FL Panhandle Investor

11 Replies

Hello BP,

Long time lurker, first-time poster. I'm Brian Grainger from Panama City, Florida. My experience started when I was a child, my father would take me to the 38 units he owned to work on maintenance problems. I have fixed everything from clogged toilets to grease splattered all over the wall to a motorcycle being dismantled in the living room and the tenants below complaining of black oil dripping from the ceiling. 

I have owned four primary residence houses and have had mostly good experiences with making money when selling. I owned a house in Biloxi which I netted $10k in 16 months, a house in New Mexico which I ended up defaulting on, and most recently was able to do a long-rehab-flip on my primary residence netting $73k. 

Within the past month, I have been able to get my wife on board with investing in real estate after frequenting these forums and talking about the various concepts with her. 

My plan is to buy and hold long-term rentals within the Panama City area. I may look at short-term vacation rentals when I retire from the Air Force and have more time to devote to that business model. 

I'm excited to get started in this business and have read a couple of Brandon Turner's books - though I'm now eager to act.

What questions do you have for me?

Welcome @Brian Grainger !  

I am new to the BP community as well. I'm curious of what resources you may have found that elaborate on success with short-term vacation rentals. I as well have decided to focus on long-term buy and hold rentals but living in Orlando the vacation market is understandable very strong but I haven't been able to make sense of how to profit from it.

@Brian Grainger

@David Baier

Short Term Rental guy here! They are AWESOME

Brian, don't let being in the Air Force prevent you from renting in STR's, once you get a system set up they can be extremely profitable. While I do have some cash-flowing LTR, the primary focus for my wife and I have been STRs.

What can I help answer about STRs? 

Originally posted by @David Baier :

Welcome @Brian Grainger!  

I am new to the BP community as well. I'm curious of what resources you may have found that elaborate on success with short-term vacation rentals. I as well have decided to focus on long-term buy and hold rentals but living in Orlando the vacation market is understandable very strong but I haven't been able to make sense of how to profit from it.

 Hi David, I have friends who own condos and/or duplexes on the beach and do quite well with air bnb. Condos scare me a little with the unexpected special assessments. I work full time, so managing air bnb guests would be a challenge for me.

Originally posted by @Cain McNeil :

@Brian Grainger congrats on the decision! I am a native Panama City investor and sales agent. I specialize in mobile home parks and multifamily. I would love to help any answers you may have on our local market!

 Hi Cain, we may have a mutual friend if you know the owner of the mobile home park on Bertha. I'm looking at a multifamily at the moment. I would love to discuss mobile homes.

Originally posted by @Travis Rasmussen :

@Brian Grainger

@David Baier

Short Term Rental guy here! They are AWESOME

Brian, don't let being in the Air Force prevent you from renting in STR's, once you get a system set up they can be extremely profitable. While I do have some cash-flowing LTR, the primary focus for my wife and I have been STRs.

What can I help answer about STRs? 

 Hi Travis, I have some friends who do well in STRs on the beach here. I would be interested in hearing more about your system.

@Travis Rasmussen

Awesome! Thanks for the willingness to share your expertise!

I'm sure I could come up with dozens of questions but I'll start with some more general ones for my big picture understanding.

- Do you primarily buy vacation homes?

- What is the sweet spot for occupancy rate/ # of weeks rented?

- What is your typical ROI based on that occupancy rate?

- Have you bought in FL?

- Do you self manage or outsource to a property mgt company?

- I've been told that the first 1-2 years with vacation homes in Orlando you can expect to break even or take a loss due to the amount of competition and lack of your property having any sort of track record

- Do you buy brand new vacation homes or properties? (Here in my market there is a real opportunity to leverage commissions for buying brand new properties)

I understand there is a lot that I just asked so feel free to shoot back any valueable info you can.

Thanks again Travis!

Do you primarily buy vacation homes? Absolutely! We do look for great cash flow properties as well (we're under contract for one now) but those are more rare to find, STR just make more sense to me.

- What is the sweet spot for occupancy rate/ # of weeks rented? We aim for 80-90%. When we first evaluated properties, I would use 75% as my tool and some STR hosts would disagree with my occupancy rate (They would actually say it's to high!) But I prefer to know I am going to make "X" amount of money.

- What is your typical ROI based on that occupancy rate? Roughly $900-1000/month Net

- Have you bought in FL? Yes

- Do you self manage or outsource to a property mgt company? Self manage, we started with doing some extra rooms out of our primary residence and realized we do a lot better than the management companies out there. We have talked to owners out in FL and I have heard the story multiple times that management companies do a horrible job. They maybe get it 50% booked, they charge a high fee and they do not, well, care about your property. We value our 5 Stars and superhost status.

- I've been told that the first 1-2 years with vacation homes in Orlando you can expect to break even or take a loss due to the amount of competition and lack of your property having any sort of track record. Hasn't been true for us, we are actually looking at more property there.

- Do you buy brand new vacation homes or properties? (Here in my market there is a real opportunity to leverage commissions for buying brand new properties) Properties, when we first went to look, we didn't even have new homes pop up in the areas we decided to buy. We also avoid anything that are "only" vacation homes as it can be difficult to sell for financing reasons. 

Honestly, if you guys want to partner on some properties out there we would be more than happy to help. @Brian Grainger , if you want, we could manage for you. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you