How to Prepare For Buying A Second Home in Florida

Alexis Smith-Frady


Buying a second home is a great way to invest in your future and make the most of today's market. If you’re choosing to purchase a second home in Florida, it’s essential to consider the state’s legal rules regarding second homes and make a plan to repurpose your current home. 

Tax and legal regulations on second homes

Regarding taxes, owning more than one home can be somewhat tricky. If you buy a second home on Anna Maria Island to make it your primary residence, you must consider how you’re using your former primary residence. Particularly if turning your previous primary residence into an investment property, you must report the profit from the rental on your taxes, which can impact your income bracket and tax return.

While there is much to learn about tax implications, it’s also important to understand the legal aspect of owning, renting out, and repurposing your homes. You should always consult with a local real estate attorney before making final decisions on property use or rental agreements. Additional information can be found online through local law libraries or public law schools. For those considering the purchase of homes for sale in Anna Maria Island, consider visiting the Sarasota County Law Library or the Manatee County Law Library.

With so many options and possibilities when it comes to owning a second home, it's up to you to decide what the right choice is for your life. As long as you follow all relevant tax and legal guidelines, you should make the best decision for your situation.

Repurposing your former home

Traditional rental

Renting your home is a great way to receive passive income and help someone else looking to call Anna Maria Island home. When renting out your home, you should keep a few things in mind:
  • Do you want to rent out your entire home or just a room? If you're renting out individual rooms or renting to a group of roommates, each tenant is entitled to all common areas of the home. You are within your rights to draw up a special agreement that all roommates sign.

  • Families looking at homes for sale in Anna Maria Island may be interested in renting an entire house while they continue looking for a more permanent home. This may be something to consider if marketing your property for rent.

  • Be sure to follow all local laws and regulations for renting your home.

  • Document the rental agreement in writing and have both you and the tenant(s) sign it.

  • Consult with a local attorney for assistance with the rental agreement process for Anna Maria Island real estate.

  • Collect security deposits and one month’s rent in advance.

  • Take photos of your home before the tenant moves in to help protect both parties if any damage occurs during the tenant's occupancy.

  • Given the property will no longer be your primary residence, you may also wish to consider hiring a property manager to handle home fixes for tenants.

Temporary rental

If you’d like to use your home as a vacation or commuter home, you may want to consider also using it as a temporary rental on Airbnb or VRBO.

Make sure your home is compliant with all local laws and regulations. Consult with a local attorney for temporary rental rules, regulations, and insurance assistance. Proper insurance will cover any damages that may occur while vacationing guests rent your home.

When advertising your property for temporary rental, consider local amenities that are sure to appeal to tourists. Also, consider marketing it as a way to experience Anna Maria Island real estate before investing in one of the homes for sale in Anna Maria Island.

Set ground rules for your guests and have them sign an agreement before they check in. An attorney can help draw up legally binding contracts for you and your guests. This helps protect you and your guests to ensure that everyone has a great experience.

Why Anna Maria Island?

Anna Maria Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast is a great place to get outside, enjoy the sun, and play in the sand. One of the best ways to take in all that the island offers are by visiting its seven miles of beautiful white-sand beaches.

If you're looking for a little more activity, you can go kayaking year-round, enjoy paddleboarding, or take a nature walk through one of the trails on the island. No matter what you choose to do, you're sure to have a great time on Anna Maria Island.
  • Island History: check out the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum, a former ice house from 1920!

  • Island Food: be sure to try one of the fabulous treats at Small Town Creamery, which is open daily in the afternoon and evening hours.

  • Island Markets: visit Beach Market, which offers numerous goods from local artisans, including baked goods, local produce, art, and jewelry.

  • Island shopping: take a trip to Bridge Street near Bradenton Beach for great shopping! Bridge Street is home to the Anna Maria Beach Beach Café, Seafarer Cruises, and other shops and art galleries. You'll also find Sandbar on Bridge Street, making it another great place to spend an afternoon or evening.

Searching for homes on Anna Maria Island?

Buying a second home in Florida can provide many benefits, especially if you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you're considering buying Anna Maria Island real estate, be sure to reach out to local realtor Alexis Smith-Frady for expert guidance and customer service.

*Header photo courtesy of Anna Maria Island Beach Rental


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