Mark and Julie Bacon have had fantastic family holidays in Florida, but a recent property investment there has made them even bigger fans of the Sunshine State. They got the keys to their hotel-style apartment, or condo, in Orlando in September. Straight away they entered it into the on-site rental scheme and already are seeing a 7% return.
“Our property is a stepping stone”
Located at the popular Lake Buena Vista Village & Spa resort, less than 10 minutes’ drive from Disney World and with views of the famous Disney fireworks, the couple agreed a purchase price of $264,000 for their 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom condo, which came fully furnished.
The return on savings in the UK is so poor at the moment; I wanted something that worked harder for my money
“It was an investment driven purchase,” said Mark, who works for an oil company. “The return on savings in the UK is so poor at the moment; I wanted something that worked harder for my money. Some time ago I saw friends from work invest their redundancy pay-offs in investment property in Florida and they were mortgage-free after 10 years! I see our investment as a stepping stone, which could allow us to buy something larger in a few years’ time.”
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Sorting out the financials
The Bacons bought with a US mortgage, which required a 30% deposit and has a fixed rate for the first five years. Their monthly repayment is $992, but their rental income more than covers all their costs.
“Lake Buena Vista gets great reviews on TripAdvisor and it’s no surprise it achieves an annual occupancy of 86%,” added Mark. “For us, it’s totally hands-off, with the resort’s on-site rental firm doing everything. We get paid a monthly return and after costs are left typically with $500-$700 each month. Plus, we can book a stay at our apartment when we want. It’s reassuring that the developer is continually re-investing in the resort’s facilities. This year some new on-site restaurants are planned and next year I believe an Irish bar/ restaurant will open.”
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Deciding on the right kind of property
Mark and Julia are grateful to their estate agent, or realtor, Garry Walmsley from The Orlando Agency, for helping them find their perfect investment property in Florida. They knew the Sunshine State well from numerous family holidays but weren’t familiar with the property market. After doing lots of research, in July 2018 they flew out to do viewings but nothing matched their expectations.
“We decided to take a step back from looking at property and relax for a few days,” said Mark. “Then thankfully Garry suggested we consider the apart-hotel style option. We agreed and went to have a look at some apartments, first at the new Grove Resort and then Lake Buena Vista. We really liked Lake Buena Vista so met with the developer and did the deal. With Garry’s help, we found the buying process for investment properties in Florida relatively simple and were able to complete on 1st September.”
With Garry’s help, we found the buying process for investment properties in Florida relatively simple and were able to complete on 1st September
Lake Buena Vista Village & Spa resort comprises five Mediterranean-style apartment blocks built around a main pool area, complete with a huge pirate themed ship. Other on-site amenities include a poolside bar/restaurant, games arcade with pool tables, fitness centre, spa and salon, convenience store and gift shop. There are plenty of dining and shopping options within walking distance, while Orlando and all the main theme parks are a short drive away.
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