Best places in Florida to buy an investment property?

20 Replies

Hi all,

I'm looking to invest in a property in Florida.  I'm doing my research on which areas to target where I wont have much difficulty finding tenants, AirBnb's, etc.   I haven't honed in a specific city yet but I wanted to see what some of you experienced Florida investors think.  What is the ideal area to target?  Coast side or Gulf Side?  

On the Gulf side I was looking into Clearwater, and Sarasota.  Coast side: Panama City, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona, Fort Meyers.


Any and all helpful insight is welcome!  Thanks!

@Eldin Kalic take a look at the opportunity zones and you should be able to find an area on the verge of an inflection point. I work out of fort pierce and would love to speak about what I see happening in our city.

All those places are good, have you checked in Jacksonville, Polk county ( winter haven city and Lakeland).  Orange County, Volusia county. ( Gainsville, near school) and Tallahassee near school as well, St, johns county..

Hi Eldin,

Clearwater is HOT right now.  I have 2 flips going on there now.  It is a perfect place to buy value add property and turn it into an AirBNB, Vacation or LTR.  I manage my own AirBNB here and it does great!  St. Pete is another place to think about.  Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Happy Holidays!

Mya

@Eldin Kalic - Panama City is not on the Atlantic (or as you call it "Coast") side, it's on the Gulf just south of Alabama. The places you mention are good. A factor might be how much you're willing to spend on a home. For example, South Florida (including Fort Lauderdale) might be the hottest part of the state for Airbnb, however it's also likely to be the most expensive to get in. Although many come to Florida for sun and water, you don't have to be on the coasts to do well. There are other attractions, such as Disney & Universal. Lots of hotels in that part of Orlando so I don't know how well Airbnb does; I do know that there are some Airbnb's by Legoland (which is closer to Lakeland) - that's an attraction that operates year round (thanks to our good weather). I'm right next to Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.....2 of the attractions are the Space Center (we have regular launches thanks to Space X) and Port Canaveral. Tons of people going on cruses and some spend the night here instead of Orlando and having to transfer. So look outside the box a bit. Good luck!

@Eldin Kalic It will really depend on what your goals are. If I understand correctly from your post you are looking to do a STR. If that is the case then i would not suggest Daytona it is very restrictive. I hear Fort Lauderdale is STR friendly but prices to acquire are high. The panhandle is STR friendly and not so highly priced.

@Mya Toohey What's zipcodes in Clearwater are you doing your flips in? Looking to move some of my capital to a new market as Fort Lauderdale is simply too expensive for my taste right now. Would love to connect. 

What's the best place in FL to invest in buy & hold for long term? I heard about Jacksonville. Any specific neighborhood in there?

Panama City is a hot target right now because of the hurricane damage.  People are taking their insurance payments and leaving.  Properties that are still standing are getting premium rent because so much isn't standing.  It's not for the feint of heart though.  You're going to have to hold for a while while the commercial businesses there rebuild.  Florida has this thing where 6 months after a hurricane when some people are finally getting their insurance checks they are selling out and leaving.  I think they just decide they can't take the drama of the storm and move on somewhere else.  It's a shame.  Panama City is gorgeous.

Originally posted by @Kulin Dakwala :

What's the best place in FL to invest in buy & hold for long term? I heard about Jacksonville. Any specific neighborhood in there?

 I was just in Jacksonville and while driving through the more interesting parts of town was having flashbacks of landlording in Indiana.  I mean you can do it but Florida is where people go to vacation and no one wants to do spring break in Jacksonville.  I'd probably do Daytona before Jacksonville.  

One caveat, and I'm giving away a huge insider secret here....  If you can get a rental next to a Florida law school and rent it to students - the Florida Bar puts the fear of God in them about screwing up so they REALLY can't afford an eviction or other legal action on their record that they have to disclose to the Florida Bar and risk not getting a license to practice law.  

Originally posted by @Tim W. :

Panama City is a hot target right now because of the hurricane damage.  People are taking their insurance payments and leaving.  Properties that are still standing are getting premium rent because so much isn't standing.  It's not for the feint of heart though.  You're going to have to hold for a while while the commercial businesses there rebuild.  Florida has this thing where 6 months after a hurricane when some people are finally getting their insurance checks they are selling out and leaving.  I think they just decide they can't take the drama of the storm and move on somewhere else.  It's a shame.  Panama City is gorgeous.

 I've heard from others (agents and investors) that have survived and then thrived after hurricanes in Florida that that seems to be the pattern.  A good amount of people finally get their checks and leave to never come back.  That makes them somewhat "motivated" and those that are willing to invest in the area can get decent deals.  Then put in the work and time and you can see a nice portfolio emerge.  Whether buy and hold or renovations to sales.

Originally posted by @Tim W. :
Originally posted by @Kulin Dakwala:

What's the best place in FL to invest in buy & hold for long term? I heard about Jacksonville. Any specific neighborhood in there?

 I was just in Jacksonville and while driving through the more interesting parts of town was having flashbacks of landlording in Indiana.  I mean you can do it but Florida is where people go to vacation and no one wants to do spring break in Jacksonville.  I'd probably do Daytona before Jacksonville.  

One caveat, and I'm giving away a huge insider secret here....  If you can get a rental next to a Florida law school and rent it to students - the Florida Bar puts the fear of God in them about screwing up so they REALLY can't afford an eviction or other legal action on their record that they have to disclose to the Florida Bar and risk not getting a license to practice law.  

 I don't know -- the south (Jacksonville is the south) loves the panhandle for vacations!!  We would never go up there, but plenty of people do come down there!!  PCB is so country, I have a hard time understanding the accents!

And as far as the law students (or any FSU students), boy, do they pay a ton for a single room!  The law students are older and more responsible.  I like the though of 3-4 people in a house, each paying normal rent.  I'd definitely give up a few months rent to have that situation!

What's up @Eldin Kalic ! Sounds like you are in the preliminary stages of narrowing down your market. From living in SWFL for a while (Ft. Myers/Naples area) I can say that the place is exploding. That said, be careful that you are not overpaying and getting yourself into a sticky situation on the front end. You can make some serious money on the acquisition if you do it correctly. Personally, I buy for cash flow and let any appreciation serve as the cherry on top. Appreciation is great but one should not lean on this as the pillar for any investment.. especially on the residential side of things. 

You did not mention what kind of properties you were looking into just yet, but if you start to consider condos or homes in neighborhoods with HOAs make sure you understand all the fees associated with ownership. These HOA & condo fees can kill your returns. Additionally, if bad weather hits and the condo structure is damaged you may be hit with assessment fees. Hope this helps!

Cheers,

@Patrick Bavaro


Both of the Flips are in 33759.  One purchased at $240,000 rehab 35k and ARV $359,000.  The other purchased at $227,500, rehab 60k ARV $369,000.  Not huge margins but really good for Tampa area.  I also have 2 more properties closing in St. Pete before the end of the year.

Happy Holidays!