10 Things to Look For When Buying a Vacation Home in Santa Rosa Beach

10 Things to Look For When Buying a Vacation Home in Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach is one of the most sought-after vacation spots along the Emerald Coast. The picturesque white sand and turquoise water are signature features of the 30A scenery that continue to invite tourists from all over the world. Travel + Leisure magazine even ranked it as one of the “Best Beaches on Earth.”

If you, like many others, can’t get enough of this town and want to invest in a vacation property in the area, these are the 10 things you will want to consider first.

1. Is the location somewhere you would want to vacation?

What drew you to Santa Rosa Beach real estate in the first place? Hold onto the vision you have for your ideal getaway in this iconic town, and look for it in every home you consider. The most crucial aspect of your investment should be that it will be a cherishable spot for you for many years to come.

2. Will the property make a good vacation rental?

When touring your property, imagine yourself looking at photos online as someone looking for a dreamy vacation in Santa Rosa Beach. Evaluate whether or not the home has features that look one of a kind or too average. For example, a wine cellar or infinity pool is not something you would find in a typical home. Let these features capture the attention of potential renters.

3. Know what you are up against — how many other rental properties are in the area?

Explore vacation rental properties in the area and see what options are out there. This will be a great place to start when trying to determine which one of the Santa Rosa Beach homes for sale would stand out the most from the rest.

4. What do tourists visiting that area have on their itinerary?

Try and view the Santa Rosa Beach area through the lens of someone visiting for the first time. What are the best things the area has to offer? Do your research on what spots, activities, and other amenities are the most enjoyable and popular so that you can find a vacation home in a prime location. This gives you some easy ways to talk up your vacation home to potential renters if you decide to use it as a way to bring in more income.

5. Natural scenery that will enhance your property value (and vacation quality)

A beautiful home can create a powerful experience, but nothing compares to a gorgeous home that comes with a breathtaking backdrop. When your kitchen window overlooks Grayton Beach, or you can see Point Washington Forest from your living room, you immediately enter vacation mode. Choose a home that shows off natural scenery you wouldn’t get to see at home.

6. Scan for eye sores and future headaches

If there is something off about the home or landscaping you are viewing that catches your eye, it will only be something that will bother you more over time. Decide if it will be worth investing the time or money into changing later. 

7. Know the neighborhood and neighbors

What kind of neighbors you have can make or break your experience of owning a home in an area. Look into the neighborhoods you have at the top of your list and narrow down your options by eliminating any that seem to hold potential conflict.

A well-maintained neighborhood is a good sign that your neighbors care about maintaining the value of the area. Take notes on what type of activities they seem into or if they seem like approachable people. Friendly neighbors who will have your back when you are in town or away will be a priceless addition to your investment.

8. How convenient is it to get to your property for those coming from out of town?

Santa Rosa Beach is almost the same distance to Valparaiso (VPS) Airport as it is to the Panama City (ECP) Airport — a little over 20 miles. If you decide to rent out your home, have the route mapped out for visitors, so the trip feels as easy and accessible as possible.

Having your own means of traveling figured out in advance will also keep you motivated to make the trip as often as possible. You will want this to be something you don’t have to think too much about when you are ready for some time off.

9. Look for nearby self-storage

There is nothing more unrelaxing about a vacation property than a cluttered space. However, there are going to be things you want while on vacation that you wouldn’t want to travel with, such as a surfboard, golf clubs, or other gear that provides you with a richer experience.

So that you don’t have to store these items in the home, consider storing them in a nearby self-storage facility. Reduce the hassle of retaining your belongings by having a plan for where you will store them and choosing a location that is only a short distance from your property.

10. Build a strong team

When starting your search for a vacation home, the most important step is to invest time into building a strong team that will help you reach your goals. Get advice from a local expert like Darlene Kluck, who has been in Emerald Coast real estate for over 20 years.

Being led by an expert will shorten the search process and open up your access to luxury properties only a few have access to.

Investing in the Santa Rosa Beach real estate market will no doubt be worth the reward. It is just a matter of making sure you find a home that fits your vision and will provide what you need. Doing as much homework and research early on will ensure that nothing gets in your way when it is finally time to seal the deal.


"Land monopoly is not only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies; it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly." -Winston Churchill

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