Paula Hinegardner On The Benefits Of Owning An Emerald Coast Vacation Home

Paula Hinegardner

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Editor's Note: Haute Residence member Paula Hinegardner talks about the many benefits of owning a home on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

8112 Inspiration, Miramar Beach, FL

Florida’s northwest Gulf Coast ranked #1 on the new “100 Best Markets to Buy a Vacation Rental Home in 2020” report by Rented Research and Weiss Analytics. The new 2020 report determined that Florida’s Panhandle offers the best returns on vacation home investments over every other U.S. market.

Listed below are reasons to invest your money in a 30A vacation rental home.

Potential for higher income

In purchasing a property in 30A, you can enjoy the potential to make income or anything that would otherwise fit your needs. This could include buying and holding; buying, improving, and selling; buying and converting to a vacation rental; buying and converting to a long-term rental; or any combination of these.

Whenever you purchase real estate, there is usually an opportunity to make some rental income (or at least cover expenses) and then, hopefully, make some money when you decide to sell down the road. Highway 30A (or “South Walton” more broadly) typically demands higher rental rates and higher dollar-per-foot sale prices than surrounding and competing areas.

This means that in areas that charge higher rental rates and have higher home values, there is a larger attraction from buyers and renters with higher disposable incomes. Purchasing a property in 30A will supplement higher vacation rental income and higher long-term rental income.

High real estate demand

30A is in the prime location for vacation rental homes with beautiful beaches, large state parks, and unique architecture on all sides. Nestled between the busy cities of Destin and Panama City Beach, 30A is the best spot for a laid-back vacation home when you are trying to escape hectic schedules or worries back at home. In real estate, location is everything; 30A has it all.

The quaint beach towns along highway 30A are where artists and promising architects alike gathered to create a place like no other. On 30A, you won’t find big chain businesses or many tract home developments; instead, you will find a place that has been protected since the ’80s from any development over 50 feet tall and communities that flow together with the surrounding environment.

30A has attracted many affluent families of the southern states, with many from the North and the Midwest now flocking to the Emerald Coast to vacation and invest in vacation rental homes.

Ownership flexibility

Owning real estate in 30A allows you the flexibility to be as involved or not involved as you would like. Many investors shy away from owning vacation rental homes because of how hands-on owners have to be. Owning a 30A vacation rental income-producing property allows a wide variety of involvement, ranging from full self-management to relatively hands-off ownership (recommended to use a home manager or full service management company) for the least involvement).

30A is still expanding

Even though a few homes on 30A date back to the 1890’s, anyone watching closely can see that 30A is still developing into one of the most coveted vacation destination spots in the U.S.

Examples of recent expansions and renovations include: Alys Beach and Kaiya Beach Resort are bringing a level of luxury and construction to 30A that is second to none; the St. Joe Beach Club has just undergone improvements in service and capacity; Seaside, 30A’s first “Planned Urban Development,” is experiencing a renovation push and more construction than ever before; Gulf front properties all over 30A are being purchased to make way for large, luxury $10 million (and higher) homes.

Our expert, Paula Hinegardner, can guide you through the process of purchasing a vacation home from start to finish. Once you decide to invest in a 30A vacation home (or vacation rental home), the Paula Hinegardner Group will walk you through each step in purchasing your new property, including both virtual and in-person home buying.

The first few steps in purchasing a new home will include:

  • Consultation, either virtual or in-person
  • Find your favorites through a drip system directly to your email to find the newest listings the day they hit the market!
  • Take a Tour, either virtual or in-person

Paula Hinegardner blog mar2021

Buying and investing in a 30A property is more than what is seen on the surface, it’s buying into a secluded lifestyle and a unique beach town culture. Choose to vacation and invest in a 30A vacation rental home to make memories with families and friends for years to come — it will be worth your time, money and happiness.

For more information, please contact Paula Hinegardner at 615-618-1330 or

Paula Hinegardner is the exclusive agent representing the Santa Rosa Beach, FL real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of her listings here.

Photo credit: Jay Winter, Home Pix Media

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