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Thinking about purchasing a rental property?

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As a real estate agent focused on the sale and purchase of homes, I don’t work directly in the rental space. However, as I work with people on purchasing property that may want to rent it out after purchase, I do keep a pulse on the rental market and am happy to share that expertise with my clients. If you are purchasing a property and trying to assess the rental potential of it, there are some general things to look at.

The harsh reality is that a high number of owners who rent their homes out in this area are doing it to offset carrying costs vs. doing it to make a profit. The higher acquisition costs of homes in the area combined with insurance, association fees and other carrying costs make it harder to have a rental that clears much of a profit.

  • FEES – Ideally, you want to get something with little to no fees this helps limit your overhead exposure with lower carrying costs and less risk of assessments (condos down here aren't usually great options because the costs are too high... many condo owners aren't clearing much profit on rentals). At the same time, homes out of associations may be at higher prices and/or will have more variability in the community than some homeowners are comfortable with.

  • SEASONAL VS. ANNUAL - Get something that allows maximum flexibility (and desirability) for rentals... and appeals to seasonal and annual renters in a good location. Having the flexibility to attract annual and seasonal rentals just gives you flexibility depending on what is happening in the market

  • FLEXIBILITY – Communities with amenities have associations and there is a cost to that (of course those amenities may appeal to renters especially seasonal ones). Communities with associations also typically have rental restrictions. For example, there will be restrictions for how many times per year the property can be rented and the minimum number of days a property can be rented for each lease. The Naples area has been very intentional to not have this be a short-term rental heavy area like Daytona Beach or Ft. Lauderdale as they want to retain the charm of the area and have it be more residential vs transitional. Consider getting something that has the most relaxed rental parameters.

  • TYPE OF RENTAL - You have to decide if you are looking for more of an annual renter or more short term. Typically, in rentals, the shorter the lease, the more you pull per night.

    • With short-term rentals location and nearby things to do (or community amenities) is important renters. The purchase costs can run higher as well as ongoing association costs. There are also considerations with higher rental traffic (cleaning costs, more administrative work to check in/out renters, etc.) Short-term rentals are typically provided furnished so that is another factor. The rental rates are higher per month, but there may be months when it isn’t rented.

    • Annual renters are looking for more residential communities and often unfurnished. Properties further East are more likely to be annual unless they are in golf communities, have resort style amenities or a unique area. Families looking for annual rentals may prefer North Naples where schools are typically better.

  • RENTAL OVERSIGHT – There are rental companies or departments within brokerages that you can hire to manage your rental. The cost of this service can be high (e.g. 30%). Because of this, some owners will choose to manage it themselves using a service like VRBO (for short term) or listing it on Zillow rentals or Facebook (for longer term).

As you are looking at homes to purchase, we can set up filters in MLS on reportable elements to try to get your search alerts refined to the best properties if rentals are a consideration. For example;

  1. Minimum Days – We can set up a filter that filters out communities that require longer leases if you want to do more seasonal (e.g. filter out properties that require 120+ day lease minimums)

  2. Maximum # of Leases per year – We can set up a filter that filters out communities that may only allow you a lease 1 or 2 times a year if you want to do more seasonal.

  3. Maximum Annual Fees – We can set up a filter that filters out properties that may have recurring or one time fees that are higher than you wish to go.

As a client, If there are properties that you are interested in, I am happy to go into the MLS system to see if there are other rentals listed in the community and what the rental rates have been for those properties. Keep in mind, I can only pull this data from MLS on properties that have listed their rental through a brokerage and as I shared above, there are many owners who rent it themselves through a service like VRBO, which we don’t have reporting capability on. Pulling this data together is all manual and takes a good deal of time. So, I don’t have the ability to do it for every property that is sent to you on MLS, but can do it on a shorter list of properties that you are interested in.

There are hundreds of communities in the area. But here are few examples of some of the more popular rental areas … some of these often have higher purchase prices.

  • Naples Park - You can rent by the night, weekend, week and if it is cute, you can rent it a good portion of the year.

  • Forest Lakes - They restrict rentals to no more than 3 with a minimum of 30 days each... but their fees are low and they are close in.

  • Autumn Woods - They restrict rentals to no more than 3 with a minimum of 30 days each... but their fees are lower and they are close in. Very popular for annual rental but can sometimes pull seasonal too. There are some other smaller communities that you could also consider for this same reason such as Manchester Square... they do have HOAs but they are lower than the communities with more expansive amenities.

  • Briarwood - You can rent it 12 times a year so you have a lot of flexibility

  • In that quadrant between US-41-Goodlette Frank South of Pine Ridge - This is that lower area between Goodlette Frank and US41. There are no fees and it is close in (and close to good schools). Sun Terrace is one of those areas. Lake Park is another but their house costs have gone up. As you go North in that area, the prices go down. They are modest homes but again if you did a cute one, you could rent it well.

  • Bayshore Art District - This is down by Celebration Park and is an up-and-coming redevelopment area without associations

  • Willoughby Acres and Palm River – These are non-gated communities in North Naples that are going to have the flexibility to rent them more often and with greater flexibility.


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