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Real Estate and Property Management

How To Buy A Florida Vacation Home

Do you dream of owning your own villa in the sun?

Many of us have the dream of owning our own vacation home. It is a major investment and for some, the prospect of where to start can be overwhelming. There are fundamental questions that you need to consider when you find an area you like, and want to buy a home either as a personal retreat or an active investment.

  • Is it in an area that you want to own a property?
  • Is it in an area that is popular enough to ensure a continuous supply of holiday makers to book your villa?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How can you pay for it?
  • How can you look after it when you live so far away?
  • How do you find people to book your villa?

By discussing your situation with a Property Management Company before buying your vacation villa, you can avoid a lot of the mistakes and pitfalls of those less prepared. We work every day with rental homes and know where the most popular rental destinations are in an area. This is important if the home has to meet the expenses through rentals.

It is a big commitment and must be looked at with a view of protecting your investment and making it pay for itself as much as possible. That way, your future financial stability can be protected.

It can also be an excellent way of investing in your future for when you reach pension age. When you retire, you will have the luxury of choosing

  • to sell your investment and boost your nest egg with a lump sum
  • keeping the property going as a vacation rental and earn income on a monthly basis whilst still keeping your investment intact
  • choosing to spend more time in it yourself and bask in the glorious sunshine as you decide on your list of things to do in the day ahead. Golf? Shopping? Meet up with friends?

We work solely in Florida, so this is an area that we can answer your questions for you:

Is it in an area that you want to own a villa?

Florida is a wonderful area to consider. Not only do you have round the year sunshine, but in this area in particular, most homes are reasonably priced, most come with their own pool and the great road connections mean that you are never very far away from anything you want to do.

Is it in an area that is popular enough to ensure a continuous supply of holiday makers to book your villa?

Absolutely! Central Florida has everything that the holidaymaker would ever want. There are theme parks, attractions, restaurants, numerous golf courses, lakes for boating and fishing, theatres, museums, and only a short drive away in either direction you have fabulous beaches for those days when all you want to do is sink your feet into hot white sand and dream of …. anything you want. Add to that the fact that you have sunshine ALL the year round so there are holidaymakers ALL the year round, this makes Florida unique as unlike most seasonal holiday destinations this is an area where there is a continuous season and an area that caters for all tastes.

How much will it cost?

To an extent the initial cost will depend on the type of villa you want to buy. Obviously, the better quality the home, the greater chance you have in renting it out on a regular basis. On top of the purchase cost, which can be funded by mortgage if necessary, you will have the closing costs to consider when completing your purchase, plus the ongoing monthly running costs. These will include Insurances, property taxes, utilities, Housing Association Fees, and mortgage payments if necessary. If you do rent out your property it may be possible to partially or fully cover these costs. Bear in mind though that you will have to have funds to renovate the property as and when necessary to continue to keep it marketable. Too many homes are allowed to run down, but then unfortunately, the discerning traveler will not wish to stay there. By keeping your standards high, you will guarantee that your home will remain somewhere that people are happy to rent.

How can I pay for it?

If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy your villa outright, it should be possible to match or beat returns of similar amounts invested in more conventional investment vehicles in the long term. The rate of return on your investment will be boosted if you choose to rent it out. It is possible to obtain a mortgage to fund your property, but if you are a foreign national, you will be expected to find a deposit of 25% or higher yourself.

How can you look after it when you live so far away?

At a push, you could possible manage this if you choose to use it solely for personal use. However, it is much easier if you have someone keeping an eye on your property whilst you are away. If you have renters coming in, you will need someone to check that the property is in a rentable condition, and arrange to have the cleaning, gardens or pool maintenance taken care of whilst you are away. We, as a Property Management Services Company can deal with this for you either as caretakers if you wish to do the rental side of the business yourself, or as full property management where we will arrange your bookings for you and take care of ensuring that all matters concerning your business are taken care of.

How do I find people to book my villa?

There are a variety of ways you can get exposure for your property and as Property Managers we would work with you to make this a successful investment for you.

Some of the methods to get your property noticed include:

  • Online Advertiing
  • Local papers
  • Community Boards
  • Passing the word amongst family, relatives and work colleagues
  • Local shops/community groups/churches

By careful marketing it should be possible to fill your bookings quickly. Don’t forget, as people rent from you, they will consider you again next year if they have received a good service and further bookings can be made that way.

I am interested, so where do I start?

Check your funds and think carefully about how much you can comfortably afford to invest in your property. Remember to allow for the times when you may have to fund the mortgage yourself should you have a ‘lean’ month where there are fewer bookings.

Our Realty Department is happy to help you with your concerns. Contact Jeff Koch (Cook), our licensed realtor, to discuss your wishes and he will be happy to help you turn the property of your dreams into a reality.  407 212 2978.