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Old 11-16-2008, 09:30 PM
Location: maryland
7 posts, read 28,413 times
Reputation: 16


We are in search of a condo (2-3 Bedrooms) that is within walking distance to the beach. Since this will be a 2nd home, we would like to have the option of renting it out, when we are not there (7 day minimum)...

After 2 recent visits, we have narrowed down our search to a couple of properties within our price range (maximum $250K - although less is better).

Any opinions on Madeira Bay Condos near John's Pass? It's a newer building - across the street from the beach (not on the beach) that has an onsite rental program with no limitations on owners usage...

We also like Gulfwinds and Friendly Native in St Pete Beach as they also seem to rent well... Any others that I missed?

We found a very interesting condo called Avalon (Clearwater). The 2 bedroom units are much less $$ (100k to 150k) and larger (1100 sqft) but the complex is a couple of miles from the beach. It was built in 2000 as apts but converted in 2005 to condos. The builder made a lot of improvements to include a beautiful pool and fitness room. But there is not much written that I can find for rental history. Most of the folks that I found onsite were yearly tenants, although the complex has a 7 nite minimum. The condo fee is $400/month plus a special assessment of 6K that can be paid over 2 years...

I realize that rents are down and won't cover all my expenses but I really like these areas...

Any opinions are welcomed.

Thanks, Joe
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:26 PM
38 posts, read 115,037 times
Reputation: 27
There are only really 3 rules in real estate and they are:

1. Location

2. Location

3. Location

St. Pete's Beach wins hands down!

There's a reason the condos at St. Pete's Beach cost more. They are closer to the beach, closer to the touristy things, and easier to re-sell or rent.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:03 AM
Location: maryland
7 posts, read 28,413 times
Reputation: 16
Curious, why you like St Pete Beach over Madeira?
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:11 PM
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,430 posts, read 2,633,602 times
Reputation: 1025
Avalon - no - not the best area, not well built, they are a condo conversion, no room in them.
If you don't mind not having a water view, there are buildings that are in your price range, older, but very close to beach - ie across the street, not a block or two away, that you can rent for 7 days too.
If you want to be in the middle of the busy St Pete Beach or Mad Beach area, then I'd say go for those. However, the Redingtons, Indian Shores, Indian Rocks are really nice, quieter, pretty (once the roadworks are finished!) and have good access to everything off the beach you would need.
I have a townhome condo that I am currently totally renovating to relet for seasonal business, it's 1225 with 2/2.5/2cg and you can probably pick up a similar one for $250K or less. Mine is a min 1 day building, but there are 3 and 7 day buildings around here that are in that range. I find the newer the condo, the higher the maintenance charges too.
Remember to think about your taxes, and insurances at the beach, they are higher and you are limited to companies who will insure there.
If you plan to use it a lot in the winter, then think about how much storage space you will need, a garage is a good plan in that instance
good luck to you!
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:22 PM
Location: Tejas
263 posts, read 1,006,339 times
Reputation: 232
I'm sure you've already taken it into consideration but don't forget how much insurance and realestate taxes are going to add on top of your mortgage, as well as flood insurance if you are in a flood zone.

My RE taxes, for a house in that price range, run between $400-$500 per month, but I have homestead exemption and the associated tax cap.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:17 PM
Location: maryland
7 posts, read 28,413 times
Reputation: 16
Taxes and insurance were one of my issues when we looked at single family houses. We found several very nice houses with pools just a mile from the beach for under $250K, but the insurance alone was $400/month since none of the big named companies (State Farm, Allstate, etc...) are writing...

Most condos that we looked at had fees less than $400 and include the bulk of insurance, water and sometimes cable...

Taxes on houses and condos seem to be based on sales price and therefore more predictable... About 1.5 to 2% of the sales price (depending on area). That's why Avalon seemed interesting considering the note would be alot cheaper because of price. My wife's point on Avalon is based on the much lower monthly payment (and tax) which means we would not have to rent it out at all if we like. The fitness and pool renovations are by far the nicest of all the properties and they are the largest @ 1100sq ft for a 2 bedroom.

Hey Lavender... what have you heard about their build quality (Avalon)? Also, what complex are you in? 1 day minimum with a garage sounds perfect - especially if you can walk to the beach... What is your condo fee? Does it include insurance?

If you prefer you can email me:

Thanks, Joe
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:39 PM
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,430 posts, read 2,633,602 times
Reputation: 1025
Generally in Pinellas county, unless local or association rules make a difference, the minimum for a residential home is 30 day rental. Areas like Tierra Verde are one year generally, so they will not work. I think Redington is 90 days mostly - but condos are different. They all have varying minimum rentals.
My condo is an older townhome at Seashell. Our condo fees are $367 including cable, water, trash, building insurance, pest, maintenance, reserves. These will go up somewhat in 2009 I'm sure. I have just spent a lot of money upgrading my condo, so its current just about everything, so when I come to sell, hopefully it will stand out a little over the others. Cost is around $40,000 with furnishing, but the only thing left in place is one bathtub and the front door! There are also condos at Intracoastal, Bay View and Sea Club, some have garage, some do not.
These are older, will need some work, but may be a good buy in the long run, as newer builds are not very competitive in pricing just now.
Avalon on Missouri was a condo conversion and the area is not brilliant for short term rentals, as its very commercial. I showed these myself to a potential buyer and they are very basic inside, not much room and the soundproofing is not great. If you only want to use it for yourself, then Avalon might be fine, ot sure if you will fall out of love with the area soon though. If you are renting, check what you are allowed to do. Remember if you short term you will have to furnish, if you want long term most folks want to bring their own stuff. if you are over 55 I know some great condos at a low price with low monthly charges. Close to beach, min 90 day rental.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:52 AM
3 posts, read 9,048 times
Reputation: 10
Default Beach Condos

I have owned a Beach Front Condo in Indian Shores (see IndianShoresVacation.com) and for the money this is a great place to own and rent.

We use the condo 3-4 weeks per year and rent it the rest. This year only 35 days (5 weeks) went unrented. Indian Shores is very conducive to rental owners and there are several local management companies who can look after the place while you are away.

Make sure you market you property on the big VRBO-type sites but also look at niche Florida Gulf Vacation sites as well. Let me know if you get to that point, I can give you a list of those I have tried and like or dislike.

Indian Shores is a small beach community 3 miles long and a few blocks wide. It is primarily beach rental and private homes with a few restaurants and sits between Indian Rocks in the north and Redington/Madeira Beach to the south.

If you need assistance in finding a place to buy, check the real estate page on floridagulfvacation.com for a great search tool.

Enjoy the beach!
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