Purchasing a condo can be exciting. But if you have never bought a condo in Florida before, it may be a bit overwhelming. There could be a few details of the buying process that differ from those in your home area.

If you are looking for a condo on Pensacola Beach to use on your vacation and rent out while you are away, you need to look at demand, rental rates, and association rules. This is especially important if you plan to use the property strictly as an investment as a short term Vacation Rental.

Beachfront condos that are actually on the Gulf of Mexico are in higher demand by tourists and keeping your unit booked may be easier. Rental rates also tend to be higher for gulf facing units, adding to the value of the unit. Gulf front condo properties include:

Beach Club, Emerald Isle, Gulf Winds, Portside Villas, Regency Towers, Sans Souci, Seahorse Condos, Starboard Village, and Villas on the Gulf.

Most of the other condo properties on Pensacola Beach are on the sound side of the island, allowing water access and boating access to Santa Rosa Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway. The majority of the units are just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, and most offer stunning views of one or both bodies of water.

Current Inventory of Condos For Sale by Property.

Some Associations have enacted restrictions that only allow rentals of a period of 30 days or more. And some properties only allow longer term leases of 6 months or longer. If a property’s association includes such restrictions and you do not follow them, they do have the right to evict the tenant, and fine you for breaking the rules. Associations will also enact rules that limit or forbid pets due to type, size, or breed. And some restrictions allow pets for owners, but not tenants, guests, or short term renters.

We can help you research the rules of every association in order to find the best fit for your planned use.

Condo Association Fees get a bad reputation, but the costs associated with them are more than worth it, especially if you plan to be an absentee owner or use the property strictly as an investment. Fees generally cover the cost of 3 relatively expensive items, and several other small items. The main three costs included in the association dues include: 1) Insuring the structures and common elements of the property, 2) Maintaining the structure and common areas, including the exterior and common areas of the building, the landscaping and grounds, parking areas, and amenities, and 3) Funding and maintaining a Reserve Account to pay for large repair items such as roofs, doors and windows, exterior painting, mechanical upgrades, and parking lot resurfacing.

Maintenance of elevators, electrical systems, and plumbing are generally included, as are maintenance of exterior elements and safety features such as balconies, railings, fences, and security.

Insurance of the buildings, amenities, and other common elements covers loss due to hazards- like fire, water damage, and lightning strikes. Flooding and damage from Windstorms- such as Hurricanes and Tornados- are included in these fees as well . Generally the only other insurance necessary is an inexpensive policy for the contents of the unit- similar to a “Renter’s Insurance†policy.

The Association Fees will often include water and sewer, basic cable, and internet as well. But every property association is a little bit different, so it is always important to compare. We can help you with that as well.

Many condos also have onsite maintenance personnel to care for common areas, do repairs in your unit, and let in workers when you’re not able to.