STR Florida beach markets

12 Replies

New to BP, and have been doing a ton of research to see if a short term vacation rental is right for me. My goal is to buy a beach house for my family and use rental income to pay it off over time.

I have been looking in Destin, and down the gulf coast -but it seems like many of the popular beach towns don’t allow short term rentals. Any markets I should look into?

@Gretchen Shaw - As a realtor and investor in the Destin market, it's a great area to jump into.  The current inventory is low and prices are on the rise, but deals are still out there.  I would just recommend that you don't get too hung up in the analysis. The best way to learn is by taking action :) 

Best of luck!

@Gretchen Shaw - Traditionally, we see a slight bump in inventory after the high season, but tradition has gone out the window the past year. lol   

For this year, I expect another extended high season well into the fall.  With everyone still living virtual lives (work and school), we've seen a massive influx in demand for STRs in the area. 

@ Matt, I've followed this thread and unfortunately there has not been a clear reply re: Gretchen's concern re: the city of Destin's willingness to accept STR; does the local board of realtors not track that data. I would have interest in investing also if there were clear codes permitting. are your investments long term vs short? Since no one else has replied, the need to clarify still exists.

Thanks.

@Elise Hazzard - I own a couple STRs in the area and have helped many investors do the same.  The city of Destin has some geographical and occupancy limitations.  To grossly oversimplify, the city does not permit STRs north of highway 98 (there are exceptions to this), and they limit the occupancy to be 2 per Bedroom Plus 4 (i.e. my 5 bedroom in Destin can sleep 14 ppl).  

These restrictions are minimal in the grand scheme of what larger metros are doing, though. The area does quite well in the STR space. If you'd like to avoid the regulations, you can always look to invest in Miramar Beach (right next door), Fort Walton Beach, 30A, or PCB, where the regulations are minimal or nonexistent.

Best of luck to you!!

@Elise Hazzard Roar shacked his response concerning regulations the city limits. I also have an STR in the area. In fact, Roar was my gateway! I think he'll agree that the regulations are beneficial for the city's future. The city is very amenable to STRs but they're also very much concerned about Destin collapsing into a Panama City Beach situation. As an investor and agent that absolutely loves the Emerald Coast, I think it's extremely beneficial.

Like Roar said, go one mile east into Walton county (Miramar, Sandestin, 30A, Rosemary) and have less “regulation”. But you’ll see less traffic the further east you go. Hope this helps.

Here’s a copy of the latest ordinance:

https://www.cityofdestin.com/DocumentCenter/View/7040/CITY-OF-DESTIN-CODE-OF-ORDINANCES---Short-Term-Rental?bidId=



curious what a Panama City Beach situation is? 🤔
Originally posted by @James Byrd :

@Elise Hazzard Roar shacked his response concerning regulations the city limits. I also have an STR in the area. In fact, Roar was my gateway! I think he'll agree that the regulations are beneficial for the city's future. The city is very amenable to STRs but they're also very much concerned about Destin collapsing into a Panama City Beach situation. As an investor and agent that absolutely loves the Emerald Coast, I think it's extremely beneficial.

Like Roar said, go one mile east into Walton county (Miramar, Sandestin, 30A, Rosemary) and have less “regulation”. But you’ll see less traffic the further east you go. Hope this helps.

Here’s a copy of the latest ordinance:

https://www.cityofdestin.com/D...

 

@Gerald Pitts - PCB is another solid option for sure! I've helped plenty investors find great STR options there. PCB has just dealt with the college spring break reputation for a while now. Since Hurricane Michael, they've done a decent job of making the area much more family friendly, but a lot of millennials still view PCB as a college party town.

STR's allowed all over the place in NW Florida. However that being said they sell for a lot more because they generate. More her price range is pushing further inland where homes are further from the beach and non rentable short term. PC Beach is a good market and coming up quickly due to higher prices to the west. On PCB if you have to be in a resort zoning inside of city limits. If you are in the county STR is ok. Going to be the same in Destin City limits. PCB city limits covers about 50% of the beach. PCB is cheaper than the destin market as a general rule. Market is red hot here. Values are up 100% in the past couple of years. Price range I bet is her problem.

PCB market is red hot.  Between Pier Park and Walton county is a great deal.  PCB has dramatically changed over the past 5 years.  The very eastern end is where most the problems were.  This why the western end is booming never had the reputation, but there still is a lot of trailers around (150k) but site values have risen to 150k so you are seeing the crappy stuff be bull dozed.  Latitude Margaritaville project is coming on line in May with that there is going to be a large influx of buyers to the market due to St Joes' advertising.  Market to the west Walton Co is multi million dollar homes.  Very high end.  So it makes PCB next door a deal.  There have been 33,000 people signed up for info and a tour on 3,500 houses to be built in the Margaritaville project.  This project is 7 mile north of the beach.  

It took me 6 months to find my STR investment. I mostly focused on Destin/Crystal Beach. I ended up buying in Miramar Beach on the west end so Destin is right next door. It's been a great experience. I did great over spring break and June and July are completely booked. It's a great profitable investment and I can use it a couple times a year.

@Gerald Pitts , my reference was to 2015-2017 Panama City Beach where Spring Break crowds dominated the beaches and brought plenty of negativity with them. In fact, as of now, I'm pretty sure alcohol isn't allowed at all on the beaches during the month of March to help minimize/eliminate the threat of underage drinking and decision-making. https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/15...

@Kevin Maher , excellent points. Not to mention, the east side of PCB proper is going to experience a boom as well; the US Congress just release the Decision of Record for 3x F-35 squadrons to Tyndall AFB by 2025.https://www.af.mil/News/Articl...

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