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Maximizing Your Investment


Maximize Your Profit

Step 1: The Right Investment Home

Here are some important guidelines to follow as you search for the right investment home for you:

  1. Purchase a home in a popular vacation home community. If possible, find one in a guard-gated community with a lot of fun amenities (i.e., clubhouse and water park) that is not too far from Disney World and the other theme parks.

  2. The home should have an adequate number of bedrooms to generate your rental income goal.

  3. The home should ideally have a roof, HVAC equipment, and pool equipment that will not require replacement for a number of years.

  4. Make sure it’s within your budget. Keep in mind your cash situation. You will need cash for the deposit on your loan (usually 20%), for closing costs, and for renovations/upgrades. 

The best tool to use to determine which vacation home will be the best investment home for you is a pro forma statement. Pro forma statements include your total investment costs (including renovations), all rental income and expenses including mortgage payments, and a forecast of profit. Contact us so we can create the pro forma statements for you.


Step 2: The Right Furnishings & Amenities

To maximize rental income, your investment home must stand out against all other vacation homes.  It must be a memorable fusion of modern comfort and fun. Each room and space must be designed to cater to vacationers of all ages using engaging colors, themes, and furnishings. The most popular amenities that generate the most rentals are themed kids’ bedrooms and themed movie theatres and game rooms that include 3D design elements that take you to another place.


The money you spend on furnishings and amenities for your investment will be the most consequential to maximize your home’s rental income. 


Step 3: The Right Property Manager

5-star reviews by vacation home guests are critical for the success of your investment home because reviews are a significant part of vacationers’ decision-making process when choosing which vacation home to rent. 5-Star reviews boost rentals.


Two huge contributing factors to a review of a vacation home are:

  1. Upkeep- preventive maintenance and cleanliness; and

  2. Customer Service- handling vacationers unique needs and issues.


Both are the responsibility of your property manager. It’s imperative that you hire the best property manager who will generate 5-star reviews by excelling in these two areas.


Step 4: The Right Marketing

Maximizing short-term rentals requires maximum exposure on the major vacation rental websites such as VRBO and Airbnb. Your investment home will also need its own website that is promoted on social media and other media and travel outlets.


Investment homeowners have 3 options to choose from to implement the short-term rental marketing of their home:

  1. Property Manager: normally charge 15-25% commission + website and social media advertising

  2. 3rd Party Marketing Firm: normally charge 10-15% commission + website and social media advertising

  3. Self-Market: costs will be for your listings, website, and advertising on social media


If you have the time and can quickly respond to inquiries, you should handle your own rental marketing and save on your marketing costs. If you are not able to handle your own rental marketing, choose a marketing company that will give your home the individual attention required to maximize its exposure and income with costs that work within your pro forma statement for your investment home.

Maximize Your Purchase

Follow these steps to ensure that the process you follow will maximize the purchase of your vacation home investment.


  • Find The Best Home In The Best Location. First, choose what area or vacation home community where you want your vacation home investment to be located. Then, find the best home in that area or community that best matches your criteria.

  • Choose the Best Lender For You (if applicable).  You want to choose the best lender that best meets your needs.  Obviously, it must be one with a good reputation and that you can trust, but also one that offers the best deal on your loan. Lower closing costs and a lower loan interest rate can result in significant savings.

  • Make Your Best Deal. When negotiating on your home, ask the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs and/or negotiate the lowest price possible. Be able to justify your offer with comparable sales. Your lender will have an appraisal done, and the appraisal will be based on comparable current sales. Don’t pay more than the current market.

  • Complete A Thorough Home Inspection. It is imperative to do this. If there are any defects requiring repairs, they will be revealed, and, hopefully, the seller will agree to pay for the repairs.

  • Shop For Your Homeowner’s Insurance. You will be paying at least one year’s premium at your closing. Don’t just accept the insurance policy that your lender or the title company chooses. You may be able to find a better or comparable policy with a lower premium.

  • Prepare For the Closing. Before closing day, you will have received a settlement statement. This statement lists all debits and credits with a bottom-line number that you need to “bring to the table” at the closing. Scrutinize all dollar amounts in the settlement statement before the closing, and, if you find errors, have them corrected before the close.

  • Do The Final Walk-Thru Of The Home. Perform the final walk thru as near to the closing date as possible if not on closing day. If the home is not in the expected condition with all things included as agreed upon in the contract, stop the closing until all are in order.

  • Enjoy Your Closing. Whether you physically attend your closing or you close remotely, enjoy it! You have followed all of the steps above, are confident that you are buying the best vacation home in the best location at the best price, and have maximized your dollars all along the way.

Vacation Home Loan Info

Here are the two types of vacation home loans for single family homes, which have differing deposit requirements and interest rates:


2nd Home Loans

  • Minimum Deposit – 10% (will require PMI, private mortgage insurance, if <20%)

  • Interest Rate – Comparable to primary resident loans


Vacation Rental Loans

  • Minimum Deposit – 15% (will require PMI, private mortgage insurance, if <20%)

  • Interest Rate – Normally .75-1%* higher than primary resident loans

Flexible Payment Planning

*In certain situations, vacation rental loans can be secured with an interest rate comparable to the prevailing primary residence or 2nd home interest rate.

There are a number of lenders who offer Orlando-area vacation home loans, and their deposit requirements and interest rates can vary substantially. Shop your loan to ensure you get the best interest rate and cost, since a lower interest rate can result in a significant savings.

Other Notes: Future potential rental income of vacation rentals will be included in the loan qualifying process for vacation rental loans. For vacation home condo loans, these loans require a minimum 25-30% deposit and have an interest rate ~2% higher than the prevailing primary resident rate.

Use the below calculator to help you analyze the financials.

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