This is a guest post by Rick Albert, a successful Windsor Hills vacation home owner. Rick Albert purchased his vacation from The Flamingo Group last year and is doing extremely well with it. Here he shares about his experience buying a vacation rental home through the eyes of the buyers. If you are interested renting Rick’s villa for your next trip to Orlando you can contact him directly here: Rick’s Windsor Hills Villa
My wife and I try to remain financially conservative. We both work full time and earn a comfortable living. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle or drive fancy cars, but we do enjoy vacations. It’s our gift to us for hard work and being forced to suffer through our miserable winters. With three kids, we found that our vacations were becoming quite an expense.
During a family vacation to Disney, we had the opportunity to rent a villa in Windsor Hills. We were immediately impressed with the community and the Kissimmee area. After watching television shows such as House Hunters, Property Virgins and Hawaii Life, my natural curiosity had me asking: “How are these villas priced and what’s involved with maintaining a property in this community?” After a week in the resort, my curiosity was piqued and I was enamored with the area. Who wouldn’t want to own property two miles from the happiest place on earth?
Upon returning home, I immediately began researching the answers. We considered that owning our own vacation home could be a venture that we could actually afford and make work for us. We could own a vacation home, receive rental income to offset our costs and stay when we want and as long as we want. The prospect offered flexibility by not obligating us to one vacation destination and could keep our vacation costs reasonable. It also offered us the ability to invest in real estate and reap the tax advantages of owning a second home.
After researching the Kissimmee area, we confirmed that Windsor Hills was the community that we were most interested in and over the next few months we watched several real estate listing sites for new properties of interest. Within a few months, we found a newly listed property that showed great potential. Knowing that the process moves fairly quickly in Florida, we contacted the listing agent to inquire about the details. With confidence building, we took the most important step. We hired quality real estate agents with experience in the short term rental market to represent us during the purchase process. This began our relationship with Lisa and Sara with The Flamingo Group. Sara took the time to view the property and send additional photos and video of the home. She also connected us several other valuable contacts with information about the Central Florida short term rental market.
Knowing the real estate market and the value of the property, our agent suggested that we come in with a strong offer. Her instinct was right as we soon learned that there were other (lower) offers for this property. Within a few days, the owner counter-offered with a number that we were comfortable with and we were soon under contract.
From that point we thought it was smooth sailing. We couldn’t have been more wrong! The seller suddenly became unavailable and unresponsive. Addendums went incomplete, emails went unanswered and our initial contract expired. The seller made and broke promise after promise. We had become extremely distraught over the matter because we had now had an emotional investment in the property. Again Sara came through for us. With multiple daily phone calls, texts and email, she was able to talk us off the ledge and press the seller into action. She got the deal done!
With a final contract in place, our next step was to see the property in person, get an appraisal and have a home inspection completed. Based on the owner’s rental schedule, I had a two day window to fly in, view the home, meet the property manager, have the property appraised and get the home inspection completed. Again, Sara was instrumental in getting everything in place to maximize my time and the owner was gracious enough to allow me to stay in the villa while I was in town. This was a great opportunity as I was able to meet with the home inspector and the property manager to get a candid assessment of the home and current amenities. I was also able to meet with the cleaner and get a third opinion of the home and another assessment of what needed to be improved. Prior to departure, I was able to complete an inventory, photograph the villa and meet with the Windsor Hills HOA Director. I covered a lot of ground in two days but gleaned a ton of important information.
As I mentioned earlier, the real estate market in Florida moves very quickly. The next 30 days were a flurry of documents, signatures, faxes and phone calls. We provided and supplied every document just shy of dental records and our printer/scanner/fax combo was smoking! Sara and Lisa then handed us off to the title company to complete the process. The day prior to closing, we received a 101 page document requiring 2 signatures per page and 28 of those pages required notarization. We were able to ply our bank branch notary with baked goods, get the documents notarized and then deliver the documents to Fedex the same day for overnight shipping. After all of the phone calls, text messages, emails, document packets and fuss, the following day we received a one line email from the title company that simply stated: “You’re closed!” Two simple words brought an end to 45 days of anxiety but began an exciting new chapter in our lives.
Since the closing, we have spent quite a bit of time and money appointing the villa for our guests and we take great pride in our vacation home. We were able to transform the villa into a fun and relaxing place to vacation and have received lots of positive feedback from our guests. We have also had the pleasure of staying in our own vacation home. That experience is far more fulfilling than any prior vacation that we have ever taken. We enjoy and appreciate every moment we share in our villa and eagerly look forward to our next stay.
Overall, our vacation home purchase has been a very rewarding experience and we are looking forward to enjoying sunny Central Florida for many years to come.
This is a guest post by Rick Albert, a successful Windsor Hills vacation home owner. Rick Albert purchased his vacation from The Flamingo Group last year and is doing extremely well with it. Here he shares about his experience buying a vacation rental home through the eyes of the buyers. If you are interested renting Rick’s villa for your next trip to Orlando you can contact him directly here: Rick’s Windsor Hills Villa or 716-863-8213.