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What Every Investor Should Look for Before Buying an Investment Property in SW Fl

What Every Investor Should Look for Before Buying an Investment Property in SW Fl

It’s no surprise that you might be looking for investment properties in SW FL. It’s a sunny place, with plenty of beach property, and if you’re not planning to take up permanent residence in the state, you’ll find comfort in the many residents who also spend time in Florida to escape the colder months of the year. Florida is home to a booming retired community, and the sunny state always welcomes visitors are just looking for a warm and tropical spot to spend their vacation.

No matter what your reason for looking into investment property in southwest Florida is, be it to own property, or to rent it out, there are few things to keep in mind.

Know Property Types

You have more choices at your fingertips buying real estate in SW FL than simply renting out housing complexes for multiple families year-round. Your investment options also extend to traditional rental income properties, a second home, or a vacation rental.

Properties sell for a wide range of prices, so regardless of what your budget is, you’ll likely be able to find something to suit your needs. It goes without saying that the closer to the beach you’re looking to invest, the more costly it will be.

Cape Coral, specifically, has some great options along the beaches and canals, and the Fort Myers area also has beautiful vacation homes. If you’re looking to spend between 300k and 400k, then investments in this area might be just for you. If your budget is a bit lower, for example, the 100k to 200k range, then you can find more affordable properties by going inland a little – perfect for renting out to working-class families. Keep in mind, however, that these investments might require a bit more potential renovation cost. If you are looking for houses on sale in Cape Coral, be sure to search our database.

If you’re looking to use the property yourself, locations in SW FL can make for great vacation homes – think single-family homes, townhouses, or condos. By avoiding renting, you’re able to build equity and start paying down the principal now, so that you can end up using the home as your permanent residence once you retire. To side-step renter concerns like lawn care, property owners typically hire a property management company during the time that the houses are rented out.

If you don’t plan to live in the property at any point, traditional rental properties might be just up your alley, such as all of the ”plexes’: duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes. But, you’re not only limited to such properties. If you want to scoop up a condo as a family home to rent, then those are an option as well.

Know the Local Prices

National prices may go up and down as time goes on. However, that’s not always the case. When you’re looking into how much investment properties in are Southwest FL, know that the prices can vary based on location. Just because the national rates in FL are down 10%, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to pick up a lovely beachfront property on the cheap. But prices do change, so keep your eye on these properties, just in case.

Prices Follow Inflation

Typically, property prices tend to follow inflation by about +/- 1-2%. So if the latest inflation figures are showing 4%, expect property prices will rise by 2-6%. If you look at property prices over the course of many years, it can vary wildly. These stats give you the general direction of prices and the areas of strength (or weakness).

Where to Look

If you’re looking at properties themselves before putting your money towards an investment property, it’s good to know where to find all available listings. Browsing available listings is always an excellent place to start on how to buy investment properties in SW FL. In these technology-rich times, it’s great to be able to get a virtual look at prospective properties before even considering stepping foot on them. There are plenty of sites that offer detailed pictures and other information about the property. They may also give realtor information, as working with a trusted realtor from the area can be beneficial to ensure that you’re looking at the right places and considering all factors.

Known websites, like Trulia and Zillow, are excellent places to find properties for rent or sale across the country. But, since we’re looking specifically at Southwest Florida, a better idea might be to visit the websites of local real estate agencies. These sites list the properties in a specific niche or area. Also, consider contacting the property management companies who specialize in managing the particular properties of the locations you’re looking to invest in – such as Cape Coral or Fort Myers. They’ll know these areas better than virtually anyone else. If there are any potential pitfalls, they’ll be the first to know and a massive help in pointing out any details of the market.

Find a Florida Realtor

You’ll have a much easier time finding the best properties worth investing in if you take the time to find a top-notch Florida realtor to help you along in the process. The right realtor will make the process smooth and comfortable, and in Florida, real estate sale commissions are paid directly out of the seller’s proceeds. This means, as a buyer in Florida, it’ll cost you absolutely nothing to enlist the help of a realtor. Plenty realtors even specialize as buyer’s agents. Florida realtors are there individually to help you find the perfect property for whatever your budget might be.

There’s a lot to know and to look for when looking to invest in property in Southwest Florida, but with enough due diligence, you can indeed have a successful experience. Investing in a property in Southwest Florida should be a seamless process, and we hope that you walk away from the deal with a big smile on your face. For more information on purchasing an investment property you may contact me directly here for a free consultation.

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Reasons to Retire in Southwest Florida

Florida is geographical located by beautiful beaches along the coast.  Here in Southwest Florida we are surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico with destinations like Sanibel & Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Barefoot Beach, Lover’s Key, Bonita Beach & Estero Beach.  Living in a vacation destination is filled with attractions and things to do like recreational water sports,  fishing, boating, kayaking and of course beach lovers can soak up the sun!  There is a variety of cuisine both family owned and franchise favorites offering an array of choices to wine and dine!  Staying active helps us to live a healthy lifestyle and what better way to do so than appreciating Mother Nature’s lush green landscapes and breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Gulf waters!

 

Did I mention the weather?   The average high is 81 degrees and average low of 60 degrees in cooler months starting in late October through February.  Summers are sizzling but Floridians find ways to avoid the heat by scheduling indoor activities during the hottest time of day and outdoor activities during the early morning or late evenings.  The best thing about Florida summertime is that sunsets about 8:00 pm giving us time to have fun and enjoy the evenings!

 

 

Did you know that Florida has a low 6% sales tax and no state income tax! Property taxes are an average of 0.97% of a property’s assessed fair market value as property tax per year. Everyone likes to save on everyday expenses and when you are on a fixed income it feels good to save some extra dollars for rainy days.  Retiring can be a daunting thought but it does not have to be.  There are builders in Cape Coral that specialize in duplexes.  These are no ordinary duplexes.  With 1700 square feet of living space on each unit;  it is truly a house generating income for you!  Have you thought of living on one side and having tenants on the other?

 

Being away from family can be unnerving and fearsome but having the best of both worlds can be an option for you!  Many retirees split their housing between Florida and wherever their families live.  There are many 55+ communities that offer many amenities and recreational activities.  Southwest Florida has its own International Airport as well, so it is convenient to travel back and forth.

No need to worry about your healthcare in the area.  There are a multitude of Lee Health hospitals, outpatient facilities throughout Lee County.  In addition there are Urgent Care facilities, Gulf Coast Medical Center, Health Park in Fort Myers which offer many onsite specialist.  There is also the Lee County Veterans Hospital in Cape Coral. As you can see healthcare is readily accessible.

     

 

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How To Buy An Investment Property in Southwest Florida

buying an investment property in swfl

Are you thinking about moving to southwest Florida, or spending your winters there? A lot of Americans—many of them retired, and referred to as “snowbirds”—head to the Cape Coral/Fort Meyers area to escape the cold winter months they experience in other parts of the country. Others visit for the warm, tropical climate and beautiful white sand beaches during the summer months when school is out.

Whether or not you are planning on staying there, southwest Florida is a great place to invest in real estate. There are plenty of visitors year round who are looking for a place to stay, whether seasonally or for longer periods of time.

Real estate prices are lower in this area than in many other areas in the state, and tourism has ignited a lot of new development. There are quite a few properties available at affordable prices especially in Cape Coral. Here is how you can go about purchasing an investment property in this popular area of the state.

Why Southwest Florida?

Southwest Florida is a beautiful place with warm weather all year. It also enjoys a lower cost of living than other areas of the state. The Cape Coral/Fort Meyers metropolitan area offers many amenities, great schools, recreation, and beachside living. The area is full of beautiful canals—Cape Coral has over 400 miles of canals, which is more than any other place in the world. Unemployment rates are low, and rental returns are high, making it a great place to rent out properties. Investing here can give you an opportunity to spend time in the beautiful sunshine state while also saving up funds for retirement or other financial goals.

Owning rental properties here can also offer some tax breaks if certain conditions are met. Some are eligible for a 1031 tax deferred exchange, which allows investors to defer taxes on capital gains from the purchase of the property. This exchange can be a significant advantage—as you search for your rental property to purchase, talk to your realtor and bank about this benefit to property owners.

What Types of Properties Are Available, and Which is Right for You?

best homes for sale swflYour choices are not limited to multi-family housing complexes that are rented out to tenants year round. Investments can take the form of a second home, vacation rental, or a traditional residential income property.

Depending on your budget, property purchase prices can be found within a wide range. Waterfront properties will be higher priced, of course. Cape Coral has some beautiful condos and single-family homes along the canals and beaches. Fort Meyers and Fort Meyers Beach also offer some spectacular vacation homes. If you are looking for a vacation home with a view, and have $300-400,000 to invest, then those properties may be right for you. If you are planning to rent out to working-class families, going inland a little, you will see lower prices closer to $100-200,000, but possibly have to do some renovations.

If you are planning on staying in the home yourself, you can consider purchasing a second vacation home. This can be a single-family home, condo, or townhouse. This has advantages over renting—you can build equity, and start paying down the principal now so that you can end up using the home as your permanent residence during retirement. It is wise to rent out the house when you are not there to offset operating expenses. Most property owners who do this opt to hire a property management company during the months the house is rented out, so they don’t have to worry about micromanaging things like lawn care and renter concerns.

If you don’t plan on living in the home at all, you can purchase a traditional rental property. Most are duplexes, triplexes, or fourplexes, but you can also purchase condos or single family homes to be used purely for renting. Some investors just own these rental properties and live elsewhere, while others also have a vacation property (above) and are in the area part of the time. As with renting out a vacation home, most investors will have a property management company handle their rentals if they are not in town.

Where to Look

How To Buy An Investment Property in Southwest FloridaThere are quite a few ways to find homes for sale in the southwest Florida area. If you are computer savvy, there are many websites out there that list homes for sale and offer detailed photos and other stats about the home. Working with a trusted realtor from the area can be advantageous if you want the assurance that you are looking in the right places and at the right factors.

Websites like Trulia and Zillow are known real estate hubs where you can find properties for sale and rent across the country. Other websites of local real estate agencies will often list more properties in a niche market for a particular area. Property Management companies who specialize in managing properties in southwest Florida can also be helpful to contact—they’ll know the ins and outs of the market and have first-hand experience dealing with any issues that may come up when renting properties in that specific area but for a more personal and customized assessment of your needs, you may contact me or schedule a call with me using the form below.


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If you have a particular area in mind and are not able to find anything, it could be a good idea to be open minded and let a pro show you around. It could be that the place you had envisioned is actually not the best location to get the most return on your investment and that another property in a similar neighborhood could actually bring you a better positive cash flow.

Do’s & Dont’s of Buying An Investment Property in Southwest Florida

As noted above, many property owners opt to have a separate third party manage their buildings when they are away. Some may hire the company year-round, while others may live in the home part of the year and not need those services.

Wherever you buy, pay attention to any rules related to renting. Some gated communities and condominiums may have rules about how many times a year you can rent out the property, or if any animals are welcome. If you know before purchasing that you aren’t going to be able to comply with these rules—say you want to rent out your vacation home on a weekly basis in the summer but the condo association says you can only rent it out three times a year—consider purchasing another property that will offer you more flexibility.

If you are managing the property yourself, you will be responsible for everything from home maintenance to writing lease agreements to finding and screening tenants. There are many websites, both local and national, where you can list the property for rent. Be sure to thoroughly screen tenants and come up with a detailed lease so that there are no surprises, and residents are held accountable if they cause any damage to the home while they are there. Also, before deciding on a rent price, do your research and find out what other rentals go for in the area. You want to charge a price that is competitive but can also bring you a positive profit.

Overall, buying an investment property in southwest Florida can have many advantages. If you buy a property during your earning years before you retire, you can capitalize on the appreciation of the home and have a lot of equity built up before you turn it into your permanent residence. If you purely rent, you can continue building your wealth as long as you have a positive cash flow. Allow me to help you find and manage your investment property in SWFL. Get started now by filling the form below to schedule a call.


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Things To Do In Cape Coral

Ten years ago, my husband and I decided to move to Cape Coral, Florida to buy our first home and raise our family.  The idea of having a big yard with no fence was a dream for us since we came from a busy metropolitan city, Miami.  Being able to afford a house was not an attainable goal for us if we had not moved!  We most likely would have ended up with a townhome which was not an option for us with our fast growing family. We had researched the area before we moved and Cape Coral met all the needs we were looking for and more!

  • Affordable
  • Fast Growing
  • Safe
  • A+ schools
  • Nearby Beaches
  • Boating & Fishing
  • Extracurricular Activities for the kids (Marching Band, Soccer, baseball, ballet, martial arts, swimming)
  • Centrally located to metropolitan areas with an average of 2-3 hours driving distance. (Miami, Tampa, Orlando)

Over the years, we have seen Southwest Florida through its challenging downfall of the real estate industry during it hardest hit years and most recent years of recovering, fast growing and developing into the beautiful Salt Life Living that we have all grown to love & call Home!

There are so many things to do in Cape Coral…

It has its own water park. Sun Splash Family Water Park

Things To Do In Cape Coral

There are 39 parks in Cape Coral alone!  Boat Ramps are also readily available throughout Cape Coral!

                           CAPE CORAL PARKS & RECREATION

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Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is the second largest preserved green space in Cape Coral with 365 acres of wetland, wildlife sightings, walking trail & seasonal kayak rentals.  It is with reason that it has become one of our favorite parks to visit!

Living in Cape Coral has been a dream for us!  We have made close friends whom we share marching band parades & concerts with my daughter, recreational soccer cheers with my son and year-round barbecue, pool & beach parties with our loved ones.

For more information how you can live the salt life in Southwest Florida contact me Rebecca Silva at 239-464-2528.

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Cape Coral Farmers Market Review

Cape Coral Farmers Market

Cape Coral Local Farmers Market

Cape Coral has several spots for getting your locally grown fruits and vegetables.  One of my favorites is Tropicaya Fresh Produce.  It is about 14 minutes from my house.  The drive is so worth it…not only do they have fresh fruits and veggies!  They also have fresh fruit smoothies, homemade ice cream, sandwiches, honey,  jellies, hot sauces and uniquely wooden carved souvenirs.  It’s just an inviting and relaxing ambiance to share a weekend treat with the family!

 

Cape Coral Farmers Market review

Around this time is mango season and being the mango lovers that we are… we frequently visit here throughout the summer.

cape coral fresh produce

To get more information about relocating or retiring in Cape Coral, Fl please feel free to contact me, Rebecca Silva, at 239-4642528.