The international investors and property owners from other parts of the country we work with don’t always understand the local climate and what it means to own rental property in Florida. The weather can affect these investments in dramatic ways. Today, we’re talking about common things you should be aware of when you’re buying rental property in the Jacksonville area.
Roof Repairs and Replacements
You might buy a property with a 20 to 30-year shingle roof, but with the heat and humidity we experience in Florida, our roofs don’t last as long. Another factor affecting life of a roof is pitch. A flat roof won’t last as long as a roof with a higher pitch because of the rain and humidity. Tree limbs and debris can also damage a roof and hold moisture there. Roof leaks are most common around skylights and chimneys.
Air Conditioning Systems
Air conditioning systems are forced to work hard here in Florida. An a/c system in the northern part of the country might last 20 to 30 years, but in Jacksonville, the system will need repair work or a total replacement in 7 to 10 years. There’s a new type of Freon that’s being used now, and it can often be cheaper to replace the system than to repair it.
Look for galvanized pipes before you buy an older home. Make sure it has been re-plumbed. Most of the construction here is slab construction and plumbing can go through the concrete. This could translate into a larger expense if you get a leak. Turning on the water is the only way to identify those leaks.
There are also some smaller things you need to consider when buying an investment property in Florida. Check the caulking. This is a moist climate so make sure windows are sealed. Caulking will last five years on the inside and outside of homes.
Painting also needs attention. The outside of the house will undergo a beating from heat and UV rays. Expect your exterior paint to last between five and 10 years.
Budget for some appliances if you’re buying an older home. Water heaters were once a minor replacement, but now there is a new law in place where certain types of water heaters need to be used. This will be an additional expense for you, and you may need additional drain lines as well as electrical re-wiring.
These are a few points you need to remember when you’re buying Florida property. We are experienced locally, and we’d love to tell you more. Please contact us at Cool Realty.