Moving Recommendations for Beach Investment

12 Replies

My family and I are looking to move to a warm beach area and purchase a property that we can live in for a year (low down payment) and use as an investment and repeat this process for a few years. We are open to house hacking a duplex-quadplex or SFH that we can rent or airbnb (vacation rental). We've been thinking southern FL, but are looking for area recommendations if there is a better market. I'm a physical therapist so I can get a job anywhere we move.

@Josh Day sounds like a cool plan! Maybe target areas that have a lot of tourism year round. As an example the beaches in NC have a high season and low season, and a lot of them sit empty during the low season. But say down in Charleston you might have more year round traffic because it is a destination. 

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@Andrew Kerr that's exactly what we were thinking and why we were considering southern FL (Tamp, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples) or an area like Charleston. Our only worry with Charleston is that the winter still gets kind of cold. We are also considering areas in Texas (Galveston and Corpus Christi). 

@John Vietmeyer thank you for the recommendations. Do you invest in Charleston? 

yes, I’ve been investing in long term rentals in Charleston for the past 6 years and am now looking at short term opportunities.  

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@Josh Day I am from the Naples-Ft. Myers area and like others have said these areas are very seasonal. You may have a hard time renting out the unit during off season months and it may sit empty. There are a number of property management companies in the area that specialize in these vacation rental type properties. I'm sure they would be willing to show you examples of vacation rentals and what the numbers look like. Of course do your due diligence as some companies may try to inflate the numbers. Best of luck!

Hi @Josh Day , Fort Myers and Naples has quite a few gated communities which most of them do not allow the daily rental option. Getting on the MLS while searching non-gated communities is a great way to find the houses that would most likely fit into the model you are going after. Fort Myers beach is a great place to have a SFH while having the ability to rent out the house daily as rental rates are quite high as the demand is so high, especially during Jan-April.

Most parts of Fort Myers off the island of Fort Myers Beach, are not in high demand in the summer months as the commute to get on the island can be quite a process if you do not know the area that well and rentals off Fort Myers beach are mostly going to be annual rentals. 

Naples is a large city as well and knowing the area is crucial as some areas have higher rentability than other areas where the beach/downtown is further away.


We have a very similar plan.  We looked from Tampa to Ft Myers, and did not have a lot of luck finding an apartment building that fit our investment strategy.  Our agent found a 4 unit on Ft Myers Beach that we put under contract.  It was beautiful.  However, it did not have actual 12 months rents, the proforma was very optimistic, and it required Flood Insurance.  I finally backed out of the deal, and as far as I know, the property has not sold.  

I think seasonal properties in FL are tough unless you buy right, and know you will have little to no income from Easter to Thanksgiving.  

We ended up finding a 12 unit property on the Space Coast, Cape Canaveral area.  So far, so good.  The rents were way below market, with lots of expenses we were able to cut.  We have increased rents over $200/ month & were able to cut the cable bill & bill residents for water.  Unfortunately, we have had some plumbing issues that we are working through, but this will resolve itself.  

Good luck.  



Darrin's 12 unit purchase in the Space Coast/Brevard County is pretty typical of the market here, with substantial upside on the rents. Google Space Coast and Melbourne FL and you will see that the area might be exactly what you are looking for. Great weather, reasonable prices and a very dynamic economy. Good luck!

Hello @Josh Day

As many people above have mentioned, much areas outside of Tampa bay/St. Petersburg in Florida are very seasonal as the populations outside of the main cities tend to be from people up North that come down South to escape the cold, thus there is not as high of an occupancy at any given point moreso than the Tampa Bay area. 

Melbourne is also a good option as well! 

I have a close friend in the Tampa Bay area that tends to help people out in situations much like your own. If you would like me to put you in contact, I would be happy to do so!


Ray Rodrigues 

between jax beach to the space coast intrigues me 

@Josh Day I would like to do the same. I am actively looking in Florida. I may come across something. I’m not opposed to northern or southern Florida. I’ve looked in Melbourne, Daytona, Orlando etc..I just got on a guys list but he is cash only...

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