Investment in Florida - Need Advice

17 Replies

Hi BP Family,

I am strongly considering purchasing condo as investment property in Florida and I'm looking at a few of these cities and zip codes.

Wondering if anyone here has any experience and or insights with regards to these markets good or bad that you'd be open to sharing. Appreciate any advice or wisdom in advance 🙏. Any particular things I should key in on or consider? Anyone have positive(of negative) experience + returns?

33480 palm beach

33903 cape coral/ft. Myers

33931 Bonita springs

34230 sarasota

34205 Bradenton

33701 st. Petersburg

33777 largo

33755 clearwater

Andy C

What are you trying to achieve?  What is your price point/budget?  

The markets you referenced in Tampa Bay (zips in St Pete, Largo, Clearwater) would not be one that my clients would actively pursue - and they differ dramatically from the other cities listed. I don't recommend condo investment due to the HOA fees and restrictions on leasing.

There are a lot of opportunities here for investing - even in our lowest inventory levels ever - but defining the opportunity and expectation is a better starting point than targeting a market to the zip code as an out-of-state investor.  

@Andy C. Agree with @Patricia Steiner . We recently did 1031 from CA to FL. Decided to split it between Orlando and Jacksonville. It is a bit of shock for CA investors because we are used to high credit score, tech workforce in SF Bay Area. However in FL, at least in Orlando, things are very different. All of the properties are brand new construction in really reputed communities with all the amenities and terrific location. We will see how Jacksonville pans out soon. Because we see opportunities in FL, our firm is in the process to become brokers in FL as well. Happy to provide more information if needed.

I'm in a similar situation.  Trying to land a condo/townhome as close to the sand as possible with only 40K down on a 200K or under rental.  We can see that most of the properties in that price range have a drive to the beach which is understandable given the appreciation that area has experienced.  Our mission is to rent it out short term with a local property manager assisting us with tasks that are handled in person. 

What area of Tampa is still experiencing a high property value to income potential ratio?  Also, what regulations are you speaking of Patricia?  Out here on the west coast cities are cracking down on the % of short term rental properties allowed in a town.

Thanks for the tips,


Hi @Andy C. ,

Both Cape Coral and Bonita Springs have very good potential for both short and long term rentals, largely depending on the price point you're looking to purchase in. I would be happy to talk more about both of these areas, feel free to send me a message with any questions!

@Bryan Stein -

In regards to your question about restrictions...

Condos and their respective associations can --and often --have restrictions placed on for whom and for what the property is used for.

Restrictions can be:

Age Specific - 55+ communities where atleast 80% of the units are required to have an occupant be 55 or older.  

Owner Occupant/ Leasing Specific - One requirement for a condo to be warrantable towards Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae guidelines (which allows homebuyers to use conventional financing) is 51%+ of the units need to be owner-occupied or a second home. 

Time Owned Specific - You may have to own the property for a certain period of time before you are able to lease it out. 

Each association will have their own set of criteria and can deny your ability to purchase so it is key to do thorough due diligence into what is and isn't allowed for each property of interest.

@Kirsten Fritze

That's a difficult question to answer as condos and townhome associations have various rules that they abide by beyond city and state guidelines.

With that said, condo-hotels ("condotels") are by nature short term rentals, however they generally have in house management with fees around 40% of revenue from my experience. Per Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae guidelines, you will need to be aware that condos that allow short term rentals are deemed non-warrantable. With that fact you will find it harder to find a lender if you are seeking a leveraged deal.

Originally posted by @Joey Stein :

Thanks @Obed Calixte for the description of regulations that are prevalent.  Is there a shortcut to knowing what the restrictions are when looking at a particular property for it's specific association?

 Your agent can assist or you  can reach out to the association directly. Many have websites to store rules & regulations, minutes and other docs. 

You can find the name of the condo in the community or subdivision section of the popular sites such as Zillow, Redfin etc and then do a quick  google search to find either the website or association phone number.

Hope that helps!

The area is far less of a concern than the financial condition of the Association.  Things like do they have proper insurance in place for hurricanes and reserves to cover hurricane deductibles?  Post storm condo assessments can be killer.

Andy C. from San Mateo. I am selling my last rental in Tampa. I will clear $200,000 Tax-free as my Residence. I want to invest half and not have a big mortgage. So, I have looked at Condos in all the Counties around Tampa, St. Petersburg...there are none For Sale. There is only one in Brandon that comes up sometimes, for $85 to $95,000 and it is sold in a day. 2/2 without garage or pool etc. The more Amenities you have, like pool, garage, visitor parking spot, Recreation Room, barbeque, golf course etc. the more HOA and CDD fees. Most important. You have to find out how old the roof is because you have to have at least ten years life left in the roofs here to get a loan. You don't want to buy in an older Condominium and have a Special Assessment for new roofs the day you move in. You need to walk through the Condominium and see who your neighbors are. What kind of cars they drive. The conditions of the outside, landscaping, asphalt etc. Do a Search online for that HOA and look for all the Complaints as the Associations are full of thieves and you can really get into legal troubles with them. You seem to want to be near the Beach? Do you know what Flood Insurance costs? Do you know that we have hurricanes in Florida? You probably will not be allowed to short term rent a Condo in Florida. You have to know all the Rules and Laws in each city you mentioned and talk with the HOA before you make a mistake.

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