Buying & Renting Vacation Properties: The Florida Keys

Real estate values are falling, now is the time to purchase a vacation home. The Florida Keys is a year-round vacation investment that pays you!

Many think of buying a vacation home as a needless extravagance in today’s shaky economic times. Yet, if one considers that vacation home, in the right area, maybe an investment that almost always shows a positive cash flow, the side benefits of owning a vacation condo in the Florida Keys should outweigh any potential downside risks.

Why the Florida Keys as a Place to Invest in Real Estate?

Unless one hates the sun and the sparkling waters off the Florida Keys, there is almost no other place that offers both physical beauty and a potential continuing source of income. The Florida Keys is a year-round vacation destination. During the winter, people flock to the southeast and especially the Keys, as a respite from the cold winter’s chill. During the rest of the year, it serves as an ideal place to engage in almost every water sport imaginable. Deep-sea fishing, sailing, diving, spearfishing, underwater exploration, flats fishing, sailing, water skiing are just a few of the many sports and past times that vacationers seek in the beautiful azure waters off of the keys.

If one has a bent towards history, then Key West is an incredible location to indulge that interest. The history of Key West goes back to the Spanish explorers. Even the Dry Tortugas marks an interesting footnote dating to the civil war. With its history and its beauty, the Florida Keys is an incredibly interesting place to invest. With tourists year-round, owning a vacation home in the Keys makes a lot of sense.

Short Term Vacation Rentals Bring High Returns

If one purchases a condominium or a home, it is important to make sure that there are no rental limitations either in the town or village ordinances prohibiting week-long rentals. The ‘key’ to Keys rental profits lies in the owner’s ability to rent on a weekly basis. Typically and depending upon the size and location of the unit, weekly rentals are typical $900+ per week. Of course, this is also dependent upon the season. Winter rentals are usually of long duration.

During the summertime, with diving and water sports being a big attraction, weekly rentals are easy to line up using the internet and some of the vacation rental booking internet sites. Even the fall season, while a bit slower, is still a time that people might steal a week or so off from their city jobs in the north and head down for a quick vacation.

Rate of Return on a Vacation Rental

Normally, the first year or two of owning a vacation place in the Keys shows a near break-even cash flow. However and depending upon how aggressively one market their property, cash flows become more and more positive. After several years, the condominium will almost always show a large positive cash flow. Of course, this is also dependent upon initially buying a condominium that has a good view of the water. These are the easiest to rent and command the highest weekly rents. Some of the best internet sites to place rentals are VRBO.com, vacationrentals.com, homeaway.com, or cyberrentals.com.

The best place to start to look for one in the Florida Keys is by contacting some of the large real estate companies in Key Largo, Islamorada, or Key West. Many of the real estate associates will have listings of properties for sale that are among those which may be offered for weekly rentals once the buyer has decided to make an offer.

The current economic situation in real estate is compelling. If an investor is looking for an investment that can not only be enjoyed but can ultimately return profits in the short run, Keys real estate is a good investment. It’s safe and can be enjoyed on a personal basis.

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