Along with the joy of owning a Central Florida vacation home comes the question of who will look after the property when you’re not there.
Fortunately, there is a well-developed property management industry to provide a solution (of course, you don’t have to employ a property management company, but try dealing with maintenance problems from 3000-4000 miles away!).
There are many different types of company to choose from, so what advice can we give you to make the whole process as successful as possible?
- Find a management company you can trust: you need confidence in the people with the keys to the door in your absence. Find an alternative if things aren’t working out with your current company.
- Treat your home as a business – actively market it if you need the rental income and monitor your monthly expenses carefully.
- Accept that you will have maintenance costs – things wear out, even in Florida.
- Pay your own utility bills, so you know when they’re paid and you have immediate knowledge of the costs.
- Pay special attention to property taxes & insurances – failure to do so is risky and can be costly!
- Understand the Sales Tax/Licensing requirements – again, ignoring them can be costly.
- Renting your property out? Recognize that not everyone will treat your home as you would wish (fortunately, only a minority of people).
- Contact other vacation homeowners for additional support – for example, try http://www.top-forums.com for independent advice and experiences.
Many of these may seem obvious, and they are only a brief summary of the issues involved, but the overall message is: stay involved and don’t leave all the decisions to your management company.
During our years in the Florida real estate industry, we have experienced most aspects of the vacation home market, including buying, managing and selling homes (both for ourselves and for clients) as well as building and renovating homes. That means that we have first-hand knowledge of the issues that arise and how an owner can enjoy the most successful relationship with his own property manager. So contact us via the inquiry form here with any more detailed questions that you have.