"But I’m thinking in purchasing new I won’t have to worry about Maitenence for a while, and with a growing rental market, I’m thinking these rents will rise and the demand for new build will grow"
Yes you are accurate in your assumption. However, you will be paying top dollar for a brand new build.
Maybe try searching for existing houses less than 5 years old so you get the best of both worlds.
We have a townhouse in that area and brought few years ago. Wonderful tenants, gated and pretty community and no any work. I think that area is good for you. If you can find best tenants, you can save the PM cost. If you want to save the real money, your tax, you will.
I am in Seattle but been an out of town investor for a while now. I have a few sfh and duplexes one of which is in Fort Myers 2 hours south of Tampa. I have spent a fair amount of time researching the best areas to invest all over FL. In New Port Richey just outside Tampa houses rent for $850 to $1050 with prices ranging from $85K to $115K which will leave you with much better cash flow as they have no HOA and taxes are around $100 month. These houses are not new so maintenance will be higher however typically they the are small rehabbed 1970's one bath concrete block houses (around 1000 sq ft) with newer roofs and newer a/c's that are low maintenance from my experience. I believe you might want to run some numbers on duplexes if you are intending on buying new as your cap will increase. You will be looking at the $300K plus price point and min 25% down with 2 doors though.
With Orlando an hour or so up the road and even Jacksonville only 3 1/2 hours away by car its a good central location to start out from. I can send you a link to some of the examples i mention above if your interested..
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