Hello Internet! We’re going to get the blog rolling again here at RE/MAX Gulf Coast Realty. With a combined 154 years of Real Estate experience, we have lots to say, so let’s jump in!

Today we’re going to talk about vacation rentals. Specifically, things to consider when purchasing a second home that you plan to rent out.  If you are in the market for a vacation home that you expect will pay for itself on the rental market, there are several things that you need to think about. Below are just a few:

Location – The old adage “location, location, location” has stuck around for a reason. You’ll be visiting your vacation property yourself from time to time, so make sure you love the location.

Some communities and properties have restrictions on short term rentals, so make sure to thoroughly check that out. For example, Bella Riva – a beautiful complex on Okaloosa Island – will only allow rentals that are 7 nights with a Saturday to Saturday stay. And did you know that if you own a house on the north side of Santa Rosa Boulevard on the Island, that you can’t rent your property for stays of less than a month? Make sure to do your research on rental restrictions!

Price vs Cash Flow – The sale price is only part of what you’ll need to spend. There will most likely be a monthly HOA fee, utilities, advertising costs, fees to have the property cleaned between renters, added insurance costs…and the list goes on! Make sure you have accounted for everything when you consider the price.

It’s also important to be realistic in your expectations for rental income. Take into account slow seasons and periods of time where your property could sit unoccupied.

Personal Use – How do you intend to use the property? This goes back to what I mentioned about location. Make sure you love the location! Also, a one-bedroom unit might have a great ROI, but if you’re a family of 6, it might not be the best move. Return on your investment is good, but only one aspect of the whole thing. Consider how you intend to use the property yourself.

Just a few thoughts! We’re going to be updating the blog more regularly, so check back with us in a few days!