With the recent popularity of HGTV home purchasing shows (i.e. Beach Hunters, Island Hunters), combined with a strong economy, many people are now seeking ownership of a vacation home, specifically the ultimate beach house getaway. The question is, where to buy?
The 2 most popular or widely regarded beaches for Central Florida residents are Vero & New Smyrna Beaches. Both are awesome but differ greatly.
New Smyrna is slightly closer (60 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes), is more crowded (high rises & traffic), has better physical beaches & bigger waves, is laid back (T-shirts & Flip Flops) and attracts more families.
Vero Beach is farther away (90 miles, 1 hour 45 minutes), is less crowded (4 story height restrictions, snowbird community), has shorter physical beaches & smaller waves, is more sophisticated (white tablecloth restaurants, golf, tennis, thriving arts & theatre scene), and attracts more retirees.
Me and Crystal chose to invest in Vero Beach because it was suited for our specific needs. One significant factor that helped sway our decision was the fact that the rental income was substantially higher in Vero Beach ($6,900 per month for a 2/2 oceanfront). The rent is so elevated, renting for just 4 months (December-March) was our breakeven point for our yearly expenses. We concluded that the typical renter was of slightly higher capital worth and resided for a longer term which we surmised could be more beneficial in the long run.
We have grown to love Vero Beach so much; we have opened an office there and it has become our long-term goal to eventually spend the majority of our “golden years” there.
Both beach communities are fantastic in their own way! If you are interested in purchasing in either one of these towns and you are on the fence about where to buy, my suggest is to rent in both places to get a better feel for each. Once you have determined the city, don’t procrastinate! The beach purchase (supplemented by rental income) is becoming an ultra-popular mechanism and driving sale prices skyward.