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How Do I Make Sure I Buy a Profitable Investment Property in Fort Walton Beach, FL?

When scrolling through hundreds of listings for investment properties in Fort Walton Beach, you may start to feel overwhelmed by the options. 

It can be easy to get attached to a certain property, but it’s important to remember that this is an investment decision. Try to keep your emotions in check and focus on making the smartest choice for your long-term goals.

As you search for your first or next residential investment property, keep an eye out for these features that tend to lead to increased profits. 

By focusing on properties that have most, if not all, of these characteristics, you can maximize your real estate investment and make your search for a profitable Fort Walton Beach investment property more efficient.

What Makes a Rental Property a Good Investment? 

When considering a rental property to buy, several key factors can impact profitability. By ensuring the property meets many of these criteria, you can increase your chances of generating higher rental income and overall profits from your investment. 

The following are some key features to look for in a profitable investment property:

1. The Right Location for Your Goals 

Of course, in the world of real estate investing, the most important thing to look for when choosing a Fort Walton Beach investment property is its location. You’ll want to make sure it’s in a desirable and convenient spot, near public transportation, parks, business centers, restaurants, schools, and stores.

A good location means higher rental rates and better cash flow. It can also mean a steady overall increase in property value.  

It can be tempting to pay less for an investment property because it’s not in a prime location or further away from the major reasons people move to an area, but you need to do your due diligence to study the location carefully and check for planned development projects. If larger national investors are interested in an area, it might be a sign that it’s a good idea for you too. 

A good place to start is by talking to a local Fort Walton Beach real estate agent with insights into the local market and knowledge of the areas poised for growth. 

2. Low Property Taxes

Florida ranks below the national average in terms of property taxes. This is important because property taxes are a cost of doing business as a rental property owner and property taxes that are too high mean lower returns from your initial investment every year you own the property. 

Understanding how much you’ll have to pay in property taxes is an important component of finding a profitable investment property. 

Fort Walton Beach is located in Okaloosa County and has a property tax rate of 0.71%, which is actually lower than the average for the State of Florida.  

3. Neighborhoods with Low Vacancy Rates

Owning a profitable rental property means always having a paying tenant. By checking vacancy rates for any given area, you can pinpoint locations where it’s the easiest to ensure you can find a tenant. 

The rental property vacancy rate in Fort Walton Beach is 3.6%, which is lower than the national average of 5.8%. Also, if you’re looking for long-term tenants, 3-bedroom single-family homes are often occupied by families with children who are more tied down to the area and aren’t planning to move in the next couple of years. 

4. Desirable Amenities for Rental Properties

People looking for a house to rent usually have a list of must-have amenities they’re looking for. If the rental property you’re considering doesn’t have them, then you might look for a different opportunity. Or, add the cost of adding certain amenities to what you expect to spend upfront. 

Amenities that quality tenants often look for (and that can help you make more money) in rental properties include:

  • A washer and dryer
  • An outdoor patio or balcony
  • Extra storage space
  • High-quality home appliances
  • An updated kitchen and bathroom
  • Versatile flooring 
  • Space for pets 
  • Advanced security features 
  • Nice curb appeal 

Finding a good deal on an investment property that already has these features is great. But paying a lower price upfront and then budgeting to add these features is also good. 

If you’ve already found a good location with a low vacancy rate, competition for tenants might be pretty high, and investing in adding some desirable amenities to your rental property will likely pay off big in the long term. 

5. A Climate that Attracts Renters 

The Florida real estate market is going strong as more and more people are moving from colder climates to experience the sunshine and year-round great weather the state has to offer. It is known as the Sunshine State, after all. 

So if you’re looking to buy a rental property (or vacation rental) along the Emerald Coast, then you’re already focused on an area with a climate that attracts new residents. 

6. Stable Job Market 

Okaloosa County and the Fort Walton Beach area are home to several military bases, including Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base. 

This means you not only have a steady supply of service men and women looking for places to live, but you also have industries and businesses built around serving the military community. 

Because of this, the job market in Fort Walton Beach will remain stable despite conditions that might slow it down in other areas. This makes it a safer place to buy a rental property compared to other areas. 

7. A Great Local Property Management Company 

Choosing the right Fort Walton Beach rental property to acquire is just the beginning of successful real estate investing. It also takes: 

  • Consistently finding and screening potential tenants
  • Selecting the best tenants in accordance with all laws
  • Collecting rent every month
  • Responding to tenant maintenance requests
  • Inspecting and taking care of the property
  • Managing tenants and handling complaints
  • Keeping your property and operations legally compliant
  • Rental property accounting and tax preparation

Sounds like a lot, right? Well, that’s why so many successful property owners and real estate investors work with a property management company. 

The Best Property Management Company in Fort Walton Beach

At All American Realty & Property Management, we’ve been helping everyone, from accidental landlords and those buying their second rental property to seasoned investors with an extensive portfolio, get all the rental income they deserve – without any of the work. 

Partnering with a proven and reliable property manager in Fort Walton Beach is perhaps the most important component of making sure your rental property is profitable. We are to help in any way we can and would love to answer any questions you have about ensuring you buy a profitable investment property in Fort Walton Beach.  

Check out this article if you’d like to learn more about what a property management company does to ensure you have a profitable real estate investment. 

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