Archives for September 2009

Trade Florida Vacation Rental for a Gulf Coast Vacation Rental

We recently sold our Florida vacation rental home and are considering buying again perhaps in some other city near the Gulf Coast. We would use it ourselves a few weeks a year and try to read it out or manger of the year to pay the expenses. Do you have any suggestions?

Chuck’s answer: I’m not sure why you would want to buy again when you can rent so cheaply.

Will you get enough use out of it each year that it is worth the hassle of maintaining it when you are not here?

Here are some things you need to ask yourself before you buy:

What makes the Gulf Coast better?

Is there a lesser chance of hurricanes in the Gulf Coast?

Is the insurance cheaper?

Is the rental season longer?

Is there less competition?

Are there more major airports with lower airfare?

Is the property there appreciating more quickly?

Are there more jobs and or tourism in the Gulf Coast?

Things may have changed since when I performed due diligence for some Gulf Coast properties a few years ago –

There was *a lot* of competition in the Gulf Coast.

The clientele in the Gulf *was* looking for bargain basement, at least as much as they were in Orlando and other vacation towns – the economy doesn’t make it easy to find premium guests in any region.

Insurance was even more in the gulf area than Florida insurance (because of hurricanes) and the rental season was shorter than Orlando.

Rental Markets (and the economy) can change from time to time, so I suppose your mileage may vary.

In short, when I was checking out the Gulf Coast, the grass wasn’t any greener.

Best place to buy a beach lake or island vacation rental home or condo

Summary: How to research the best place to buy a beach lake or island vacation rental home or condo

We’re thinking of buying a condo or home on a beach near Lake or on an island. Any idea if they run well? Q. have any suggestions as to a good area where we should begin our search?
Chuck’s Answer: If it were me, I’d research the listings for your target city at the top sites (VRBO.com, Homeaway.com, etc.) Then I’d pick up the phone and call a few owners and be straight with them: “I’m considering buying a condo in your area to rent. Can you give me any advice?”

Naturally, some vacation rental owners won’t talk with you , but some will. And of the owners who talk with you, you’ll have to filter what they say because they may or may not be telling the whole truth. Still, at the end of your exercise, you’ll know much, much more than before you started.

The rental markets in different parts of Florida are considerably different (Keys, Panhandle, East Coast, Gulf Coast, Disney Area). For example, peak rental seasons in the Disney area are Summertime and school holidays when kids are out of school. But in most other parts of Florida, peak seasons are in the winter when travelers are trying to escape the cold.