Real estate investments and vacation homes continue to be a driving factor in America’s housing market. In 2017 alone, the latest economist outlook shows that 1.14 million investment properties and 721,000 vacation homes were purchased, with investment home purchases remaining steady. Whether you’re looking to downsize after retirement or are interested in becoming a small-time real estate investor, purchasing and maintaining a Florida vacation home can be affordable and profitable.
It pays to own property in Florida. Retirees and other seniors can find particular success with purchasing and maintaining homes in the Sunshine State. Downsizing seniors or those seeking a beachfront retirement home can find affordable smaller properties that will maintain resale value. Consider saving money by sticking to smaller square footage, such as a townhouse or condominium. These are excellent options for vacation homes, retirement properties, or rental units.
Additionally, Florida can be a great choice for those who want to invest in real estate, even if only on a small scale. The market is great across Florida and areas in Pinellas County have even been named among the best in the state for investing in real estate. In recent studies, some Floridian cities have been shown to be among the most profitable in the nation for homeowners who list properties on vacation rental sites such as AirBNB.
Coastal cities are more likely to bring in more money from rental properties, according to the SmartAsset analysis mentioned above. SmartAsset also found that many homeowners – including some of those in Florida – are making an estimated income of $15,000 to $31,000 per year after expenses thanks to their real estate property.
To keep your home rented and maximize the amount of money you’ll make, Travel + Leisure Magazine recommends “being diligent about maintenance upkeep.” By prioritizing home maintenance and cleaning, you’ll proactively reduce unexpected repairs and hopefully avoid having to reimburse your renters for maintenance-related issues.
In addition to being one of the top locations for making extra income from vacation rentals, Florida’s also home to some of the nation’s best locations for flipping houses. According to a recent report, the Tampa-St. Petersburg areas of Florida are among the Sunshine State’s top 25 list of cities for flipping a house. That’s great news if you intend to eventually sell your vacation home or real estate property someday.
Since you’ll be living somewhere else for part or all of the year, it’s important to take precautions for keeping your home safe while you’re away. You should install an alarm system on the property. You might also hire a local property manager or pay a trusted friend in the area to help you keep an eye on things. Another cost-effective way to protect your home is to ask neighbors to keep an eye on things while you’re away. Since they’ll be around, your neighbors can contact you if they notice anything suspicious or alarming.
When it comes to home safety, you’ll also want to consider the exterior of your home. This includes your yard, garden and pool or pond (if you have one). Obviously, you can hire landscapers, gardeners or other professionals to stop by and tend to your plants, pond, and yard while you’re gone. Installing a safety fence is also a good idea.
You can further protect your pool with safety equipment such as pool alarms and motion sensors, pool covers and/or winter covers, and escape ramps for critters that might accidentally stumble into your pool. Many of these pool products can be purchased at reasonable rates from online retailers. Not only do these safety devices keep unwanted animals, debris, and humans out of your pool while you’re gone; they can also help prevent unwanted tragedies.
Of course, before purchasing a new home, it is important to determine whether you intend to live in the home at some point or if you will rent it out. Even if you are purchasing a vacation home as a real estate investment, you should calculate all of the associated costs prior to
making an offer. That way, you’ll be certain that you’re making an affordable investment that will pay off in your favor in the years to come.
by Jim McKinley, photo courtesy of Unsplash