.87
3163 BRITANNIA BLVD 4 bed 3 bath 125,000.00 1,616 $ 77.35 25,000.00 100,000.00 580.00 $ 272.92 $ 852.92 $ 250.000 330.00 $ 1,432.92

If you want some help, I can point you in the right direction with other questions you have.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Orlando and The Villages
36 posts, read 62,803 times
Reputation: 45
Default Hi Xuan - We are in the same boat

We live in NJ and have been looking also for a condo to enjoy now and goto after retirement. I have been researching since January and made a trip last month to view some condo's in Hunter's Creek. This is a nice area....not far from the attractions and quiet enough so you aren't in the middle of the hubbub. You might want to check out Capri condo's and Golfview...although with small children you might want something with more children.
I crossed out: Metrowest. I had an agent try to steer me there and the crime rate is high so I read. Beautiful condo's though.
Anything under 50,000...LOL I was so excited about short sales and foreclosures in this price range but you get what you pay for; bad neighborhoods or condo's that have seen better days.
The area's I initially looked at in Kissimmee seemed to be a little to transient for our taste so if you're looking for something to eventually live in and enjoy I woudn't go there, but Celebration is nice IF you can afford it and the high HOA fee's. Laguna Beach is also short term rental but still looked like something we were interested in. Flora Park looks nice and that's off 192 near Disney. We are looking at Tivoli Gardens townhomes near Vista Lake...so far I like what I see and would like any input anyone can give me about this complex. I already know about the WWII bombing range....LOL. Nice construction and out of the way....I guess since it's next to the old bombing range there won't be any mini-malls going up any time soon! Good Luck Xuan!
(Zillow web site isn't updated, but will give you an idea of where the nicer complexes are, and google earth has been good for my research also.)
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:09 PM
 
136 posts, read 466,428 times
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Conway Methodist is a great pre-school off Conway Road. Great teachers! It is an older school in an older neighborhood...parts of the surrounding areas aren't nice, not an area I would want to live. I lived iin Lake Nona off 417 & Narcoossee Road one exit from the airport. There is a wide range of home prices in that area and Conway Pre-school is only about 15 minutes. Our kids were also at St. John Vianney off Orange Blossom Trail near Florirda Mall. It is a decent school, also not in a great area but not horrible. The teachers are not as great as the teachers at Conway Methodist. We loved the director and the teachers at Conway.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:32 PM
 
184 posts, read 382,887 times
Reputation: 109
We have a vacation townhome in Summerport, in Windermere and love it. It's safe and only 6-7 miles from DW and 2 miles from the new Winter Garden Village shopping center.We bought here, to be close to Disney. PLUS we never have to go on 4. The only road we use to get to Disney, in minutes, is 535 and also 535 to the shopping center.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:38 AM
 
4,190 posts, read 4,387,133 times
Reputation: 2228
Just rent a place when you want to visit Fl.
- Property Taxes - In Fl, if you won't live in the home and homestead it, the property taxes can be raised as much as the county wants to raise them. I owned rental property for years and it killed me to get a 25 percent increase in my property taxes each year during the 99-2006 time frame. If the property has the homestead exemption, the limit is usually just 2 percent, excluding school levy, fire levy etc. The county can get around the homestead if it wants too.
- Property Insurance - If you buy a place near the water, the insurance is more expensive. A vacation home might have to use the state insurance company "Citizens", because nobody else might give you insurance. The home insurance business here was really tough a few years ago due to "back to back" hurricanes. One bad thing about Citizens Insurance is by law, it has to charge more than any other private insurance agency.
- Renting out your home - It would require a commercial insurance policy, which once again, might limit you to Citizens.
- Value - Make money on this investment? Maybe. Right now there are a huge number of condo's on the market. Some might be worth a look, but there were some that were just "slapped up" and are now falling apart.
- At the end of the day is it worth the financial risk. I would say no. Real Estate in FL is still going down in most of the state, economy is still very soft here. You might find a "good by", but being a long
distance land lord/property owner can be difficult. Especially in Hurricane country like FL.
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