This past weekend our assistant Kyrsten visited Orlando, Florida and some surrounding areas to do a bit of research for clients for vacation homes.
Unfortunately many of their homes are going into Foreclosure. Because of the Foreclosures all over Orlando and surrounding areas many of the communities have seen a recent ‘boom’ in sales due to the low prices and the properties are moving very quickly. Where as many other areas the properties are being held on to by the bank and will remain vacant until their market turns around. This was be evident in areas which were higher in price and offered more security.
We have been researching properties for clients for over a month now and already in that time span have seen a drastic increase in sales and prices. This is of course a good sign for their market/economy/investors because the market will continue to grow and hopefully home prices will climb to a more stable rate.
Like any community there are always areas within that community which are more desirable than others. For those of you who have not ventured into the residential areas outside of Orlando a vast majority of these areas are set up as gated communities off of a main road. For the gated communities that have remained well kept and maintained they are absolutely beautiful and you feel as though you are somewhat on a private Oasis. For the communities that haven’t been well there is a bit of a different story.
The communities that I went to:
Davenport is a very large area in terms of landmass. When I was visiting Davenport I focused on looking at homes which were in the ‘short term rental zone’. This means that these homes were zoned for rentals. Davenport is a great community for investors looking to rent out their properties. It is conveniently off of the 536 Highway and is approximately 5-10 minutes from all of the Disney parks. There is a large shopping centre for all of your vacation needs within a close proximity to the homes. Davenport is a great alternative area versus Orlando itself. Davenport is filled with Gated communities. The majority of the gated communities are very well kept and well maintained. Almost all of the properties offer a built in lanai and a pool which is an added bonus for any investor.
Poinciana is a very unique area. Poinciana is comprised of two zip codes, 34758 and 34759. The area of 34758 primarily were older homes in well kept neighborhoods. 34759 tended to be newer homes constructed on well sized lots and the square footage of the homes themselves that I was finding were consistently over 2000 square feet. These areas intrigued me as the pricing was on the lower side with newer or older homes larger in size. One thing to note about Poinciana is that there is only one way into this area and one way out which could be seen as a drawback for those looking to venture into Orlando from time to time. Poinciana over all I would say it is a neighborhood filled with cultural diversity with affordable prices! Some of the homes that I saw needed a bit of TLC however that is of course to be expected with any sale let alone a Foreclosure. Poinciana for the most part did not offer any gated communities. One thing to note about Poinciana, some of the homes and communities have adopted the “Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae law” This law basically states that you can not purchase a home in this area unless you are using it as your primary residence. This information can be found on some of the listings on mls.com
The area of Campbell and Kissimee that I looked in was the ‘34746 zip code’. I was overall extremely impressed with this area. The set up to this community was similar to that of Davenport in the respect that all of their communities were located off of a main road and I would say over all 90% of the communities were gated. Of the gated communities a vast majority had swipe cards or actual guards which could limit you from entering. Like every area that I looked in there was of course Foreclosures and Short Sales within this community. However the impoverished state was not as evident in comparison. When I was in this area I spoke to several new home builders and they explained to me that they had not imposed the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae law, nor were these areas zoned as short term rental communities. They did not encourage or allow investors for the purpose of profit in these areas. Meaning you could purchase a home in this area as your second home however you were not allowed by the HOA to use this property as a rental. This was set in place to maintain continuity throughout the neighborhoods. The majority of the gated communities that I found backed onto large lakes and were extremely scenic. One community to note that was breath taking was Eagle Lake. Eagle Lake was extremely well maintained and very picturesque as not only did a large majority of the homes back onto their own private lakes but the community itself backed onto Lake Toho. The area of 34746 is approximately 20 minutes south of Orlando and within the communities there is a bit of a small town feel to them however off of the main road you are only 5-10 minutes to all necessary amenities.
I had the opportunity to view a few condos within the Orlando/Northern Kissimmee area. The condo laws and regulations are very similar to that of our own market. The condo corporations impose Maintenance Fee’s. I was advised to stay away from Condo’s. The reason I was advised to stay away from condos was because If the Condo Corporation itself are making changes to the establishment in terms of maintenance etc.... They may not have enough money in their retainer to cover these costs causing owners to be stuck with the divided bill. Although this can happen in Ontario it does not happen as frequently as it has in Orlando. Although there are some serious steals as far as Condo’s are concerned in this area there are a lot of potential hidden costs that come along with them. Even with the idea of renting out the condos in these areas which are zoned as short term rentals you may not be able to cover your own initial costs.
Overall it was a great trip and I was definitely able to learn very useful information of the Florida market and how the laws differ from Ontario.
Hope everyone enjoys their long weekend,
Allana Thompson, Christy D'Oliveira, Kyrsten Feere
The Fresh Approach Real Estate Team