Before you purchase your short term rental holiday Florida property through any of the large property companies, you owe it to yourself to explore all the different possibilities.

Most of the large property companies are tied to their own developers and builders. So the product that you are offered is not always the right product for you. The tie and relationship between estate agents, tour operators, travel agents, developers, builders and property management companies is much too close, and in some cases owned by the same company. They call it one-stop shopping (self-serving interest), but it sounds more like a conflict of interest. Each stage and step of the way, "all" feeding off each other with your money, and you will in the end spend a lot of it, both pounds and dollars.

Finally, one critical point to remember, before starting your property search in Florida.. When leafing through glossy brochures - web sites - video tours etc remember you need to compare properties in Florida with like for like, not those you are familiar with in Britain - generally Florida properties cost less far less.

The problem in the case of short term rental properties is that many potential buyers have been there on holidays, fallen in love with the area, and are more than ready to be sold a house from the vast range of beautiful properties that far exceed in price and quality anything to be found in Britain, thus, fulfilling their American dream. In addition, a number of property and rental companies then guarantee rentals for a certain period of the year, and the dream becomes complete, with the bonus that your rental customers are paying for it!
Unfortunately, there are other cases, rarely mentioned, where the dream has become a nightmare. This can be due to many reasons, such as the wrong location having been chosen or the guaranteed income is at too low a level, or is not guaranteed after all.
For example; if a large travel company cuts back on its block booking; can the company making the guarantee provide contractual and financial evidence that they can and will cover the losses to fulfill guarantee obligations; or what happens if there are problems with the management company and your service bills do not get paid.
In Florida a lien can then be applied against your house. Of course, at the time of purchase these possibilities were never discussed, glossed over or were dismissed, out of hand. Unfortunately, they have all happened and continue to do so. And, when the time comes to sell, is the price of the furniture package recovered? What may have seemed a reasonable price at the time for the furniture package can turn out to be a very high price, due to the high level of profit built-in by the builder?
With all those new houses being developed, will you be able to sell at a level that covers the outstanding mortgage? In certain areas of Davenport/Kissimmee, just look at the number of "for sale" boards. However, in other areas of Orlando and The Gulf Coast house prices continue to increase.
Some agents offer free inspection flights, and/or accommodation. Many clients ask are they worth taking? The saying, "there is no such thing as a free lunch" holds true. Who pays for the flight? The cost must come from somewhere. If you take an inspection flight, the company you go with can hold all the cards. They select the properties you will be shown. They determine your itinerary. Do they show you a good selection of resale properties, including those with lower rates of commission? This may not be a motivation if the commissions are higher on new properties. A good agent will spend considerable time in finding the best value properties to meet your requirements. The value to you of that time in obtaining the most suitable property at the lowest price will be far in excess of those flights.

Would you like to be on the beach or close to the attractions at Disney? British property investors looking for 'sun and sand' have found certain coastal locations such as Clearwater, Sarasota and Naples ideally suited to their needs. Alternatively, those looking for the endless variety and holiday fun of the attractions at Disney, Universal and Sea World have found Central Florida, more to their liking.
Be cautious of the heavy advertising, particularly in the UK. This marketing has emphasized specific developments around Kissimmee, Reunion, Celebration and Davenport as well as condo-apartments. The language in the marketing of such developments is heavily sales rather than information based. A number of these advertisements have emphasized named ‘Guaranteed rental schemes’
  • Can you afford the mortgage if your home is not rented at all?

  • Licensing, utilities ,taxes, insurance, management fees, pool cleaning, lawn maintenance, running repairs are very expensive

  • Be wary of "estate agents" or realtors who promise you'll rent your property for 40 weeks a year

  • Grief and lost rental income caused by hurricanes, a common occurrences in the tropical climates where vacation rentals are most popular

  • Expect "not" that all your friends are a market waiting to rent your vacation home – they are more likely going to hope for a freebie, staying silent if they are too embarrassed to ask. Remember, owning a vacation rental is a business, or else it becomes a very expensive cottage.

  • Furniture, appliances, TV, furnishings must be replaced on a regular basis due to wear, abuse, theft, etc

  • Three county area only for short term rentals  =  Osceola, Polk, and Lake county

  • Intense competition for rentals from major hotel chains and other short-term rental (CondoTels) property owners

  • Investigate and verify all occupancy claims, most are exaggerated

  • Orlando (Orange County) does not zone or permit short-term rentals

  • Must be approved for a license and inspection by Florida Department of Regulation, Divisions of Hotels and Restaurants

  • Big, flashy, "persuasive" full page ads in every UK glossy magazine.

  • Booths at every UK property show by the promoters selling NEW homes in Florida with intense pressure

  • A "big" national company can only afford to spend more money on aggressive advertising and promotion.

  • Free or highly subsidized inspection trips - "No free lunch"

  • Guaranteed rental income.

  • Heavy promotion of new homes, not resales or existing homes

  • In house property management company. Conflict of interest?

  • UK office = What do they know about Florida?

  • Highly paid commission sales agents with aggressive sales tactics

  • Some are NOT licensed in the state of Florida - check or verify their references

It would be all too easy for the most avid pessimist to be seduced by the alluring glossy brochures. An information pack popping through the post containing destination and property videos, which viewed in the depths of a cold British winter or spring can encourage you to book your flights there and then.

Perhaps the big question is following the plethora of newspaper articles highlighting high pressure inspection flights where the sales people all but confiscate your passport

All to often the most cautious of individuals will forget they are making an investment in a foreign land and with a breathtaking lack of caution, preparation and common sense be swayed by the magic charm of Florida and a silver-tongued salesman into making an inappropriate buying decision.

Take a look through most of the ads and check out the websites. Who owns the company? Who is the Broker? Who are the agents? Can you verify their licenses? (selling real estate in Florida without a license is illegal). To whom is the company accountable if anything goes wrong? Just because someone has a big promotional budget doesn't mean you are protected.

It's nice to think that an investment is guaranteed, but in reality, there are so many conditions to most of these programs and if you work out the numbers, you would very probably have been able to get the same amount of rental income anyway, because most of the guarantees are in the peak, highly rentable months. Many of these guarantees are also only on specific lots and specific homes, which much of the time are overpriced anyway.

However, if you are only going for a new home because everyone you speak to tells you not to buy anything else, then you'll need to know WHY most UK promoters heavily promote new homes. They will tell you that it's difficult to rent out resale homes; that building codes are much better now than 5 or more years ago; that Americans prefer new homes and so it will be difficult to resell an "older" home and all sorts of other reasons why you shouldn't consider a resale.

These are simply untrue statements and are often said, because there is usually more commission to be made when selling new homes. The main reason for these untrue statements is actually because new homes are the only thing that many UK companies CAN sell in Florida.

You have to be properly licensed by the State of Florida to sell real estate in Florida, except for new homes, where builders will actually pay commissions to unlicensed people in the UK! That is one very good reason to suspect someone who pressures you into ONLY buying a new home.


You have to be particularly careful when visiting a new home in Florida. Otherwise it can end up unnecessarily costing you thousands of extra dollars. Developers have large advertising budgets to attract you to their show houses. The agent present at the development you visit is working solely for the builder or developer. Whatever they may say, they are not independent and do not, and indeed, legally cannot act exclusively on your behalf. A number have very extensive sales experience, including training in the psychological reaction of buyers in every conceivable scenario!

With some builders many of the features included in the show house are extras, not included in the price, including items you may assume at first glance are included. With some builders the list of extras sometimes resembles the casting list of Gone With The Wind, and the base model is very basic. The builder's agents can be very persuasive in suggesting a whole stack of additional modern conveniences that you apparently require to maintain the value of the home. They are very often on a higher level of commission for these extras, which can cover hundreds of items; from sinks, tiles, carpets to even grade of paint! This is not always the case and selecting the wrong options, can actually lead to a loss if you sell the house in a short period of time.


Florida Mortgage Corporation is NOT tied to any builder, developer, property management company, estate agent, real estate agent. NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST. We do not sell, manage, or rent homes. We offer financing of short-term rental properties in Florida, nothing else.

We also offer you a totally unbiased and independent opinion of the pros and cons of short-term vs. long-term investment rental properties. We finance "both" type of homes and know the advantages and disadvantages.

We have been helping finance British Foreign Nationals since 1989, over 17 years. We know Florida and the Orlando area because we live here and work here. Our staff of loan consultants are very experienced mortgage veterans. We are familiar with all the Florida state and federal laws, customs, regulations, and have a long list of satisfied British customers.

Please check our long list of Affiliations, References and Testimonials.

Whether you want to buy a holiday home, an investment property, remortgage or obtain an equity release in the home you already own in Florida, we can help.


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 Short Term Rental Property  ▪  Short Term Rental Property Risks  ▪  Guaranteed Rentals

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