Tips for Purchasing and Maintaining a Florida Getaway
If you’re considering purchasing a vacation home, now is the time. Whether for your retirement or as a rental property, purchasing in Florida is one of the best and most affordable investments you can make. With some forethought and planning, you can make your dream getaway a reality.
“Location, location, location.” There is a good reason the term is a popular catchphrase. Purchasing a second home is a major investment, and with smart consideration you can make a great choice. When it comes to vacation homes and getting the most bang for your buck, some research reflects that Florida is home to fifteen of the top twenty-five smartest investment locations in the United States.
To move toward making your dream getaway a reality try renting a property in the general area where you are thinking about buying. Try the area at different times of the year, exploring what the culture is like throughout the seasons. It’ll help you better understand the fluctuations in weather and population; remember some areas swell with vacationers during spring break or other prime travel times. Depending on your personality and plans for how you will use the property, these undulations can directly affect your purchase, or it may impact the times of year you would personally use the property.
Of course you should also consider your budget and examine what properties are available in your price range. It’s important not to max out your funds. While you may qualify for a certain mortgage amount, it’s better to buy under that bracket. In fact, many people purchasing a second home put down twenty to fifty percent as a down payment; some purchase properties outright. Be sure to allow yourself elbow room so you can pay for upkeep such as property management services like housekeeping and yard care. You also will want a little extra for unforeseen expenses.
Most people purchasing a second home would like to make money on the investment through renting it instead of leaving it unoccupied. Again, this may require hiring someone to tend the location and perhaps manage the paperwork and promotion of the rental. And in the end you want to come out ahead. How do you balance all that? You can look at the total cost for a month of ownership, then calculate if you can earn that amount with a one week rental of the location. Again, the location is a primary factor. Be sure to research what rates properties are renting for in the area.
Turning a vacation home into a part-time rental property can be a great way to pad your retirement savings, but you need to treat it as a business for the best success. Research the steps needed to start a business, which involve forming a plan and choosing a structure. Also, think about what you want to name your business, but keep in mind that you can also register a “doing business as” (DBA) name if you wish to call your business something else when handling operations. Just make sure that whatever name you come up with is compliant with Florida’s laws.
Maintaining the property when you aren’t there is a big piece of the puzzle. If your primary residence is close by, you might be able to manage much of it yourself. If that isn’t possible due to distance or other reasons, hiring a caretaker is an option. You also may be able to get help from a neighbor, and don’t underestimate the value of modern technology. Installing security systems, alarms and safety equipment can provide peace of mind. For instance, sensor systems and apps can warn you if things go awry, like you could receive an alert if a sump pump fails.
Purchasing a vacation home is a big commitment, but with some research and forethought you can make a smart choice. Consider the location, evaluate your budget, and decide what maintenance will be involved and how you will accomplish it. Your dream getaway will be your reality!
Ready to start looking for the perfect Delray Beach property? Work with Beachfront Properties and we’ll help you find the vacation home of your dreams. Call us at 561-450-9622.