What to Know When Buying A Vacation Home: Palm Beach 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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47 miles of awesome Atlantic coastline

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 Tracie Copeland, owner and broker at Copeland & Co. Real Estate in Palm Beach.

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

The biggest draw for someone looking to buy a vacation home in Palm Beach is location. You are typically within 10 minutes to sandy beaches and turquoise water. In addition to that, you are close to three major airports: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach, so it’s an easy flight home. You can schedule a flight from Laguardia to Palm Beach, and in two and half hours, you’ll be sitting on a beach sipping a cocktail on a Friday evening!

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

Make sure you are working with a local Realtor that knows the area well. They can guide you in the right areas based on your needs and wants, especially when it comes to a vacation home. What will you be doing when you are “vacationing”— golf, beach, pool time—all of that matters to your Realtor. Be as specific as possible…they will be able to guide and advise you into the home of your dreams.

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Copeland & Co on Antique Row in West Palm Beach

Any specialized advice for those looking for a vacation home in Palm Beach?

Check with the associations or condo buildings to verify their rules and regulations line up with the lifestyle and amenities you are looking for, such as rental and seasonal restrictions, pet policies and parking. You will also want to check on any upcoming assessments so you are not blindsided later down the road when they want to paint the exterior of the condominium and stick you with a $7,000 bill.

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?

The rental market is thriving and I don’t see any signs of it stopping for some time. Rents are going up and the inventory is dwindling daily. Decide right away if you want to be a landlord or if you want a management company to handle the tenant issues. If you are not experienced or don’t have the time, get a professional to manage it.

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

$275,000 – $350,000, totally dependent on location. You can get into a condo or townhome for anywhere between $150,000 – $250,000, and there’s growing inventory in that market. With a condo or a townhome, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, and your location and lifestyle options widen.