Thinking of Buying a Second Home or Vacation Home in Florida? Here’s what you need to know.

  • Sharebar

How’s the real estate market in Southwest Florida right now? Is now the time to buy a second home or vacation condo or house in the Cape Coral or Fort Myers area? I get asked this question by many potential buyers from Canada and other colder states who realize that the prices of homes and condos in Florida are extremely good values, but are quickly being bought up as inventories shrink.

See my post is Florida Hot Again

Tips for Canadian Buyers

I still can’t believe as of March 2012 that there are gulf access homes in Cape Coral Florida that can be purchased for less than $250,000 and single family pool homes for less than $120,000. The real estate market in Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida is one of the best opportunities right now to lock in low prices as buyers although the prices have been steadily increasing as more people realize the inherent values of owning a vacation or second home in Florida at prices this low.

Here is what you need to consider if you are thinking of buying a vacation or second home in Florida:

1. Is the home or condo located in a family vacation area? Most vacation house buyers are looking for a place that they can use year after year for family vacations and a lifetime of memories. Is the part of Florida you are looking in offer this? Is the location have the potential for future growth over the next 10-15 years? When you are ready to retire and move to Florida, is the location where you are looking going to make you happy when you are here full time. Many larger cities in Florida tend to have traffic problems that causes highway gridlock and increased noise doing the season of November-April as many snowbirds descend on Florida for our excellent weather.

2. Vacation property investment. Does the property have the potential to be rented if need be for a price that covers a majority of the expense of the mortgage, taxes, insurance and upkeep if for any reason you aren’t using the vacation home. It is a good idea to make sure that your vacation home has a year round demand and is also still affordable. Also something to consider is whether where you are looking for a vacation home that is has these criteria for added stability:

-It should be located with a 45 minute drive to at least one major airport.
-How easy is it to rent out if needed? Always confirm before making an offer if there are any restrictions especially if buying within a condo complex or homeowners association the exact restrictions on renting out your vacation or second home on a part time basis.
-Although you are buying with the intent of using the house or condo as vacation home or second home it is good to find out if there is an imbalance of supply/demand of vacation rental homes so that if you do decide to rent it out there isn’t hundreds of other vacation home owners competing for the same tenant and offering ultra low rental rates to capture these tenants.

Here is the IRS Link for information on renting vacation homes.

What to do next if you are not sure if buying a vacation home is the right move for you. I would suggest first start with browsing the local real estate market and having homes sent to you automatically so you can see what the market is doing over a period of time. Once you have a plan as to what type of home you can afford and what areas you like next would be to contact me to discuss how I can help you find the perfect vacation home or second home in Southwest Florida.

Switch to our mobile site