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30ashopper

SoWal Insider
Apr 30, 2008
6,853
3,468
54
Right here!
I'd like to take the time to reply to this now that the dust has settled :lol:
I never meant to cause a huge debate or disruption in the forum. Let me explain in better words my intentions with purchasing a property there.
First and foremost it will be a Vacation Home for my family.
Memories are my top priority from the adventure of owning a place to come to as much as we can.
In the meantime with it being empty I was hoping to use it to rent out. That is the part that I've never done and wanted advice about.
I really do appreciate ALL the advice.. Good and bad. I did lash out because of couple of posters were not so polite about it as others. And I appologize for seeming to take it out on all of you. That is why I've taken a few days just discussing things in Private with some really wonderful people!
Sooo .. As long as you don't tell me to go away or keep dreaming (in a sarcastic way). I'm totally open minded to all advice.
Thanks!

You didn't, this thread is one long, massive dump of intelligence on the owner / rental market down here in SoWal. Most of the folks responding are in the busienss of realty, own a rental, or have researched the idea themselves. Ignore any harsh remarks, your initial post was just an easy target because of the way you happened to word it.
 

DreamnOfFL

Beach Comber
Jul 10, 2005
16
0
East TN
You didn't, this thread is one long, massive dump of intelligence on the owner / rental market down here in SoWal. Most of the folks responding are in the busienss of realty, own a rental, or have researched the idea themselves. Ignore any harsh remarks, your initial post was just an easy target because of the way you happened to word it.

Thanks.. I have been ignoring the remarks that orginally got me upset and focusing on the advice that is helpful. Good and bad I'm taking all into acount as I continue to research and decide on what the future holds. One thing for sure.. I will continue to enjoy the area as my favorite vacation spot! Looking forward to enjoying some rays and floating around in that beautiful water.:D
 

DreamnOfFL

Beach Comber
Jul 10, 2005
16
0
East TN
Keep in mind that you will not be cash flow positive on a beach home purchase. You will end up spending a lot more than $8,000 to own and rent a home if you finance the purchase. Even if you pay cash, you will still be in the hole considering the lost earning potential on the money you put into the property.

You will have high taxes, high insurance, utilities, interest, HOA dues (if you are in a planned community) and maintenance costs that can be quite high. For instance, it can cost $8k to $10k to have a small cottage painted in SOWal and they need painting typically every 4 or 5 years.

So, if you are planning to buy because you really want a place of your own. That is wonderful. If you are doing because you think you will be better off financially, don't do it.

It is cheaper to rent than to own.

Thanks for your reply. I will be taking into account all the expenses. HOA dues are always something I look at. This is where the question comes in about .. Home vs condo.
And when I do purchase it will be to have a place of our own. And if it turns out that I see that over all it is more of a PITA to rent it out, then I probably wouldn't even consider it. Also then I wouldn't even really need it as close to the beach. I don't mind a nice walk to get down to the beach. It'll be closer then what I have now :lol: Question then would be.. What do others do with their Vacation homes when they aren't using it if it's not on a rental program? Do they have friends in the area who check on it once a week or so?
So if anyone has some of those answers that would be great to hear other options of what you do with an empty vacation property.
 

Paula

Beach Fanatic
Jan 25, 2005
3,747
442
Michigan but someday in SoWal as well
Hi DreamOfFl: :wave:

I'd be close to breaking even on my cottages/rentals if my mortgage was paid off and if I didn't use a rental company to manage the place and took care of all the payments and hired my own maintenance/cleaning people (and, of course, if it stayed rented ag least as much as it is now and rents were able to increase along with utlilties/expenses.

As for painting, we have hardiplank and I believe that's supposed to hold up without being painted for 15 years. that's the siding. We just had all the outside white trim painted on an 1100 square foot cottage after 6 years and it cost $2,500. After 5 years, though, maintenance is indeed needed (we replaced a refrigerator and are close to replacing other appliances; I assume the air conditioner will need replacing at some point. It's really no different than taking care of your regular home - same expenses, same things wearing out, etc.
 
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SHELLY

SoWal Insider
Jun 13, 2005
5,775
802
Hi DreamOfFl: :wave:
I'd be close to breaking even on my cottages/rentals if my mortgage was paid off and if I didn't use a rental company to manage the place and if I took care of all the payments and hired my own maintenance/cleaning people (and, of course, if it stayed rented ag least as much as it is now and if rents were able to increase along with utlilties/expenses.

:D If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas?

.
 

Smiling JOe

SoWal Expert
Nov 18, 2004
31,648
1,773
First and foremost it will be a Vacation Home for my family.
Memories are my top priority from the adventure of owning a place to come to as much as we can.

This sounds SOOOO different than a "good investment property." If this is the real wants, and you can afford it, go for it.
 

fisher

Beach Fanatic
Sep 19, 2005
822
76
Hi DreamOfFl: :wave:

I'd be close to breaking even on my cottages/rentals if my mortgage was paid off and if I didn't use a rental company to manage the place and took care of all the payments and hired my own maintenance/cleaning people (and, of course, if it stayed rented ag least as much as it is now and rents were able to increase along with utlilties/expenses.

As for painting, we have hardiplank and I believe that's supposed to hold up without being painted for 15 years. that's the siding. We just had all the outside white trim painted on an 1100 square foot cottage after 6 years and it cost $2,500. After 5 years, though, maintenance is indeed needed (we replaced a refrigerator and are close to replacing other appliances; I assume the air conditioner will need replacing at some point. It's really no different than taking care of your regular home - same expenses, same things wearing out, etc.


Hardiplank is supposed to go a long time without needing painting, But, in Florida, it begins to look pretty bad after 5 or 6. If you aren't renting and don't care how your house looks, you could make it longer. But, if you want a house that looks good to rent or own, 5 years would be average.

Prices for painting must have come down dramatically lately. Prices were so high a year or two ago, that I heard of folks saying they were going to hire painters from Birmingham, Atlanta or NO to come paint their homes.
 
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SGB

Beach Fanatic
Feb 11, 2005
1,039
182
South Walton
Question then would be.. What do others do with their Vacation homes when they aren't using it if it's not on a rental program? Do they have friends in the area who check on it once a week or so?
So if anyone has some of those answers that would be great to hear other options of what you do with an empty vacation property.

Sunburst is a rental management company, but they also provide the service of 2nd home watch for those that don't want to rent their home out. There are several other companies in the area that do the same thing. Spouses Watching Houses is one too. They come by and walk through your house checking the plumbing, doors, windows, etc. We used one before we moved here and it saved us thousands in the first week when they discovered a leak. Cheap insurance.
 

30ashopper

SoWal Insider
Apr 30, 2008
6,853
3,468
54
Right here!
Hardiplank is supposed to go a long time without needing painting, But, in Florida, it begins to look pretty bad after 5 or 6. If you aren't renting and don't care how your house looks, you could make it longer. But, if you want a house that looks good to rent or own, 5 years would be average.

Prices for painting must have come down dramatically lately. Prices were so high a year or two ago, that I heard of folks saying they were going to hire painters from Birmingham, Atlanta or NO to come paint their homes.

In most cases the HOA will require a paint job anyway. We paint once every 4 or 5 years, if we don't exposed areas start to go bad. The best painters at the best price are the small time fix it guys with good recs. The professionals will charge an arm and a leg and you wont get anything you can't get from two guys and a truck with the tailgate down, IMHO.
 
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