Buying a Florida Vacation Home

Buying a Florida Vacation Home

Florida has long been one of the most popular states to buy a vacation home. With 1,200 miles of coastline, over 660 miles of beach, and year round temperatures that appeal to snowbirds from the north, Florida is an obvious choice for a vacation home. The question then becomes where to purchase your Florida vacation home. Florida is far more diverse than many people realize, meaning that there is bound to be a perfect vacation home for you somewhere in Florida.

Before you commit to buying a home in Florida, there are some things you should consider first. Can you afford the cost and the upkeep of a second home? One way to ease the financial burden of buying a home in Florida is to rent the home out when you are not using it. Florida vacation homes are typically easy to rent out if you choose a popular vacation spot that attracts a lot of visitors.  Retaining the services of a qualified management company makes it even easier to rent out your vacation home.  Another thing you need to consider is how easy it is to get to your chosen vacation spot. For example, direct flights from most major cities fly in and out of Orlando and Miami all day long. Getting to Key West, on the other hand, might take considerably longer. Some cities worth considering include the following:

Jacksonville, Florida

Located in northern Florida on the Atlantic coast, Jacksonville sits just 25 miles from the Georgia state line. With a population of over 1 million year around residents, Jacksonville is Florida’s largest city. Although the winters will be a bit colder in Jacksonville than they are in Miami, you can also get a lot more bang for your buck in Jacksonville. If you are looking for all the perks of a big city that is on the ocean without spending a fortune, then Jacksonville may be your best bet.

The Keys

The Florida Keys start just south of Miami and extend southwest until you reach the infamous Key West. The Keys are what separate the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Separated into the Upper, Middle, and Lower Keys, you will find a variety of very different cultures among the cities located along the Keys. Key West is very much a tourist destination. If you want paradise then Key West is your best bet; however, paradise comes at a high price. Florida vacation homes in Key West are some of the most expensive in the state because of the limited space. In addition, you run the risk of your home being damaged, or even destroyed, by a hurricane given the location and how exposed it is on Key West.

Palm Beach, Florida

There is only one word to describe Palm Beach – Luxury. If your budget allows, a vacation home in Palm Beach will likely have you running into celebrities in no time. Shopping, dining and entertainment options in Palm Beach are all nothing short of five star. However, the area is known for being geared to the older set. If you have young children, this might not be the spot for you.

Tampa Bay Area

The Tampa Bay Area consists of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, which all form a triangle about half way up the gulf coast of Florida. Tampa is the largest of the three cities with a year-round population of just over 335,000. Located on the southern tip of a peninsula that separates Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St. Petersburg has a permanent population of close to 250,00. Just north of St. Petersburg on the coast lies Clearwater with a population of approximately 100,000. Between the three cities, you are bound to find a vacation home that meets your budget and your needs. Another benefit to purchasing a vacation home in the Tampa Bay Area is its proximity to Orlando and all of the family related activities located there, including Disney World.

When thinking about buying a second home, it is never a bad idea to turn to a professional real estate agent for advice regarding what type of property and how much property you can afford.  A Florida real estate agent who is experienced in servicing the area can also be a beneficial resource for those interested in buying a Florida vacation home.