Disney Vacation Rentals

4 Replies

Hello! I just discovered BP and am excited to learn from like-minded people!

I live in Virginia but I am hoping to invest in my first rental property, a vacation home around Disney World. I know there has been debate with long-term vs short-term rentals and I still haven't decided which would be the best option. If I choose the short-term rental path, I would want to find an excellent property manager who specializes in vacation rental. I would be looking to purchase a property in the Villas at Seven Dwarfs Lane or a neighboring community with similar amenities. My budget is around $130K. Because this is my first investment, a part of me feels like I should keep it simple and purchase a property intended for long-term lease. I'm looking to purchase in the next 6-9 months. 

Can anyone offer insight on vacation rental vs long-term rental? I understand vacation rental is more cost and effort, but it would be quite the adventure. I'm looking to connect with investors/property mangers/realtors in the area.


Hi Jess,

I work with a property management company and we have seen growth and success in the area around Disney World. As you search for a home that will be a great vacation rental, determine first if there are any HOA restrictions on short term rentals before you move forward. If you're interested, I can create a projection for how much rental income to expect by operating a home as a vacation rental. We can connect offline if you like.

I don't know about Florida, but I would suggest do thorough and independent (I.E. don't just ask a RE agent or PM and take their word for it) research on regulation and regulatory risk, especially around Disney parks. In Anaheim, Disney basically owns that city, and they don't much care for competition for their hotels ... too much regulatory risk for me. Finally, I would think that people would go to Disney world significantly less when a recession occurs, so also make sure to stress test your business model for this case ... I'd make sure the property would cash flow as a long term rental as plan B, and/or buy and fix such that you have enough forced equity to sell at a profit as plan C. The more profitable exit strategies, the more options, the more ways to make money and the fewer ways to lose it ... true for any investment.

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Hey Jess!

The Orlando market is indeed an attractive one.  And lucrative if you've got all the info at hand.

However, and I'm not trying to say anything more than "do your homework," but are you willing to learn all the ins and outs of vacation rental regulations in the Florida County in which you're looking to purchase?

@David Faulkner put it very well, there are some pitfalls here, especially if you go in planning to find a property manager to do the regulatory back-end for you.  Those absolutely exist, don't get me wrong, but unless you know what the regulations are (at least in principal) you can't double check their work on your behalf. 

I know you mentioned a community but that may not be where you end up and Orange County is as different from Polk County as it is different from Brevard County.  Not all Property Managers collect the correct taxes for you, let alone submit both the county taxes and the Florida State taxes on your behalf. 

BUT! You asked a question at the end so here is my take.  Vacation Rental is my preference, much more work than long-term but much faster reaction time to market changes

And to be honest, not all THAT time consuming, you may actually learn that you love doing it yourself from afar.  It is totally possible to manage booking/payment/access yourself and contract out the cleaning and maintenance.

Thank you all for your responses!

I have been thinking about this for a long time and I am currently in the process of "doing my homework". I love hearing the pros and cons of vacation rental. 

Thank you, @Peter R. for replying. I'm glad to hear your preference is vacation rental because I've only ever heard of people handling long-term rentals. You're right that I may not end up in that particular community, but I will continue to do research and take my time to find a property that makes sense. 

@David Faulkner Thank you for your input. This gives me a better insight for future planning. I am currently working to research regulations in the area and continue to crunch some numbers to make sure the investment makes sense for me.