Searching for a home/property on 30A? Check out this quick answer guide: 

 Watercolor Live 30A Real Estate

Setting the right expectations

1.) Vacation Rental Income Return & The Real Fees Associated

- Owning a vacation rental on 30A is exciting and fun! And you'll be owning in one of the most beautiful and highly demanded beach destinations in the US, especially the South. But while rental income here is great, real estate prices are also strong - so don't expect 10% and 10%+ ROI to be the common. A fair example - for a home in Seacrest Beach (2019/2020) valued at $850,000, expect a gross rental income around $60,000 - $75,000. Another example on the high end of the spectrum maybe a 8-10 bedroom home on 30A valued at $3,000,000 and can also generate $300,000 gross rental income. 

- Notice the "GROSS" stated above. What about the "NET"? - For a vacation rental property on 30A, you can typically expect a vacation rental management company to charge 22-25% for a property generating $100,000 or less in gross rental income. For a property generating $100,00 - $200,000 gross rental income, you can expect fees to be in the 20% range. And above $200,000 - expect the management companies to be aggressive in pursuing your business and cut fees to 15-18%. These fees will cover booking, marketing, and overall management of the property - including scheduling, ordering repairs & deep cleans when needed. You will be charged for any little repairs needed like light bulbs, filters, fridge stops working, etc. (damage from guests is paid by guests). Also expect to pay for deep cleans, an extra set of linens, and a pressure wash/caulking/touch up paint, every year of so to keep your house in it's FRESHEST condition. 

2.) Which Properties Generate the Most Vacation Rental Income?

Generating the most rental income is something most owners are hoping to do. Here's a few things you can do in the searching process to narrow things down... 

- Private pool. If no private pool, then a nearby community pool is a huge help. This can effect rental income 10-20%

- Proximity to the beach. If it's a tough walk / ride to the beach for you, others will think the same. While great amenities can help alleviate and negate some of this, a great beach access is a big helper. 

- View of the Gulf. Hands down this helps - but it must be more than a "peek" in the distance. Nice try, but everyone (including you) wants a breathtaking view of the gulf if they can afford it. 

- Heads in beds. While this must be within reason of the floorplan and style of the home, there's no doubt that sleeping 14 people vs. 10 people can generate more income. Maybe it's a 5 bedroom vs. a 4 bedroom, or perhaps it's 4 bedrooms with an extra bunk. 

- While communities like Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary, and Alys are all great communities in so many ways - so do rent better than others. Look for the ones that are: Closest to the beach and pool amenities, can sleep extra people in bunks, and are downright the coolest looking. 

- The ones that look awesome. In 2019/2020 and beyond in the era of awesome pictures and online reviews - there's no getting past a great looking property that's really cool. If a home has a "wow" factor, the kids love it, the wife loves it, etc. etc. it'll generate income. The "wow" factor is real. 


3.) How Much Money do I Need to Pay for a Property on 30A? Great Question - Let's break it down (2019/2020)

- For a studio condo to 1 bedroom condo with gulf views or in a great location between Rosemary and Alys Beach, expect to pay around $200,000

- For a 3-4 bedroom home in the 30A area on the west end (west of Seaside) in areas like Grayton Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, etc. you can expect to pay (Starting) in the $500-800k range for a home that all the family would love, is newer, and a quick stroll to the beach. 

- For a home with gulf views, expect to pay $800k-1.5m or more

- For Watercolor / Seaside - expect to pay $900k or more, with an average of $1.5-2.5m

- For Old Seagrove, expect to pay $1m+ to pickup an older property and $2m+ for a new property.

- In Alys Beach, expect to pay $2-4M+ for a property

- In Rosemary Beach, expect to pay $1.5-3m+ for a property

- All throughout 30A, and in-between the communities - expect to find some relatively good deals to buy, build, or renovate! 

4.) Questions to ask yourself to help narrow down properties

- How will I use the property? (Will you stay in it 2-3 weeks and rent the rest?)

- Who will be using the property? (Will you have your parents come stay? - will that mean you'll need an elevator?)

- What would you love to do with the property? (Renovate & flip in a year? - Hold and enjoy for 5? - have forever?)


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