Gary & Sandy Elliott
Many people in the area like the idea of buying a weekly rental condo on the beach for their own enjoyment and to accommodate visiting family members. The rest of the year they rent the condo to offset the costs of ownership. Others, who have experienced the daunting task of finding a rental in season, decide to buy one instead, use it when they want, and then rent it out the rest of the year. Investors are another big group in this market segment. The island offers weekly, monthly and longer-term beach condo rentals, but weekly rentals are the most popular with visitors who vacation here for a week or two at a time.
There are only five buildings on the beach that allow seven day minimum rentals. Altogether there are 628 one, two and three bedroom condos on the beach that can be rented by the week. Some of these condo associations allow weekly rentals for 52 weeks a year, and others allow a total of 36 weeks per year. This week only 21 weekly rental condos on the beach are for sale, or just three percent of the available condos. There are only two one-bedroom condos for sale at the Apollo this week, starting at $435,000 and nineteen two-bedroom condos at the South Seas Towers 3 and 4, Seawinds and Somerset. These two bedroomcondos range in price from $449,000 to $899,000. There are no three bedroom condos in this category for sale.
Many people buy these condos for cash, and others get a mortgage. Weekly rentals for a one bedroom at the popular Apollo are about $1,900 to $2,000 in season, and half that amount out of season. At the Seawinds next door, a two bedroom weekly rental is about $2,100 to $2,300 in season. Almost all the condos listed for rent are fully rented or occupied in season, and as much as 60% occupied off-season. Owners generally employ one of the many capable and experienced vacation rental companies on the island or do it themselves with sites like vrbo.com.
Some of these beach condos have been completely renovated and are sold turnkey with all the furnishings, artwork, accessories and rugs included. Some are sold unfurnished. Some are clean but need updating and new furnishings. Depending on the amount of work to be done in the kitchens, bathrooms and flooring, these renovations can cost $100,000 to $150,000 and require a licensed general contractor to do the work. New furnishings and accessories are an additional expense. Most condos require that heavy remodeling work be done over the summer months so as not to disturb their neighbors during season. Renovation permits from the city take 6 weeks or more and construction schedules are running about 6 months.