Championsgate vs Reunion for short term rental investment

8 Replies

Hello. My wife and I own a handful of vacation rental property units in Michigan, our home base. We also own one on the Atlantic in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida which has performed very well. We self manage all of our own units and it's worked out well for us. We are now interested in acquiring a STR in the Disney Corridor of Southwest Orlando . We have taken two scouting trips and have connected with a great Realtor who has been very helpful. At this stage we have it narrowed down to Reunion and Championsgate. Our personal tastes lean more towards Reunion, but everything you read or hear about Championsgate suggests that calendars fill fast, high occupancy can be expected, and values stretch further in that development. We would love insights from anyone who has invested in these areas before.

Additionally, we haven't toured any homes in Encore at Reunion and don't know as much about it. We heard early on that Encore's values weren't holding and that there were issues there. We also heard that Encore requires that you hire one of their pre-approved management companies which would not work for us. However, we do see listings with great value PSF and the amenities appear to be robust.

Our budget for this property is $400,000 - $500,000 and we're letting ROI steer us to the right opportunity. We want to love the place, but it needs to be a cash flow generator first and foremost.

Thank you in advance for your insights.

Originally posted by @Aaron May :

Hello. My wife and I own a handful of vacation rental property units in Michigan, our home base. We also own one on the Atlantic in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida which has performed very well. We self manage all of our own units and it's worked out well for us. We are now interested in acquiring a STR in the Disney Corridor of Southwest Orlando . We have taken two scouting trips and have connected with a great Realtor who has been very helpful. At this stage we have it narrowed down to Reunion and Championsgate. Our personal tastes lean more towards Reunion, but everything you read or hear about Championsgate suggests that calendars fill fast, high occupancy can be expected, and values stretch further in that development. We would love insights from anyone who has invested in these areas before.

Additionally, we haven't toured any homes in Encore at Reunion and don't know as much about it. We heard early on that Encore's values weren't holding and that there were issues there. We also heard that Encore requires that you hire one of their pre-approved management companies which would not work for us. However, we do see listings with great value PSF and the amenities appear to be robust.

Our budget for this property is $400,000 - $500,000 and we're letting ROI steer us to the right opportunity. We want to love the place, but it needs to be a cash flow generator first and foremost.

Thank you in advance for your insights.

 Hey,

How much are you guys NETing on your airbnb properties?

Aaron -

It appears you are well on your way in your analysis of where the opportunities are in your search of our short term rental market here near Disney World.  A few things I can add to what you have already discovered -

Encore At Reunion - It's in a great location, and, when you buy in there, you have access to the amenities in Reunion itself.  The problem is, as you have already discovered, you have to use one of their designated property managers.  You can't make money paying their high commissions on your home's rentals.  The same developers are the owners of Margaritaville, and they have the same property management requirements there.

Reunion - Great location, beautiful homes, 3 championship golf courses, multi-million dollar water park and award winning tennis center - Appears great, but it's hard to make a profit.  The expenses are higher and there are limitations on how much your guests can use the amenities.  The only homes that I see making a good profit are the multi-million dollar homes.

ChampionsGate - Of the three vacation home communities, I think this is your best chance of making a profit.  I encourage you to go on Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO and look at the homes that are renting the best at the highest rates and emulate them.  Regardless of which home you buy, you will need to spend some money in upgrades and fun features to maximize rentals.

One last note:  I would not put too much of emphasis on a PSF analysis.  While that works with long term rentals, it does not work well with short term rentals here.  I often see short term rentals with a higher PSF (sometimes much higher) perform better than those with a much lower PSF.  

Hope this helps.

Keith

@Keith Courtney thank you for the response Keith . I have seen your posts on other threads and I appreciate the knowledge you share so willingly . I should have added that we know returns can be better in other types of investments but we have really enjoyed the personal usage benefits and the ability to share the properties with friends and family ..

I have read about Reunion requiring buyers to use pre approved property managers but had recently heard that they can be self managed. As a matter of fact the house we like the most that is on the market currently self manages and says right in the listing that it is allowed, though it appears they might not be in compliance and we would not take that risk.

Again, thank you for your insights, they are greatly appreciated .

Aaron

Hey there @Aaron May ,

You said that ROI is driving your decisions, correct? I'm interested in knowing where you are getting your data from to project a healthy ROI opportunity for your Real Estate Investment.

Hoasty.co does free AirDNA reports you may want to leverage, and you can submit an unlimited amount of units to get the data. If you end up using AirDNA yourself it will cost about $99 per zipcode you want to review haha 

Would be very interested in hearing about how your Michigan properties are performing. I have a portfolio in the area that have been might profitable. 

@Ken Barton hi Ken- I did pull an AirDNA report but found the data to be really confusing and I didn’t feel like it was aggregating correctly in some cases. I was seeing Champions Gate properties grossing $100,000+ but the listings had no reviews whatsoever and calendars had a lot of availability. I have been fortunate to work with a Realtor who is very connected and have been privy to some good data from successful properties that has us encouraged . We self manage our other properties and are pretty good at the channels and the marketing aspect, there would still be much work to do in finding the right contacts to make it possible; I.E cleaners, maintenance, preferred vendors etc.

@Aaron May

Couldn't agree more. Most of our owners feel that's its a full time job.

That's why, the same as their traditional Property Management needs, they outsource the management of their vacation rental needs.

It's not only the constant pricing flux, the 24/7 communication, upselling early check-ins & late checkouts, but it's the management of each and every turnover.

If you plan to scale your vacation rental empire you may consider outsourced management.

Out of interest, have you considered Windsor hills? It is older, but I think that might be a plus as properties will be cheaper, and people know it already. And it is the closest to Disney as far as I know.

I also, wonder, if from an Airbnb guest perspective, if they really care about the community or not. I would think they would first look at the price and location, and then what it offers (value for money).

I am saying those because I am currently looking at properties either in Windsor Hills or outside, but something I can pay very low HOA fees, to increase my ROI.