So we bought a Vacation Rental. What could go wrong?
I mean, it's just another rental, right? Well, we've made it through our first year and have learned a lot about Southwest Florida. Welcome to our blog! We're your hosts, Kelly and Dick, and this is our experience getting our first short term rental up and running.
After losing out on several offers in Florida, we were excited to finally have one accepted!
The first step was the inspection. Who knew that polybutylene piping could be such an issue? When used with chlorinated water, they're prone to bursting. So in order to get insurance, the entire house would need new plumbing. THE.ENTIRE.HOUSE.
There were a few other items such as a new well pump (irrigation purposes) and a new water heater needed. Lucky for us, the seller agreed to pay for those items.
Lesson #1 - Additional Inspections
Here's where we made our first mistake. We didn't order a separate HVAC inspection. Unlike the midwest, air conditioners are used here all the time and this house had a 12 year old unit. The original inspection didn't note any problems, so we went with it. That was an expensive mistake! But no worries, we now have a new air conditioner!
Lesson #2 - Insurance
We priced out policies and learned all about wind mitigation reports, flood zones, surge zones and other Florida specific issues. Since we chose a property that wasn't in a flood zone, we didn't anticipate any issues. Because the home still had polybutylene pipes, we were only able to find one insurance company in the entire state of Florida that would insure the home. But only a week after closing, we received a cancellation letter. Our new insurance company was booted from Florida for not having enough cash reserves in case of huge storm event. Lucky for us, we were already scheduled for the plumbing repipe and were able to complete that and get insurance with another company. After months of planning, we were finally ready to start furnishing our new place!