We’re often asked about investment property in Orlando. For the vast majority of our audience, this is less a business decision than it is a practical one. Many people purchase a home here years before they’re ready to move. Real estate prices go up over time, so for some it makes more sense to purchase now, rent the property out, then have it ready for them when it’s time to move.

While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, you need to consider some factors before you do it. The first is how you plan to use the property before you eventually move into it. Your options are short term rental or long term rental. If you plan to do short term rentals, the community has to be zoned for it. Most of Polk and Osceola counties are zoned for short-term rental (with the exception of Celebration). There are many such communities in the area, and one of our agents would be happy to help you narrow down your options.

Regardless of whether you go with short or long-term rentals, you will need to have a property manager to help you manage and maintain the home (unless you live nearby and can do most of that work yourself). Choosing a good property manager is critical. You place a lot of trust in them and making sure they are up to the task is important.

Property managers can handle any number of issues – from booking reservations for short term rentals, maintaining the property (landscaping, pool maintenance, etc), getting repairs taken care of (something always breaks) and generally having someone to look out for your investment. In many cases, property management companies charge a percentage of the rental income for their services (plus expenses).

For some folks, just making sure the monthly mortgage payment is covered is all they’re interested in, and that is very possible to do. Even if you consider a lower than average occupancy for a short term rental (say 70%) and reasonably low per night right (say $125 p/n), you would be able to cover most if not all of your expenses on the home (depending on the amount of the mortgage). It would effectively pay for itself until you’re ready to move in.

For many people who purchase short term rental properties, they also use the home for their own vacations, saving them even more in the process. When you purchase a home for short-term rentals, you are able to block out the dates you want to use the home and the property management company will be sure to not book guests during those dates.

As an added benefit, if you purchase your investment property through the Moving to Orlando team, we will also utilize our resources to help you rent it out. The DIS (wdwinfo.com) and DISboards.com are two of the largest Disney information websites on the internet (in excess of 3 million unique visitors per month).

If you have questions or want to speak to one of our Realtors about purchasing a home in the Central Florida area, you can contact us here.

Pete Werner

I'm an Orlando local and owner of The DIS (wdwinfo.com), DVCfan.com, DCLfan.com, and host of the DIS Unplugged podcast.

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