What to Know When Buying A Vacation Home: Orlando Edition

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As the Summer begins to unfold, many people are making travel plans. And there’s only one thing better than a vacation: having a vacation home in one of your favorite places, always waiting when you arrive in your personal paradise.

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Orlando is surrounded by great family activities!

Obviously buying a vacation home is a sizable investment. Is it worth the price? Can you recoup some of your investment by renting it to other travelers when you’re not there? What location is ideal for your desires?

Our home state of Florida is blessed to feature many of the most popular cities for vacation homes in the world—thanks to its fabulous beaches, golf courses, theme parks and other tourist activities. We decided to reach out to realtors and colleagues around Florida and get their input on the vacation homes in their respective cities. You can check out their commentary regarding homes on the Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast and inland, as well as find information to answer some of the FAQs listed above.

This week we speak to David Ramsden, broker and owner at Select Estates Florida in Orlando/Kissimmee.

What’s the major draw for someone buying a vacation home in Orlando?  

Location, location, location is an important factor in real estate. Orlando/Kissimmee is the no. 1 family destination in the world, close to the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Florida’s famous beaches.

Orlando/Kissimmee offers the very best location for a vacation home/real estate investment opportunity that you and your family can enjoy.

What would be your first piece of advice for anyone buying a vacation home in general?

Choosing the ideal management team for your vacation property is one of the most important decisions you will make. Hire an established professional property manager who specializes in property management, is dedicated to keeping your home in pristine condition, who may also present income opportunities to offset some of your expenses, should you wish to do so.

It could be July 4th every night…depending on where in Orlando you stay!

Any specialized advice for those looking for a vacation home in Orlando?

Reserve your vacation home from an onsite property manager rather than the homeowner.  When you rent directly from an individual owner, they are typically not residing in the area of the vacation property and cannot directly or immediately assist you with any issues that may arise. Property managers are located onsite, offer 24-hour customer service and are available to assist with even the smallest details.

How realistic is the possibility of renting out one’s property when they’re not at home? How much work should be expected to make this a possibility?

If you want your rental home to produce income, choose a home that can be rented regularly to cover expenses. Location, amenities, upgrades and the size of the home all play an important role in renting out your home while you’re away.

Realistically, you will have the greatest success maximizing revenue if you take bookings yourself, in concert with your property management company producing bookings for you. At Select Estates Florida,  some of our homes are rented out as much as 40 weeks per year, while some owners elect to use their vacation home primarily for family vacations and choose to take only a minimal number of bookings.

It’s always a good idea to go with a property management company that can provide consistent bookings for you, in the event you need them. Owner calendars, provided by property managers, make it easy to sync all of your bookings.  Property managers then fill your calendar with bookings, where you need them.

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What’s a ballpark range for the median vacation home price in Orlando?

Prices range from $150,000 to $400,000.