Probability of renting a condo during low season in STX
I live on the west coast of Florida and am considering buying a condo in a waterfront complex on "condo row" and occupying it during our "winter season" which would be from December thru April. How likely would it be to rent the condo the rest of the year for short term stays with the hope of covering the remaining 7 months of condo fees, after paying a management company to rent it?
Probably very unlikely. The time you wish to be here is our high season when everyone wishes to be here and vacation rental demand is high. This drops off drastically beginning May to Nov. If you're satisfied with a couple rentals here and there, you'll be fine but if you expect to be fully booked every month, you'll be disappointed.
We have a number of friends who own condos and/or villas that they rent out from time to time. Very few of the them get more than a coupe of "short-term" rentals in the off season. For what it is worth, none of them are able to "cover their costs" with the few rentals they get in off season, the demand just isn't there.
Sorry if this is not what you want to hear but it's the reality of the situation.
If you rented it out during Dec. thru April, you might cover your costs and then have it for your personal use during the quieter off season.
If you're looking to get away from the cold during those months and don't want to do that, it might be better not to have high expectations for off season rentals plus there associated costs for advertising, cleaning, water and electricity usage, etc. Plus rates are lower off season and much higher in season. You'd have to have someone on island that can take care of managing the property, seeing the cleaning person does a proper job and available for repairs, etc.
Good luck whatever you decide.
I live on the water in a Tampa Bay beach community and have grown tired of our "cold" winters. During this time millions of tourists flock here to escape the real cold weather up north and the traffic congestion gets pretty bad. I would only want to go to STX during this time to escape our cold weather. It looks like I won't even consider renting it out the rest of the year based on feedback received here. I appreciate your advice.