Ideas for an investment property Alabama/Florida Coast

13 Replies

Hi everyone,

I’m currently on a road trip driving down the coast from Alabama to Florida, looking at the properties in Pensacola at the moment as real estate prices seem affordable here and the demand is high and stable even during the COVID times.

I understand Panama City Beach is not within my budget but excited to check out Clearwater/Tampa area and all the way down to Miami as I’m not attached to any particular location.

I would love to connect with local investors or hosts and get advice. My ideal property would be within 50-120k price range, single family home suitable for STR, not far from the city center/beaches. I'm open to rehabbing a distressed property. I've spoken to a few agents in Pensacola but would like to work with someone who has expertise and understanding of Airbnb and short term rentals. I have a STR in California and understand the concept very well (have been successful for the last 4 years) but not the local market.

I would appreciate any advice on what neighborhoods/areas to look closely at and what to avoid. Please feel free to message me directly.

Thank you all in advance,


@Anastasia Stal Welcome! We have been talking about doing the same as you. Mobile, Gulf Shores etc and Florida areas. Will be interested to hear your thoughts after visiting in person. This was my plan. How is the humidity compared to California? Thank you. Good luck and keep us posted.

@Dylan Vargas Will be happy to share my thoughts and stay in touch. How far are you in your research? So far I can report the following:

- humidity is so high comparing to Cali (took few days to get used to sweat) but really nice and warm even at night,

- lots of insects and mosquitos (took few days to realize I had been bitten) - both climate and wildlife are so different here,

- I really loved Alabama - Mobile with its historical houses and little downtown & Gulf Shores/Orange Beach with its long white sandy beach, local restaurants and bars. Orange Beach would be the most desirable area for me but the inventory is low and mostly condos with HOA built in the 80,

- Pensacola has a few houses on the market within my price range and I hope to view some of them in the next few days. From what I'm seeing many properties have been already rehabbed and flipped by local investors (especially in up and coming areas near downtown Pensacola), or purchased as a bulk package and now being sold at market price.

I would suggest connecting with an experienced realtor. We're looking for the same things but the market is high at the moment. We're in Panama City Beach this weekend staying at STR to see the area again. There are some horror stories here during spring break. We mostly go to Destin and Orange Beach. The place were in is a 1br open concept bottom floor with owners on 2nd floor. It's nice. 180 a night.


@Anastasia Stal Panama City (not PCB) would be a good place to check out. For that price range you could get a distressed property and STR rent it. You would be a little further from the beach, but beach-goers who want a more affordable option will still stay further away and you can attract guests traveling for the military bases. There's not too many places along the coast you can pick up for under $120k, but if you look for good markets close enough you can still find good potential. I operate all of my STRs in Panama City away from the beach and do very well all year round by catering to beach-goes in the summer and working professionals in the off season.

@Clint Shelley Hi, that’s great to hear I’m not alone) I will be in Panama City Beach next week. Would you mind sharing the link to the place you are staying at right now? I would love to take a look.
Have you viewed any condos/houses yet? Have you found a local agent? Perhaps it makes sense to wait till the end of the season... Inventory is really low now. 

I'll send you a dm. You should also visit the town of Apalachicola. It's a quaint little town and is really what old Florida was like. We love it there to get away from the crowds. It's a east of PCB and you can see what hurricane Michael did before you get there. The world really forgot about this area. 5 minutes of coverage and onto the next one. The panhandle of Florida really is wonderful. Enjoy your trip.


Hey @Anastasia Stal  

I'm in South Florida, and the only thing I know is that this market is more expensive than the Tampa Bay area, or even Jacksonville. I don't have many options for SFRs and I'm looking in the $200K range. 

I'm also not sure if Tampa has this, but many places in South Florida have HOA fees that drain your income if you're looking into buy and hold.

Please let me know if there's anything I can help with.

@Mike Anderson though nightly prices are lower off the beach, you can find way more affordable prices and the margins are just as good yet with lower barriers to entry. You just have to make sure the area off the beach is STR friendly. Many places off the beach in PCB are not STR friendly because the city has a tight grip on it where in Panama City it's much more relaxed - so it just comes down to researching the local market.


Welcome! I am an investor and agent in the St. Petersburg area. My partner and I own rental properties in Madeira Beach and Treasure Island, Florida (duplexes and triplexes). The St. Pete, Clearwater, Tampa area offers some excellent investment opportunities and it is a strong, growing market. 

We can help you identify and analyze properties in the Tampa Bay area. We are lifelong residents and absolutely love it here. We may be biased but we certainly recommend the St. Pete area!

We would be happy to help you find excellent investment properties around Tampa Bay. 


I'm a Realtor in PCB, which is and has been a great HOT market for STR, however I will honestly tell you there's nothing within the price range of $50-$120k available for sale. If anyone is looking for a good investment, you can find a starter efficiency condo at Fontainebleau Terrace for $130k (330sqft), or around $150k at "Top of the Gulf" with Gulf Views or a 1-bed Golf Villa at Edgewater with no Gulf Views for $148k and high HOA fees.

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