6 Things to Know Before Investing in a Panama City Beach Vacation Rental

When you’re thinking about where to buy a vacation rental, Panama City Beach, Florida should be at the top of your list.

Panama City Beach boasts nearly 100 public accesses to 27 miles of beaches with white sand along the Gulf of Mexico. Like many vacation destinations, Panama City Beach is an area with distinct neighborhoods that have something for every homeowner and traveler. That means you can find the style of house you prefer and target your optimal renters.

The first thing to know is the area is divided by Hathaway Bridge. One side is Panama City, and the other side is Panama City Beach. On one side is the city, which is more established, and the east side of town has some newer developments like Pier Park.

Whichever part of town you choose to buy in, choose a Gulf view instead of a lake view. You’ll be rewarded with fewer vacancies, even during the off-season.

Panama City Beach is an excellent place to invest in a vacation rental property. Consider these 6 things before you buy a rental home:

Understand Panama City vacation rental regulations

Before you buy a condo or a house, make sure you understand the rules for parking, pools, and other recreation in the neighborhood. You don’t want to buy and then discover surprises that could sink rentals. Also, make sure any condo or homeowner boards are open to third-party property managers and short-term rentals.

Understand traffic patterns

Visitors do, and they understandably choose the areas near the attractions they want to have easy access to. During the summer, what may seem like a quick drive can take several times as long. You can have a terrific property but no one will want to recommend it or return to it if the locale means they must endure constant traffic jams during prime times. Identify how walkable an area is when looking at properties.

Write a detailed property listing

When travelers visit Panama City, they’re often particular about not just where on the beach they’re staying, but which specific condo they’ll be staying in. Always specify which condo your rental is located in or whether your home is located on front beach, middle beach, or back beach.

Be aware of pests

They are prevalent in this tropical area. If you want to keep your property rented, engage a pest control expert quarterly. Sure, that adds to your expenses, but it is a must to keep your property rented and highly rated.

Prepare for storms

It’s no secret that Panama City, Florida often experiences intense weather. Understand storms can halt rentals and require property renovations. Talk to an experienced property manager to determine expectations and applicable insurance coverage. Having a plan in case a hurricane hits your rental can help make a stressful situation a little bit less tense.

Regular maintenance is key

Of course, you won’t want to wait for a storm to renovate or maintain your property. Regular upkeep is vital. That’s especially true of waterfront properties. Don’t skimp on your budget for such improvements. If your home has worn floors, broken shutters, or chipped paint, you’ll pay for that damage with fewer booking and less-than-stellar reviews. Take the time to invest back into your property, and it will reward you.


Panama City, Florida is an ideal area to invest in a vacation rental property. Don’t go it alone. Take a page from successful vacation rental homeowners and partner with an established, licensed real estate agent and property manager to ensure you have success with your vacation rental.


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