Things to look for when Buying in SW Florida




Local Area

The first step in acquiring an investment property is understanding the area you are purchasing in.  We have several locations that work well for high cash flow with lower priced properties and long term tenants.  Location is the key to a successful purchase and some of these are listed below with a description of type of properties.

We have four basic areas in Lee County when looking at property, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, East Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres.  There are other areas that we can break down, but for positive cash flow areas these are the predominant target areas.


There are some unique things to watch out for when looking at property in SW Florida. 


Chinese Dry Wall:


Chinese drywall is one of them.  Chinese drywall is a defective drywall that came to the area and other areas around the country during our boom time of building.  There was a shortage of drywall and cement during the heavy demands of construction between 2003 and 2006 and we imported a lot of drywall from China which put a strain on their resources so some lower quality material was used to make the drywall and now we have drywall that may leak a toxic gas which corrodes fixtures, air conditioners and wiring in these new homes as well as some health risks.  Most of the time the dry wall is obvious when viewing a home by the obnoxious odor that it emits into the home.  Although some investors buy these homes and redo tem, I would recommend stay away from these investments.


City Utilities:


Another item to be aware of is utilities in Cape Coral.  Due to the size of the city and the expanse of home building the city had to expand the water and sewer utilities at a very high cost which was passed on to the homeowners and land owners.  These fee’s run as much as $25,000 and were usually added to the annual taxes for the property.  So while looking at some of these properties you must be aware of the extra cost that may be on the taxes and added to your acquisition cost.  Also some of the area of the city which does not have city water and sewer will be receiving it in the future and you should be anticipating this cost in the future.  


Raised Foundation Homes:


Some older homes in Florida are not built on slabs and sit off the ground.  These are usually wood frame homes but not always and have some higher costs.  These homes may have higher maintenance costs and may be difficult for a new buyer to finance with some banks and lenders.


Even with a few areas of caution there are still some of the best deals we’ve been able to get in years going on right now, just be careful and do your homework and you’ll be very successful.