Updated for 2016
Condo investments have always been a popular investment choice in the Disney and Orlando areas. Many people are drawn to them due to their very inexpensive price tag and convenience with upkeep and maintenance. There are factors you need to consider before you just jump into bed with a condo community here in Orlando. The last thing you want to do is wake up with regrets when you get slammed with a huge special assessment shortly after the closing and you find out your condo association is broke!
1. Know the Vacation Rental Restrictions Up Front!
Most people read the condo association bylaws after they are under contract to buy a property. . . this is not the best time to be reading that heaping piles of rules and regulations. You always want to get a copy of the bylaws before your due diligence period starts so you have one less thing to worry about. What are you looking for in the bylaws? Rental restrictions of course. Some of the most common are short term rental restrictions, just because the community is zoned for short term renting doesn’t mean there still aren’t restrictions on the minimum time period a renter must stay. You also want to make sure you aren’t buying in an age restricted community if you plan on being able to rent to all ages!
2. Condo Association Stability!
Orlando, Kisimmee and Davenport Condo associations were going bankrupt left and right due to the foreclosure epidemic just a couple short years ago. What that meant to investors is that they could be buying into a community that is not financially stable and you may end up having to pick up the slack for other people who aren’t paying, what do I mean by slack? SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS!! You need to make sure the association is not in debt, they have a healthy reserve fund, all major renovations such as new roofs, landscaping projects or structural issues such as elevators have been recently replaced and when the last increase in the fees were.
3. Do They Have a Private Management Company?
Many condo associations outsource their property management to larger companies who handle several associations and they are not present onsite. It’s always good to live in a condo community that has an onsite property management company for both the homeowner’s and the renters. This means they will be able to address your concerns faster, deal with any emergency issues quicker and you can walk right over to the office and speak with them if you need anything.
4. How Vacation Rental Friendly is the Condo Community?
Many vacation rental zoned condo communities are a large mix of both long term renters, owners, snowbirds and vacation renters. If your goal is to book, book, book than you really want to stick with he communities that are vacation rental friendly and have the resort style amenities such as fitness centers, convenience stores, move theaters, fancy clubhouses with restaurants and extravagant pool areas. Those are the communities that are going to attract more short term vacation renters than long term.
5. What type of Vacation Rental Rates Can You Expect To Get?
That’s the million dollar question right there. In most cases you get our of it what you put into it. If you’re buying in a cheap, run down condo community and there are very little amenities for guests you’re not going to be raking in the big bucks on rental revenue. You’re going to get discounted rates for a discounted place. With condos being so inexpensive right now, it makes sense to spend a little more for the nicer community because you will be earning more with rental rates. Always check the rates that other owners are asking for condos in the community you are looking. You can do that on VRBO.
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