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7 things to consider when investing in vacation properties


Florida is one of the biggest and most desirable second-home markets in the United States. Coming here is like having an all-access pass to white sand beaches, manicured golf courses, world-class restaurants, museums, and countless other attractions.

The Sunshine State appeals most to those who live in cold, far-off places. The mild year-round weather makes it the ideal escape from the biting winters of the East Coast and the Midwest.

For those wanting to buy St. Petersburg vacation homes, here are some things to consider:

  1. Location

    Most financial planners recommend buying in a location that can be reached within two hours. This two-hour window is just enough for one to visit – and use – their vacation home more often.

    In deciding to buy a vacation home in St. Petersburg, make sure that the location fulfills one’s definition of a vacation destination. For those who gravitate toward the water, buy a waterfront home or one that’s within walking distance of the beach. For quick access to bars and restaurants, look for a house near downtown St. Petersburg or St. Pete Beach. St. Petersburg’s gated communities are worth looking into fora secluded getaway as well.

  2. Knowledge of the area

    Before buying a vacation home, familiarizing oneself with the area is recommended. Frequenting the neighborhood will allow a buyer to have a better understanding of the place. They will find out things like the kind of weather, the attractions, and shops and services expected to be found there. So get going, stay a few days, and talk to the locals about living in St. Petersburg.

  3. Timing of visits

    Consider visiting St. Petersburg during peak season and off-season to help knowing the city more and to observe the flow of tourists in the area.

    The great thing about the city is that the weather is temperate through most of the year, and that means it can be visited at any time. Expect more people in the winter months and look forward to peace and quiet during off-season months.

  4. Rental income

    For those who want to rent out their vacation home, competition with other renters may be stiffer during peak season. Consider the possibility of giving up using one’s vacation home during this time to make way for tourists.

  5. Lifestyle

    For those who love the water, then St. Petersburg and other beach communities are an excellent choice. Whole days can be spent swimming, surfing, boating, and more. Imagine also viewing spectacular sunsets and other ocean views from the comfort and privacy of one’s own backyard.

    But there’s more to Florida than the beach – there’s lots to do indoors as well. Visit the renowned Dali Museum, shop for top brands at Sundial or watch the Tampa Bay Rays play ball at Tropicana Field.

  6. Carrying costs

    Aside from calculating the costs of a second mortgage and one’s cash flow, there are other expenses that come with a vacation home. These include homeowners’ association (HOA) fees, property taxes, home insurance, yard maintenance, utilities, cleaning costs, and more.

    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give a clearer idea of one’s financial condition. Conducting a home inspection will also help in determine the costs of repairs and maintenance.

  7. Appreciation

    Florida is one of the most in-demand housing markets in the United States, especially with the abundance of waterfront properties here. This particular type of property appeals to a large segment of buyers. This means that a vacation home in St. Petersburg and its surrounding communities will have great resale value, especially if the property is well-maintained.

Ready to take the plunge? Let Allison and Dave Estabrooks help in finding the perfect vacation home in and around St. Petersburg, Florida. Call them at 727-460-4061 or send an email to Allison(at)EisKey(dotted)com and Dave(at)EisKey(dotted)com.