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Buy and Hold in Florida?

A good friend and savvy investor asked me, what makes you think that Florida is a good Buy and Hold State? After giving him my gut feeling opinion, I started thinking and came up with a few thoughts. The idea here is that you determine your objective, and then invest accordingly.

First let’s start with the variables:

Location, location, location

Cash Flow vs. Appreciation

Retirement planning

Mother nature

Location:

I specialize in beach areas and as such I have seen properties double in price in the last 6-10 years, if you like beach living and have a lot of money to invest and can use a nice beach house or condo to retire in a few years, then this might be an option. Just remember that you might be paying top of market dollars and you might get a lesser return on an expensive property with all the risks. Urban areas like St Pete, Tampa, Orlando, Miami are growing faster because of demand as well, so please take that as a good location example.

Cash Flow vs. Appreciation/Growth

I personally like to buy and hold because I am looking for Cash Flow. Passive income of 9-14% is common in the area. If this is what you have been looking for, and live or plan to retire to the area it may work for you. Now, when it comes to Growth or appreciation I have a few reservations, especially in why would you choose Florida over other locations that might give better returns. That being said in good locations appreciation growth of 10% is achievable, especially if you also do a few renovations on the properties.

Retirement Planning

If your objective is to retire in Florida then buy a Home and move into it when you retire and rent it while you don’t. I also would like to recommend only doing this if you are familiar with the area, have the extra cash, and have a property management company/person that you can trust and it makes sense for you financially.

Mother Nature

I LOVE Florida, its beaches, relaxed living, modest cost of living and great weather, however at the risk of sounding negative, in Florida we are all at the mercy of our lovely mother nature. Storms, Hurricanes, even Tornadoes do happen here. You need to be aware of high costs of flood insurance, possibility of sink holes and storm damages that might not be covered or partially covered by your insurance company. In another word, be prepared for a rainy day here and there :)

Summary

I do believe that Florida is a Buy and Hold state. If your objectives are met because you have Florida property and you hold it for at least 5-7 years you stand to make good appreciation or Growth while you are enjoying your Florida lifestyle. Truth be told Florida has always been highly sought after location and as the Massive amount of baby boomers move and/or retire, they want the sunshine state to be their new home. Job Growth and migration has also helped the real estate/mortgage lending market grow, and in turn home values are going up.

Enjoy the sunshine and best of luck!