Your essential buying Disney vacation home FAQ for Orlando. For over 30 years our clients have asked questions regarding purchasing and owning a Disney vacation home. Below is a brief overview of some of the most regularly asked questions.
How do I buy a Disney vacation home?
Buying a vacation home near Disney in Orlando is a very straightforward and easy process. The very best way to buy a property in Orlando is to speak to a dedicated vacation home Realtor.
Buy Orlando Properties is one of only a small group of Realtors in Orlando who specialize in vacation homes which can be rented. We are also experts in new homes in vacation resorts which are under construction by some of the top names in the construction market.
So what is the process?
Having told us your buying criteria we will create a portfolio of suitable properties for you to consider. Working with Buy Orlando Properties will drastically cut down on wasted time searching the internet because we know how to quickly and efficiently pinpoint suitable homes.
Once you have made a decision on a vacation home you will need to write a contract and place a reservation. The reservation will ensure that the property is removed from the market and no one else can purchase it. Within a specified timeframe – typically a week – you will need to transfer a full deposit for the property. All monies will be held in escrow by either the builder, an attorney or title company. Typically, a deposit of between 10-30% will be required to purchase a vacation home.
Should you require a mortgage / finance you will need time in order to get your paperwork in order and get pre-approved if you have not already done so before initiating the purchase contract.
A closing date will be written into the contract. This is the day when you will transfer ownership, pay the balance of the purchase price and put the keys in your pocket. Depending on what you are buying – a resale vacation home or a new home under construction – this closing date could be within a few weeks or several months.
Typically, a deposit of between 10-30% will be required to purchase a vacation home.
If you are making a cash purchase, closing can occur within a few weeks. A financed purchased will typically take 12-16 weeks due to the added paperwork required to raise the finance. If you have been pre-approved by your lender, then closing can be much faster.
Why should I buy a Disney vacation home in Orlando?
Clients motivations have not really changed over the last 30 something years we have been selling vacation homes near Disney – they have however increased. When we first started in this niche market, most clients wanted to own their vacation home and rent it out to cover a few bills. Clients still want to use their properties but their expectations of rental income have increased.
30 years ago, renting out your property for 16-20 weeks a year was all that was required by owners. It covered annual expenses and running costs and paid for a couple of trips for the owner and their family. The owners got a great property in their preferred vacation destination and for all intense and purposes it paid for itself.
Nowadays most of our owners are renting +40 weeks per year and they are still enjoying great family vacations in their properties. The difference now is that they are also seeing some excellent rental returns and net profits.
In 2008, Orlando welcomed 48,858,000 visitors. 10 years later it welcomed over 75,000,000 visitors. That is a 53% growth in a decade.
Do Orlando vacation homes make financial sense?
Buying an Orlando vacation home can make great financial sense. Equally if can make great ‘Lifestyle’ sense. Owning a vacation home in the top family vacation destination in the world includes many benefits.
You and your family – and possibly your friends – will have a property at your beck and call each year. Just imagine taking your kids or grandkids to Disney several times each year! Memories don’t come with a price tag, so we will go with ‘priceless’
Depending on why you purchase a vacation home in Orlando is the primary caveat to the question. If you use the property for several weeks a year and make some money, then everyone is happy. If you use it less and rent it more then the investor is probably even happier.
Can I make a profit from my Disney vacation home?
Absolutely! With a little careful guidance and by adhering to our advice your Orlando vacation home can be profitable. We will make sure that you buy the right property for you. One that meets your criteria and at a price which will not overstretch your purse strings. We have numerous owners who have purchased several properties through us and now hold portfolios worth millions. They would not be doing this if there was not a profit involved.
What is the best vacation home type to buy in Orlando?
This is a double-edged sword kind of question. The answer relies on why you want to purchase a property and how you wish to use it.
The vast majority of our owners purchase single family homes with private pools in resort communities. There are others who prefer a condo in a managed environment such as a condo hotel. Further still there are owners who sit in the middle. They purchased a townhome which is often larger than a condo yet smaller than a single-family home.
Which is the best Disney vacation resort to invest in?
This is another question which kind of depends on the owner. If you want all of the bells and whistles, golf courses, waterparks and crazy amounts of amenities for you and your family to use, we have several excellent options. If you want something with lower running costs, we have those too. The majority of our owners opt for a midway point. They buy a vacation home in a quality resort community which offers a great selection of the most popular amenities without paying for non-essential items.
When buying a vacation home, you need to weigh what you need against what you can live without. By calculating this you can purchase a property in a great resort community and keep your costs at a sensible level. If you intend to place your vacation home on the short-term rental market this predetermined choice can be critical to your bottom line.
Do I need to visit Orlando to view vacation homes for investment?
We would love you to visit Orlando for one simple reason. You will get to see how dynamic and vibrant the area is. If you have not visited Orlando for a while, things have changed immensely. In 2018 we welcomed over 75 million visitors and the city, the attractions and life in general is buzzing.
When you visit, we will show you around and we can view some exceptional properties and resort communities. The model homes are beautifully furnished and for many potential buyers, walking through a finished home make for more sense that looking at a floor plan. If you are a regular visitor to Orlando, then you already know this – and it is probably why you want to buy here.
We often deal with clients who understand the ‘Orlando Experience’ and the huge demand there is for property. They know that in order to get a great property they sometimes need to make decisions quickly. This applies especially with resale properties which can be listed and sold within days if not hours.
We can walk you through the property via a video call and you can see exactly what is on offer. If you want us to stick our heads into a cupboard so you can see in, it’s not a problem. We can also do this with new properties, walking you through the model home and even driving your through the community.
Should I buy a new vacation home or a resale?
Ultimately this decision is down to you and your budget. When you buy a new home, you will need to furnish it, so you will require extra funds on top of the purchase price.
The upside is that when you buy new, you get:
a 10 year builders warranty
the furnishings of your choice
you get to choose the upgrades
the resort will have the latest amenities
the home will be built to the latest building codes
When you buy an older resale, you may have to invest a little extra funding in order to upgrade the property. New A/C units, painting and decorating, perhaps some new furniture will quickly increase your total investment.
This does not mean that a resale is a poor choice, in some cases it is a better choice. It all depends on why you are buying the property in the first place.
We recently sold a one-year old property which had been purchased off-plan 2 years previously, to one of our clients who was looking to buy a new home. The home was beautifully furnished, in a great location. When compared to the total cost of buying a new home at a higher price in the same location and furnishing it, it saved our client a lot of money. The seller also made a handsome profit as the property had increased considerably in value.
Should I buy my vacation home in the resort which has the most amenities?
A general rule of thumb is that the more amenities a resort has, the higher the running costs will be. Each amenity has its only running cost therefore the more there are the higher the total expense. If you intend to use the property predominantly yourself, your criteria could differ. It could include demands golf, tennis, restaurants resort pools and concierge service. Of course then you will be most likely happy to pay the running costs.
If however you wish to rent out the property to gain rental income you need to do make a few considerations. Will the added ‘bells and whistles’ amenities provide you with value for money? By this we mean, can you ask and achieve a higher rental price for your property in order to offset the additional running costs.
The answer is not always.
The majority of our clients who have an eye on the bottom line, tend to look at the big picture. See if you cannot attract a higher rental price to offset the additional expenditure. If not then choosing a different property option is the better solution.
How do I pay for my Disney vacation home?
The divide between cash and mortgage buyers is about 50-50 regardless of which country they originate from. If you are a cash buyer all you will need to do is provide proof of funds. You will pay the outstanding balance at closing along with closing fees.
If you require finance, then you will still need some cash funds. You will have to pay the reservation and deposit with your own money. You will also require a pre-approval letter from your mortgage provider. If your finances are not already in place we can introduce you to one of our mortgage professionals.
Both cash and finance buyers will require extra funds for your furnishings if buying new.
I need a mortgage to buy my Disney vacation home, can you help?
We work with a network of mortgage professionals who can assist you in raising the necessary finance. Our team works with National and International clientele from all over the world. If you are not a legal resident or citizen of the U.S you will typically require 30% of the purchase price in cash, plus closing fees in order to make a purchase.
How do I rent out my Disney vacation home?
Many years ago, owners would advertise their Orlando vacation home in local newspapers and speak to friends and family. They would occasionally get referrals from their local management company as well.
Then along came the internet and sites such as VRBO which allowed owners to advertise online and reach a wider audience.
Recently the market has changed dramatically. These changes mean that owners do not need to put so much of their own time into renting out their properties.
We work with a number of booking companies who together span the globe. From China to the Middle East, South America to Europe, Canada and the U.S. If there is a family looking to rent a vacation home in Orlando, then your property will be out there.
Some owners prefer to be completely hands-off and just let the booking network do their thing. Others like to have some interaction with paying guests as they feel that it offers a more personal touch.
Most of our owners see +40 weeks of rentals each year. We have a handful of more ‘determined’ owners who are completely rented out for 2019 and well into 2020.
Ultimately the choice is yours!
Who will manage my vacation home in Orlando?
This is a question which is always asked by buyers. Who will look after the day to day running of their property when they live thousands of miles away? Our management teams are locally based and will do as much or as little as your require. If you require a simple key holding service, it’s not a problem. You may need regular cleaning between guests visits, maintenance services, gardening, pool cleaning, laundry etc. our team takes care of it all.
If your property is on the rental market, the managers will keep on top of your bills, licenses, payments and taxes.
How can I fully furnish my new Disney vacation home?
You can furnish your property yourself or have one of our preferred specialists do it all for you. If you live nearby or are able to stay in town then arranging your own furnishings may sound like a great option to save a few bucks. But consider the following:
When you use a specialist company, they take care of everything and we mean everything. You or your guests will only need to turn up with their clothes and their toothbrush.
The other reason is that many of the model homes in new developments have actually been furnished by our team. They know what works, what makes for great advertising appeal and they can do it much faster than you can. You may pay a premium for their services but this is one cost we always recommend to our clients.
Which is best, Airbnb or traditional vacation rental bookings?
Orlando is by far the Number 1 family destination in the world and families from all over the globe come to visit. These families often have to book time off work and flights months and sometimes a year into the future. They are visiting Orlando for 2 weeks, 3 weeks or even longer. These families want to have everything arranged and will typically do it in advance. They do this through a traditional booking site where they can ask questions and get advice.
Airbnb specializes for the most part, in short term accommodations of just a few days. This has proven to be immensely popular with people looking for a last minute solution for a quick getaway. A couple of clicks and the property is booked and paid for.
In order to maximize your rental income you should cater for both. The traditional booking companies will provide the longer let guests and Airbnb can fill the gaps. Remember also that networking amongst your friends could also provide bookings.
Do I need to get involved in taking bookings for my Disney vacation home?
The simple answer is no. You do not have to get involved on a daily basis and many of our clients don’t. Those that do often have their own ‘access to market’ in their home country or area, which can allow them to provide their own rentals.
Do I need to be in Orlando for the closing?
No! If you are unable to attend the closing, we can arrange a ‘mail away’ which is very popular with our overseas clients and busy investors. We Fedex the closing docs to you, for you to sign. Then you send them back for the final closing. It works like clockwork and is a very efficient system.