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Are town homes the new condos for vacation home buyers?

As the cost for land increases dramatically in the vacation areas of Kissimmee, Orlando and Davenport, developers are finding that the resort townhome is fast replacing the more traditional single family vacation home. Condo sales over the last 5 years have shown a dramatic increase, but many experts point to over saturation in parts of South Florida, and Las Vegas, exacerbated by investors flipping multiple condo units at the same time.

Many builders in Orlando and Kissimmee have town home projects either in preconstruction phases or close to completion as it is the perfect hybrid between the single family vacation home and the high rise condos that dominate the Florida coastal skyline. With their own private decks and spacious floor plans, a town home in Orlando was the perfect choice for engineer William Richards from Swindon in the UK.

"We really had our hearts set on a villa with a pool" said William's wife Clara, "but when we worked out the running costs and the possible short term rental income, we decided to buy a town home in Terra Verde. We couldn't be happier."

Because builders can put more townhomes per acre than single family homes, land costs in the vacation home area can be reduced per unit, but because you cannot put more units vertically, you do not get a community of 1,000 units which is typical of a vacation condo or condo hotel project.

So what can you expect from a town home if you are looking for an Orlando vacation home?

  •  Normally either 3 or 4 bedroom, 2 story vacation home ranging from 1300 sq. ft. to 1900 sq. ft., the perfect size for the family on vacation / holiday.

  • Community amenities ranging from the simple pool and picnic area, to the extravagant vacation home resort of Regal Palms with a lazy river, water slide, restaurant and health spa.

  • A home owner's association fee ranging from $125 to $350 per month that includes exterior paint, landscaping, community facilities and insurance for the exterior of the town home and the roof of the townhome. This provides peace of mind, knowing that should anything happen to the roof, (the most expensive part of any vacation home to replace), the HOA is liable, not the owner.

  • No units above or below you, so a  vacation home that is much quieter than a condo or condo hotel unit.

The best advantage to buying a town home as your next Kissimmee vacation home is the price. With single family homes in gated resorts such as Terra Verde or Windsor Hills ranging from $375,000 to $600,000, town homes in the same community are in the $250,000 to $325,000 range.

For simpler vacation home communities we have single family homes in the $300,000's whereas in communities like KB homes' new Paradise Cay,  you can find 3 bedroom inventory townhomes from $225,000.

With lower running costs and mortgage payments than a traditional vacation home, a town home in Orlando can make breakeven from short term rental a much easier prospect than buying a pool home, and with fewer maintenance worries many investors, and second home buyers are living the town home dream in Orlando's vacation home market.

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MBT Homes, 117B Broadway, Kissimmee Fl 34741 (407) 908-2326 marcus@mbthomes.com

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