A beautiful sunset from the backyard pool of a Margaritaville Resort Orlando cottage

I Want to Buy a Vacation Home Near Disney. Where Do I Start?

The idea of owning a vacation home near Disney World is undeniably captivating, offering not just a getaway but an experience that transcends the ordinary. However, there are crucial factors to consider before embarking on this exciting journey. From defining your purpose and setting a budget to understanding the local real estate market and rental regulations, the path to purchasing a vacation home near Disney World is paved with careful planning.
Wondering where to start? Here's a guide to help you get started on your journey to owning your own slice of the magic.


The first step in your journey to buying a vacation home near Disney World is to define your goals. Are you looking for a personal retreat, an investment opportunity, or a combination of both? Determining the primary purpose of the property will shape many of your subsequent decisions.
Consider the size and type of property that suits your family's needs. Are you planning to accommodate extended family, friends, or just your immediate family? Will you be using the property year-round, or is it intended for seasonal use? These questions will guide you in selecting the right property that aligns with your needs.
Setting a budget is another critical aspect at this stage. Remember to consider not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, homeowner association (HOA) fees, and potential club fees.


While others might have this step further down on their list, Story Group understands that the earlier you engage a local expert the faster you can get the relevant information needed to make informed decisions, save time, and money.
A local real estate agent with expertise in the Disney World area can be your most valuable resource. They know the neighborhoods, market trends, rental regulations, and potential issues that might arise during the buying process. A skilled agent will provide you with hyperlocal market data and help narrow down property options based on your preferences, budget, and goals.


If your goals include generating rental income from your vacation home, it's crucial to understand the short-term rental regulations in the area. All communities in the area have set strict guidelines for which types of occupancy is allowed. Some communities restrict short term rentals, and any leases less than 6 months, altogether. Some communities allow short term rentals but restrict residency or stays longer than 6 months. Lastly, some communities allow for short term rentals, long-term rentals and residency, giving homeowners a flexibility to plan ahead in their investment strategy.
Consider whether you'll manage the rentals yourself or employ a property management company. Management companies can handle bookings, cleaning, and maintenance, but they will charge a fee.


Financing a vacation home differs from a primary residence. Various mortgage options are available, each with its own set of requirements and terms. Consult a financial advisor or mortgage specialist to explore the best financing solution for your situation.
Factor in additional costs beyond the mortgage, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. A well-rounded understanding of your financial responsibilities is essential for a smooth ownership experience.


Location is paramount when buying a vacation home near Disney World. Consider the proximity to the theme parks, shopping centers, dining options, and other attractions. A balance between convenient access to Disney and a serene environment for relaxation is key. Identify which communities align with your criteria and begin an in-depth property search.
Explore the amenities offered. Gated communities, resort-style facilities, golf courses, and recreational spaces are sure to enhance your vacation experience and also increase the property's appeal for potential renters. Visit properties virtually or in person, if possible, to get a sense of their condition and surroundings.


Before making an offer, work closely with your real estate agent to analyze recent comparable sales, supply and demand, time on market, seller's motivations, and any other relevant information.
Understand that an offer is not only the purchase price, but a combination of terms with equally important parts. Financing or cash? How many days for inspections? Appraisal contingency? How much for earnest money? When are you looking to close? Are you requesting any additional terms? All are important for crafting an attractive offer and in subsequent negotiations.


Conduct thorough inspections to confirm the property's condition and identify any potential issues.
Review the rules and fees of the homeowners' association and club, if applicable, to ensure they align with your lifestyle and plans for the property.


You and your real estate agent, along with your mortgage lender, the title company, and other parties have been working tirelessly to ensure a smooth transaction from start to finish. Set up utilities, perform a final walkthrough, and be sure to review final paperwork and closing costs.
The dream of owning a vacation home near Disney World is now a reality!


Even if you 're not renting, you 'll want to set up a system for property maintenance and repairs to ensure your investment remains in good condition. Consider how you 'll furnish and decorate the property to create an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. If already furnished, consider what updates or personal touches will turn the property into your second home.
If you 're renting out the property, whether short-term or long-term, create a plan for managing bookings, guest communications, cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. This might involve collaborating with a property management company.


Buying a vacation home near Disney World is a thrilling journey that requires careful planning and consideration. By defining your goals, understanding the market, and seeking expert guidance, you can make a well-informed decision that brings you closer to owning your own piece of paradise.
With the right team, your dream of having a vacation home near the magic of Disney World can become a reality that enriches your life for years to come. As your expert advisors, Story Group's approach is rooted in personalized attention, transparency, and a commitment to surpassing your expectations. So, take the first step, embark on this adventure, and reach out to Story Group today.

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Our approach has always been to advise, not sell, make you the expert, and empower you to make the best decisions to reach all your real estate goals. Whether you are looking to buy or sell real estate near Disney World Orlando, we are excited to connect with you.

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