Best Florida beach spot to at least break even with STR

6 Replies

Hi everyone,

What is the best beach area of Florida to invest in a STR? I currently live in Maine and have a couple of rentals here that do well, but I'd like to have a place that I can go to in Florida once or twice a year with the family. Originally I wanted to invest in Sarasota (it's where we typically go to vacation and I love the area), but the restrictions were intense and I know that the same goes for a lot of the Florida beach areas. What are the areas where I could buy a SF or multi and at least break even if not generate a little cash flow?


@Heather S. I am super partial, lol, but I believe that Fort Walton Beach/Okaloosa Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida is your best deal. I live here, own properties here, manage vacation rentals here and sell real estate here. So, yes, I am not a very neutral adviser. So.... check in out on the internet, on Airbnb, on VRBO, etc and see the demand is there. STRs/Vacation rentals are a key business here. Also, the Panhandle is a "driving" beach destination for families from the southern and central states. That is key, because a lot of families cannot afford to vacation to places where they have to buy plane tickets for the whole family.

I would also look into Navarre Beach, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach and Panama City Beach. Destin is great and in the middle of all of these, but properties in Destin proper are somewhat overpriced vs income potential (my personal opinion). I would suggest you take a brief vacation visit here and  see for yourself. Make sure to rent the kind of place you would be interested in buying to give you a feel of the overall experience from the point of view of guests.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

Thank you! I'll look into the areas you mentioned right away :) I'm also open to doing a LTR on the Keys or in Sarasota area, but one of the units would need to cover plus some, because we'd want to leave one vacant for us...and that makes hardly any sense other than we'd have a place to stay for a couple of vacations and we'd have a place if my daughter ended up going there for college. 

Do you happen to know of a comprehensive overview of what towns allow STRs? That's the other part I'm worried about. There's so much pushback on STRs and whatever we buy obviously needs to cover itself if we do have to convert it to a LTR.

I'm not sure if we're going to break even, but my husband and I recently purchased a condo in Navarre Beach. We've been looking for something somewhat affordable to purchase with well established STR regulations for a couple of years with the intention of using it for our "snowbirding" after retirement in 4-9 years. Due to Hurricane Michael, we were forced to change our booking from Mexico Beach to Navarre Beach, fell in love with the area and pulled the trigger. We hope to break even and some point within 2-3 years but it is not completely imperative. We're just looking forward to getting someplace warmer than Minnesota!

Originally posted by @Anand S. :

STR in FTL is well regulated. It's also quite profitable if you find the right property. What are you looking to spend?

We are looking to stay between $250-450000K. I know the numbers are pretty different, however, the higher we go, the quicker and larger a payout we need due to how we are financing. Any ideas?