saying that renting your home in the winter is seasonal is an understatement. | SoWal Forum - South Walton Florida
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Beach Lover
May 31, 2009
wow my first yr renting my home was great in the summer but winter has been impossible. i thought i'd get 3 or 4 rentals during the nov-march 1st period but i've gotten zero.i've gotten about 10 inquiries and even with discounts nothing. people must be givng there homes away. how are othere tent owners doing?


Beach Fanatic
Feb 9, 2008
Historic Old Point Washington
The winter months are tough. Have you considered a 3 month rental or even a 2 month? Our winter market brings in snowbirds from the northern states beginning November to Easter. Most 2 or 3 month rentals start January 1. Smaller, Gulf front properties fare better since a snowbird couple would be the typical tenant. Larger homes off the beach tend to sit vacant until Spring. Also, there is a lot of inventory out there. Are you utilizing a rental agency? If not, you may be surprised to know that whatever dates they cannot rent they will allow you to rent and charge a small fee to manage your guests. clean up, etc. Best of luck to you.
The only rentals we get in the November through February are when our neighbors need extra space for their friends. Some snowbirds offer us a ridiculously low amount of money for monthly rentals but we decline. I don't work from early December through early February, so I'd rather be at the beach as much as possible. We like being at the beach in February too because we love the pre-spring weather at the beach. I guess what I'm saying is that we'd rather not be blocked out of our own home for a small amount of rental income.

And we have a private heated pool with a spa that heats up enough that one can get in the water regardless of the air temperature. Hard to believe that this fact alone doesn't get us winter rentals.

Good luck!


Beach Lover
May 31, 2009
thanks for the info

yes i've got a few crazy offers for longer term and 1 or 2 for short term but i'd rather not rent than take it. the wear and tear is worse than what i get


Beach Fanatic
Dec 5, 2004
Bluewater Bay, FL
With my parents' condo, they kind of inherited an established Jan-early March snowbird tenant when they bought the property- modest beach view 2 bedroom condo with a good chunk of deeded beach and heated pool & spa. I think they charge the same price for a month in January that they charge for a week in July.


SoWal Insider
Apr 7, 2006
New York/ Santa Rosa Beach
I have had snowbirds in both a larger and smaller property. The only concerns I have ever had was whether or not I would be barraged with calls for minor items, like replacing light bulbs, but, you can pretty much get a feel for the renters based on a phone conversation. So far, so good.

I like having a snowbird, even with the much reduced rates, because I can't frequent the house during those leaner, cooler months, and it's nice to have someone there to watch things, like plumbing issues, keeping the water running, etc. I haven't found any issues with wear and tear, but you do need to be prepared to do a deep clean after they leave and if you can't do it yourself, factor in the cost of a housekeeper. I found that some did not clean the house frequently enough and it really needed a much deeper clean than I had expected, mainly the baths and kitchen.

But yes, the Winter months are much harder especially if your property is not gulf front, which is why you need to just factor those months out of your yearly budget. If you get renters, then it is just gravy.
Snowbirds tend to go to those properties first and the ones that have a greater concentration of snowbirds to socialize with.
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