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Old 03-02-2011, 06:38 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,728 times
Reputation: 10

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My spouse and I are interested to purchase a property in Orlando (mainly for investment purpose).

So far, we have contacted a few buyer agents in Orlando (via emails). One of them is rather prompt and detail. However, she requires payment from me (buyer) as well, though not the full amount (amount to be split with the seller). A $500 to kick start the service, which will be offset from the total bill. Is that the norm?

She has relevant certifications like GRI, CBA, CEBA, RRC, CIIPS, ABR, ABRM, RECS. Do having all these certs mean that she is "good"? I am afraid of a bait and switch situation here, if I use her service.

How is the rental market there now? Is it hard to find a tenant?

Notice that properties in Orlando has not been appreciating since YR2000. Does that mean that properties are not worth much there? Since the main industry is Tourism?

As we will not be relocating to Orlando, hence we need a good property management company. Heard many scary stories about bad property management company, are there any ways to "test" the company before I sign up for their service?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:06 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,965,749 times
Reputation: 12963
DO NOT PAY IN ADVANCE FOR AN AGENTS SERVICES. PERIOD!

That said, tourism is NOT our only industry, and anymore we are wisely getting less and less dependent on it. That said, unless you are buying a place to rent long term in the right neighborhood, I hope you aren't expecting much of a return on your investment. The short term (vacation) rental market is ridiculously oversaturated, and there are only certain areas zoned for this type of scheme, so competition is fierce and many properties are only rented 10-15 weeks of the year. Few if any are rented more than 35 weeks a year.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Orlando FL
1,065 posts, read 3,672,952 times
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I too do not recommend short-term rental properties. Long-term rental properties however can show a good return on investment and can cash flow. As long as you stick to the better neighborhoods and area's, and are realistic with what to expect to get in rent, you can expect the right home to rent in less than 30 days as well.

The best way to "test" a property management company is to get references. About 90% of my business is working with long-term investors interested in Central Florida. I have an outside management company I can recommend, or can offer these services in-house depending on your preference.

As for certifications. All they usually mean is that the agent has gone through educational classes (many they don't even test for skills learned, just that you attended the classes). And while an agent that has them shows they at least have pursued industry education beyond the minimum (the minimum education to become an agent is almost a joke) a designation is no substitute for experience. So make sure any agent you choose has worked with investors and knows how to evaluate a property and match each with your end goals.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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We are looking for long term rental. Which are the areas to look out for?
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:53 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,965,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camel2011 View Post
We are looking for long term rental. Which are the areas to look out for?
Depends on the investment you want to make. You aren't likely getting good tenants or going to be located in a good neighborhood if you buy a $50K house.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Orlando FL
1,065 posts, read 3,672,952 times
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I find the best rental properties to be close to or in Downtown Orlando, the newer parts of Windermere and Winter Garden, Near UCF and Waterford Lakes, parts of Lake Mary, and the Lake Nona and Lee Vista Area's.

However depending on the price range you want to stay within, as well as the types of properties you wanted to invest in, the rental price ranges you felt comfortable with, the number of properties you wanted to purchase and a myriad of other investment criteria...the area's and properties I would recommend to meet your goals can change.

It is all about your personal risk tolerance, means, and goals.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
26 posts, read 60,809 times
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Don't pay an upfront fee for a Realtor... I don't know that I've heard of that from a BUYER. I think the rental market down here is pretty good - I just moved out of an overpriced apartment complex that was at 98% occupancy. For long term occupants, anything out towards the growing Medical City is good, but I don't think that it's "booming" just yet. You can't go wrong with things downtown or close to downtown and stuff up near UCF. Finding the right property management company is REALLY important since you don't live locally. And one that won't nickle and dime you to death, by performing maintenance and making repairs on their own instead of contracting out every single leaky faucet. I don't want to plug anyone specific but I know of two good ones you could try if you want to PM me feel free. Whatever management company you go with, see if you can get some testimonials. Just talk to the people that you'll be dealing with and your gut will tell you what you need to know.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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As others said, DO NOT pay an upfront fee!

Buyer's agents share the commission with the selling/listing agent. That's how they make money.

I am an overseas real estate investor (owning one house and one condo in Orlando area), but always think that I will move here some time down the road.
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