How long will Brevard County wait until rising rental costs become a crisis?

“Affordable housing crisis” might sound like a San Francisco or New York City problem, not something Brevard County —  the kind of place where you don’t have to be a millionaire to live near the beach — has to worry about. 

Perhaps for those of us earning enough or long-time homeowners, it isn’t. But, as FLORIDA TODAY’s Bailey Gallion reported this week, Brevard’s low-income families are struggling to keep up with rising rents and some are losing their place to live.

That’s a side effect of our prosperity as we welcome high-income residents who are driving up prices.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nonprofits and advocates for the homeless have been sounding the alarm for years, with stories of families living out of their cars or couch surfing after suddenly being displaced by skyrocketing rents. 

There are several efforts, led mainly by nonprofits, to increase affordable housing, including a taskforce made up of local leaders and new units being built south of U.S. Route 192 by nonprofit Carrfour Supportive Housing.

But the same level of attention isn’t coming from our County Commission and local governments as has been dedicated, rightfully so, for the Indian River Lagoon.

In fact, the county is phasing out funding for nonprofits, including those that help homeless families find housing such as Family Promise of Brevard. The organization has seen a 58% increase in the number of calls of people struggling to afford rent since last year.

Between 2017 and 2018, rent values went up by 15% in the county, an unprecedented increase, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2019, the fair market rent value for a two-bedroom unit went down $18 to $1,000 per month. 

As of 2016, Brevard needed 11,500 housing units for the working poor, according to a study by the University of Florida’s Shimberg Center for Housing Studies. Get the Florida Voices newsletter in your inbox.

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We should look at what’s happening next door to us as a warning sign. The Orlando metro area had the nation’s worst housing shortage this year for people earning up to $24,600, beating cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Houston, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

We shouldn’t act surprised when more displaced Orlando renters move to our area only to make our housing problems worse. 

Volunteers deliver care packages and beanies to homeless camps in Palm Bay.

Volunteers deliver care packages and beanies to homeless camps in Palm Bay. (Photo: Provided)

Here’s a low-hanging fruit Brevard could tackle: Nonprofit developers want to build cheap housing but cannot find land that’s large enough or zoned as multi-family, according to Gallion’s reporting.

Fixing this issue is not rocket science, but it does require will power.

We have shown with the Indian River Lagoon that we can work together to solve some of our direst problems. Yet the people affected by rising rental costs aren’t waterfront homeowners, boaters, local leaders or the primary voters who decide elections on the Space Coast. 

Helping the working poor is often viewed in our county as “socialism” or handouts. That fails to recognize we all pay when people end up homeless. A 2016 Leadership Brevard project estimated homelessness costs the county nearly $28 million a year in incarceration, prosecution, education, law enforcement and mostly health-care costs. 

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s begin by looking at what other communities are doing:

  • San Diego allows developers to build at higher density if a number of units are reserved for low-income tenants, according to Forbes magazine.
  • Atlanta allows developers to apply for tax abatements from the city for up to 10 years if they can prove their project wouldn’t be feasible without government funding, and if at least 20% of units are reserved for people earning up to 60% of the area’s median income, Forbes reported.

I want to be fair to the Space Coast. The Legislature has made it harder for local communities to address this problem.

In the early 1990s, the Legislature passed the Sadowski Act. The law increased real estate transaction taxes and dedicated that extra revenue to an affordable housing trust fund. However, for the last decade, lawmakers have raided those funds to pay for other expenses in the state budget.

More than $2 billion statewide have been diverted that could have been distributed across the state to build more housing, help homeowners with down payments and to assist low-income households. 

Brevard has lost more than $25 million since 2013, according to data provided by the county.

Sen. Debbie Mayfield of Melbourne filed a bill that died this year to stop the Legislature from raiding the Sadowski fund. Orlando Rep. Rene Plasencia, who represents northern Brevard, was a co-sponsor of the House version. Both are Republicans, proof that affordable housing isn’t just a liberal concern. 

Even Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended the Sadowski fund be completely funded, but signed into law a state budget that diverted money from the fund, albeit less than in previous years. 

The Space Coast can hope Tallahassee comes to our rescue in the next legislative session. Or we can be proactive. 

Which one is it going to be?

Renters Insurance

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Why Roost Renters Insurance

Did you know that between furniture, electronics, clothing, appliances, and more, the average renter can own roughly $30k worth of personal belongings? While your property manager may have insurance, he or she is not responsible for any of your own items. With renters insurance, you’ll receive protection and replacement for your damaged or stolen belongings (no matter where they are!). That means you can rest easy knowing your valuables are covered. It’s highly recommended that renters consider this type of insurance – and have a policy in place – before it’s needed.

10 DIYs to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home Sweet Home

My DIY Pinterest board is pretty much exploding at the seams. I collect DIY project ideas like they’re stamps. But when you’re a renter, you need to pick and choose your DIYs very carefully, because many projects won’t work with the restrictions of your lease. I’ve rounded up my 10 favorite no-fuss DIY projects for renters and I promise, your security deposit will be safe with all of them.

1: Monogram Doormat

DIY Monogramed Doormat

This is a super easy project that will help set the stage for the design in your home. It’s a great way to stand out, especially if you live in a larger apartment building with identical front doors. Go with black if you want a more neutral look, or amp it up by using a brightly colored paint for your initial.

Make It: Monogram Doormat

2: Fabric Backsplash

DIY Acrylic and Fabric Kitchen Backsplash

When it comes to rental kitchens, you’re often limited with changes you can make. But this is an awesome DIY project that will allow you to completely alter the look of your space without doing any damage to the walls. Measure your space, choose a fabric you love and follow this DIY to create a showstopping backsplash. When it’s time to move out, simply take it down.

Make It: Fabric Backsplash

3: Radiator Cover/Shelf

DIY Radiator Cover With Shelving

Miss Mustard Seed

If you live in a rental with a radiator, consider this project that helps you cover up the radiator while also adding some additional shelving. Even if you don’t have room for shelves, a cover can serve double duty by hiding the radiator and providing some additional space to store books, plants or artwork.

Make It: Radiator Cover

4: Wallpapered Fridge

Bethany Nauert

Sometimes an out-of-date refrigerator can really be an eyesore in a rental kitchen. Replacing the fridge is not an option for most, but all hope is not lost. You can jazz up your refrigerator by covering it with removable wallpaper.

This project is actually a lot easier than you think, and it can really add an element of fun to a tired space. This wallpaper is easy to remove, so when it’s time to move out you simply peel it off and go.

Make It: Wallpaper Your Fridge

5: Custom Pipe Shelving

Modern, Rustic Shelving

Renters are often stuck with little-to-no storage. Built-in shelving is a luxury that homeowners get to enjoy, but your options are much more limited in an apartment. Here’s a nice in-between solution that will still provide you with additional storage but won’t do too much damage to your walls: custom pipe shelving.

While this project will require you to make some holes in the walls, they’re very easy to fill-in with spackle before you move out.

Make It: Pipe Shelving

6: Slatted Door Storage

Slatted Door Kitchen Storage

Jamie Dorobek, C.R.A.F.T

Here’s a fun solution that makes use of those bi-fold doors that so many of us find in rental homes. It’s a storage system that makes use of many standard organizing pieces (like a magnetic knife strip) but allows you to mount them on a slatted door. You can really get creative and set this up in a way that works best for you and your baking needs.

Make It: Slatted Door Storage

7: Stovetop Cutting Board/Counter

Small-Space Hacks: Stovetop Counter

Sara Swezy, Studio Style Blog

For anyone in a tiny kitchen, you know all about the lack of counter space. It’s something that so many renters struggle with. Adding a cart as a “faux” kitchen island is a great solution, but sometimes you don’t even have room for that. Here’s an ingenious project that helps you create a good chunk of additional counter space using only the surface area on top of your stove. You can choose to create this cutting board out of material similar to your countertops, or go for some contrast and choose something that stands out a bit. When you need to use your stovetop, simply pop it off and store it until you’re done.

Make It: Stovetop Cutting Board

8: Towel Ladder

Stylish Bathroom Features Ladder Towel Storage

Sarah Hebenstreit / Modern Kids Co.

Towels are chunky and unwieldy, and sometimes you might find that you barely have room for them in a tiny bathroom. Towel racks are great, but you might just have one and need some additional space for keeping bath and hand towels handy. This pipe towel ladder DIY could be the answer to all of your tiny bathroom towel storage needs. The great thing is, you can make it exactly as wide and as high as you have space for.

Make It: Copper Pipe Ladder

9: Pendant Light


While lighting can sometimes be a bit trickier for a renter, you can actually switch things up in your apartment without doing any real damage or putting your security deposit in jeopardy.

The key to switching out lights is making sure you have some space to store the original ones. You also want to avoid making any additional holes in the ceiling and only using whatever holes or openings are already there. If you can meet those criteria, I say switch out your lighting! This DIY pendant is an inexpensive way to quickly up your lighting game and completely change the look of your space.

Make It: Pendant Light

10: Slipcovered Ottoman Storage

Neutral Transitional Living Room With Graphic Ottomans

Jonathan Rachman

Not to sound like a broken record with this whole storage issue, but it really is the #1 challenge of most renters. Which is why I absolutely love this ingenious project.

You can take a simple utility bucket and turn it into a gorgeous, upholstered ottoman. No one will even know that there is storage inside this gem (or a bucket for that matter!).

The top 10 ‘hidden gems’ for summer vacation home rentals

What are the top hot spots American vacationers are booking in home rentals this summer?

The lists are as numerous as the destinations themselves. Vacation rental management company Vacasa has compiled its own Top 10 list by “combing through a comprehensive set of Vacasa and partner data” (including combined occupancy during June, July and August from 2017 through June 2019) to determine the most popular destinations being booked in the markets it serves. (Vacasa operates in 30 U.S. states and 16 countries in Europe, South Africa and the Americas.)

The Top 10, in increasing order of popularity, are: Portland, Oregon; Kissimmee, Florida; Playa del Carmen, Mexico; New Orleans; Miami; Honolulu; Seattle; Milan, Italy; San Diego; and — topping the list — Rome, Italy.

Nice list — but the Portland, Oregon-based firm has gone one better: Aware that popularity necessarily means crowds, the firm also identified nearby “undiscovered towns and smaller cities,” with a similar look and feel to the Top 10.

“These hidden gems allow travelers to escape flocks of tourists, endless lines and crowded restaurants,” Vacasa says. “Plus, they can score some deals.”

Here’s a look at the company’s Top 10 “hidden gems,” for your vacation consideration.close dialogWhat’s your earning IQ?Take the quiz to find out.


Source: Vacasa10. Bend, Oregon … instead of Portland

GI: The Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon.

The Old Mill District In Bend, Oregon.Jeffrey Murray | Aurora Open | Getty Images

Citing Portland, Oregon’s famed breweries and “eco-friendly culture,” Vacasa call the Pacific Northwest city “an outdoor playground for travelers.” It may rain half the year, the firm notes, but Portland is “beautiful during the summer, making it hard to beat.” However, Bend, Oregon, just 150 miles to the southeast, is a viable — and potentially more cost-effective — alternative summer vacation destination, reports Vacasa. The company notes that, while both cities offers a similar focus on art, music and craft beer, Bend is less busy and “perhaps even more outdoorsy” than its larger sibling.
9. Davenport, Florida … instead of Kissimmee

GI: reflection over lake with sunrise

Lake in Davenport, Florida.rustycanuck | iStock | Getty Images

Beloved by Walt Disney World-bound vacationers, family fun hub Kissimmee, Florida, comes in at No. 9, but travelers might also consider nearby Davenport. Located about 20 miles to Kissimmee’s southwest and 10 miles from Disney, the hidden gem of Davenport has “plenty of accommodation options and it’s often more affordable” than Kissimmee or Orlando, according to Vacasa.8. Tulum, Mexico … instead of Playa del Carmen

GI: Premium: Mayan Ruins, Mexico

Seaside Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico.Kelly Chang Travel Photography | Getty Images

Popular Mexican beach resort town Playa del Carmen is an escape from the hustle and bustle of busier Cancun to the north, but its increased popularity has travelers-in-the-know looking even farther afield. Some have discovered Tulum, just an hour from Playa del Carmen. It’s not only “much less commercialized,” according to Vacasa, but boasts “more authentic restaurants and stores,” along with a set of world-famous seaside Mayan temple ruins.7. Savannah, Georgia … instead of New Orleans

GI: Lush street in Savannah

Savannah, GeorgiaDaniela Duncan | Moment | Getty Images

Few U.S. cities are as unique and iconic as the Big Easy, landing it the No. 7 spot on Vacasa’s list of top summer destinations. But let’s face it: New Orleans’ myriad charms — from Mardi Gras, voodoo lore and Bourbon Street bars to air boat swamp tours, alligators and Cajun-Creole cuisine — mean big crowds and hefty tabs. Why not try just as charming but less crowded Savannah, Georgia, three states west on the Atlantic Ocean? Vacasa notes that, “like NOLA, Savannah is known for its historic district and antebellum charm.” The company suggests a sunny horse-drawn carriage ride through the city’s cobblestone streets as a must on any visit.6. Daytona Beach, Florida … instead of Miami

People On Beach Against Blue Sky

Daytona Beach, Florida.Karen Hartman / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

The sunny Greater Miami area — from South Beach to Coral Gables to Little Havana — is the sixth-most-popular destination with Vacasa customers, but consider less crowded and just as lovely Daytona Beach, a four-hour drive to the north. Lively Daytona “has tons of rides, arcades, concerts and clubs,” says the home rental company.5. Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii … instead of Honolulu

GI: Woman relaxing at tropical resort

Resort in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii.M.M. Sweet | Moment | Getty Images

No. 5 Honolulu is beloved for its “stunning beaches, volcanic Diamond Head crater and many hotels,” according to Vacasa. Not so loved: The Hawaiian capital’s high prices and crowds. Scenic Princeville and other hidden gems on Kauai may not be much cheaper, but they’re a lot less populated. Known for its “wild beauty and cliffside views overlooking the sea,” Princeville is, says Vacasa, the perfect Hawaii alternative for sun and sand seekers.4. Boise, Idaho … instead of Seattle

GI Boise skyline in autumn

Ann Morrison Park and Boise, Idaho, skyline in fall colors.Steve Bly | Photographer’s Choice | Getty Images

“Surrounded by water and lush forests,” Seattle is “perfect for outdoorsy foodies who have a passion for pop culture.” Here’s the thing: It’s not No. 4 on this list for nothing. Since the Emerald City is a must on many regular travelers’ bucket lists, it’s hard to claim bragging rights after a visit. Many have been there, done that before you. Virgin territory awaits, however, 500 miles to the southeast in Boise, Idaho. This “up and coming” Pacific Northwest city is home to “an active arts community” and boasts a “lively downtown filled with shops, restaurants and nightlife,” says Vacasa.3. Lake Como, Italy … instead of Milan

GI: Italy, Lombardy, Lake Como, Bellagio

Lake Como in northern Italy’s Lombardy region.Westend61 | Westend61 | Getty Images

Coming in at No. 3 is the Italian city of Milan. Popular with travelers thanks to its food, fashion and retail scenes, cosmopolitan Milan flaunts a New York-style vibe and pace. Looking for quieter but just as upscale escape? How about a visit to what locals in Italy’s Lombard region claim is “the most beautiful lake in the world?” Scenic Lake Como, nestled at the foot of the Alps, lies an easy day trip from the metropolitan mania back in Milan.2. San Clemente, California … instead of San Diego

GI: Aerial View of San Clemente California

California coastal town of San Clemente,  just north of San Diego County.Art Wager | E+ | Getty Images

San Diego, the No. 2 most popular destination booked by Vacasa clients, is often cited by visitors as one of the most beautiful U.S. cities they’ve visited. In addition to the seaside views, vacationers are keen on the town’s famous boardwalk, Mexican restaurants, surfing opportunities and city zoo — not to mention a lively party scene. While it may not be as busy, equally attractive if smaller San Clemente — an hour’s drive north of San Deigo — is known as the “Spanish Village by the Sea,” says Vacasa. What’s the appeal? How does “unbeatable ocean views” and sunshine “300 days out the year” sound?1. Senigallia, Italy … instead of Rome

GI: Rocca Roveresca

The Rocca Roveresca fortification in Senigallia, in Italy’s Marche region.Marco Maccarini | Photolibrary | Getty Images

Drum roll, please! Topping Vacasa’s list of most popular summer vacation destinations is … Rome. Viva Italia! The Italian capital is packed with historical art and architecture; world-class entertainment, retail and dining venues; and a range of accommodations from hostels to five-star hotels. But all the big city fun comes at big city prices, and big city crowds. Less than four hours east of Rome by car, sunny Senigallia — on the country’s Adriatic Sea coast — is “a stunning, laid-back little beach town.” Vacasa adds that “like Rome, it’s rich with history, stretching back more than a thousand years, but travelers won’t have to pay through the nose for food or a place to stay.”


Swimming pools, RVs, farms and boats: Peer-to-peer rentals take cues from Airbnb

Travel planning is becoming more streamlined to benefit both travelers and those looking to make extra cash.

There are companies now that let travelers rent private pools, campsites, boats and outdoor recreation in an Airbnb-style fashion. In turn, owners can make money by being a host to underutilized pools, RVs, farms and vacant land used to host campsites.

Airbnb’s accommodations span over 6 million places in 191 countries, while HomeAway offers over 2 million places to stay in 190 countries. With this massive peer-to-peer renting popularity, other major businesses are jumping on the trip-sharing bandwagon.

Peer-to-peer rentals that go beyond rooms are available all over the world: you can rent a private pool in Australia; pitch a tent on a designated campsite in San Diego; or embark on a kayak tour in Norway.

Here are seven peer-to-peer rentals to consider for your next vacation:

Glamping Hub: Treehouses, vintage trailers and more

A portal for unique outdoor accommodations, Glamping Hub offers over 35,000 peer-to-peer glamping rentals — glamping is where camping and luxury meet: distinct amenities are added to enhance a rugged, outdoor overnight experience. Travelers can select accommodations that range from a vintage glamping trailer in Los Angeles or tiny house vacation rental in Flagstaff, Arizona, to a restored vintage Airstream in Georgia or a houseboat rental in Sarasota, Florida.

A Glamping Hub accommodation: A Tree House Glamping Getaway In Halkidiki Greece

A Glamping Hub accommodation: A Tree House Glamping Getaway In Halkidiki Greece (Photo: Glamping Hub)

GetMyBoat: Boats and water experiences

From a catamaran in California to a kayak in Croatia, GetMyBoat features over 130,000 types of boats and water experiences that can be booked in 184 countries. Travelers can book everything from houseboat rentals and private sailing lessons to whale watching tours in Mexico and sea kayaking tours in Greece

Boat renters can download the GetMyBoat app or go to the website in order to search by area and sort boats and experiences by type, price and guest count. 

Quest Catamaran Sailing Charters in US Virgin Islands

Swimply: Rent a pool

Looking to get wet this summer? Swimply lets water-lovers rent out private pools in the U.S. and Australia. The online marketplace for pool sharing allows non-pool owners affordable access to pools of different sizes and locations, while allowing pool owners to produce income from their underutilized pool.

Some listings on the website include a pools at people’s home that will host up to 30 guests in Palmetto Bay, Florida; up to 40 guests in West Hills, California; and a pool and hot tub rental in the Bronx, New York, for up to 12 people.

When you rent from Swimply, guests are responsible for leaving the pool and personal items in the condition it was when you arrived.

Swimply lets people rent out private pools in the U.S. and Australia.

Swimply lets people rent out private pools in the U.S. and Australia. (Photo: Swimply)

Farm Stay USA: Pay to stay and work on a farm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on a farm? Farm Stay USAprovides overnight stays on working farms and ranches all over the country. The farmer is still on the farm during overnight stays since they are working businesses. Each listing provides information on the property, livestock and agriculture on site and the activities and accommodations available.

In Hamilton, Montana, you can stay at ABC Acres, which focuses on sustainable and organic food raising; go hiking and bird watching at Blind Buck Valley Farms in Salem, New York; or feed horses and drive tractors at Scurlock Farms in Georgetown, Texas. 

Many states have limited-liability agritourism laws that apply to all farm visitors, which generally hold farmers harmless from trip-and-fall types of accidents to discourage petty lawsuits but do not cover gross negligence on the part of the farmer. Each farm stay varies in terms of meals, activities, lodging and amenities.

A Farm Stay USA experience: milking cows at Hullo Farms in Durham, New York

A Farm Stay USA experience: milking cows at Hullo Farms in Durham, New York (Photo: Farm Stay USA)

Tentrr: Camping on private land

For camping enthusiasts, Tentrr allows private owners to rent out extra land. Tentrr has backcountry sites, which allow campers to pitch their own tent on private and secluded land and Tentrr Signature sites, where Tentrr installs a fully-equipped campsite on a property.

The Tentrr Signature campsites come with a canvas wall tent on an elevated platform, bed, wood stove, Adirondack chairs, fire pit, grill, picnic table, sun shower and camp toilet. Tentrr has more than 600 fully-equipped sites across 35 states. Sites start at $25 per night for backcountry and $100 per night for Tentrr Signature.

A Tentrr Signature campsite

A Tentrr Signature campsite (Photo: Tenrr)

RVshare: From pet-friendly RVs to luxury motor homes

For those that crave outdoor adventure, a weekend of camping, long road trip or a cross-country tour of national parks, you can book transit on RVshare, which touts itself as the first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace. The platform offers over 100,000 vehicles, that range from towable RVs, drivable RVs and pet-friendly RVs to luxury motor homes.

You enter a pickup location and dates that you would like to rent the vehicle (you must drop off the RV at the same location you booked it). For example, there are over 500 bookable California rentals; over 400 RVs in Michigan; and over 900 RVs in Washington State.

Each rental is different. Some owners provide linens, bedding and towels, while others will require renters to stock the RV or offer kitchen and bedding packages at an extra cost. Other costs include gas and RV park fees.

2016 Airstream

Boatsetter: Rent a boat (with a captain)

With a portfolio of over 5,000 boats ranging from small runabouts and houseboats to larger yachts by owners, Boatsetter is a peer-to-peer rental company used to rent boats directly from owners. One can search for boats either by location or based on the desired activity, such as celebrating, cruising, fishing and other sports. There is also an area to mark where you need a captain to operate the rental.

Examples of rentable boats include a Sea Ray Sports Yacht in Miami; a Malibu Boats Wakesetter in Hawley, Pennsylvania; and Bayliner 2655 Ciera Sunbridge in Florida, New York.


Forbes: Why Short-Term Rentals Are Real Estate Investing’s Future

One of my favorite ways to invest in real estate is through short-term rentals (STR). Websites like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO are gaining market share each year as people become more familiar with the process. We’re still in the beginning stages of this type of investing. If you are an early adopter, there is a huge opportunity to maximize your ROI.

Before we can understand when and why STRs are a great way to invest, we need to first acknowledge that there are some downsides to consider. One big issue is that cities and counties around the U.S. are still trying to figure out how to regulate it. I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada, where short-term rentals are extremely regulated, and obtaining a license to lease them out is almost impossible at this point. The big reason here is the hotels run the city, and officials want people staying on the strip, spending money. Ordinances have passed that make it harder for people to host STRs.

Because of that, I don’t have any STRs here in Las Vegas. You don’t want to be in a constant battle with the city. It’s much better to go where there aren’t as many regulations to fight against. You want to find a market whose economy is dependent on STRs. For example, all of the STRs I own are in Big Bear, California where hotels are scarcer, so STRs are necessary to fit all the tourists coming in. I love that market, and there are many others just like it throughout the U.S.

Assuming you find a market that fits your criteria, this type of investing can offer huge benefits:

1. Higher Returns

In the right market, the returns on short-term rentals are much higher than long-term rentals. One of my properties grosses $4,000 a month on average. If it were available for long-term rental, it would earn $1,500 per month. With STRs there comes more management work and fees, but even taking that into consideration, the net is usually going to be higher than if you rented the unit long-term.

Again, every market is different. So it is possible that your market would have similar rental returns on both short- and long-term. But, you probably wouldn’t be investing in that market in this way. I suggest networking and talking to people in your market who have STRs to see how they’re doing to get a feel for the climate.

2. Personal Use

My favorite part about STRs is that you, the owner, can also use them whenever you want to have fun, check on your properties and look for new potential units. If they were being rented long-term, you wouldn’t have the ability to use them.

It’s a great way to have a second home that earns you income every month. The only “problem” is when they are booked so much that you have to schedule your own visit far in advance. It’s a great problem to have as an investor.

3. Diversified Risk

I believe STRs are less risky because your tenants are diversified. With a traditional long-term rental, if your tenant stops paying rent, you have a big problem on your hands. You won’t be getting any monthly income until you can evict them. If they cause any damage, you’re going to be out even more money.

With an STR, you don’t have to worry about evicting a tenant. You have many different tenants every month generating income, so you don’t run the risk of going months without receiving a check. Also, if a tenant does cause damage, some STR rental sites have insurance coverage for the damages the tenants cause. From my experience, instances of major damage from short-term renters are few and far between. It’s typically small things like a broken dish or lamp.

If you’re ready to get started on your STR portfolio, these are the top three traits to look for when picking a market:

1. Location: Is it located somewhere you can easily manage? Would you like to vacation there yourself? Can you build a team there?

2. ROI: How much are properties in that market selling for? How much are they renting for on short- and long-term basis?

3. Legislation: Is the market STR friendly? Is there any upcoming legislation that could change the dynamic and put your investment at risk?

Clearly, I’m a big believer in STRs. I think they will continue to gain even more market share as time goes on. There will be more regulations as it becomes a bigger business, but the early adopters can cash in on some great opportunities.


Whats in a Name: Lease Construction

The lease, that we provide our owners, is the best lease I’ve ever seen in my 16 year career. It has been drafted by our attorney.

What does that mean for you, an owner, considering hiring Solutions Property Management? It protects YOU and is written by our attorneys. It is custom and contains verbiage which has been selected to protect YOUR rights and interests and we only charge a minimal fee for this. For a minimal fee, YOU get the highest protection and peace of mind. We also offer discounted rates for compliance forms and minimal fees for evictions, if you utilize this service.

Bottom line, If you opt-out of this service, you may be responsible for sizeable attorneys fees (possibly thousands of dollars). Please contact Rachel DeCamp for additional information.

Ten million Florida homeowners are watching vacation rental bills

Florida is home to the largest number of residents living in a community association. 

Some 10 million homeowners live in neighborhoods with community associations and are protected by time-honored, deed restrictions adopted by a majority and, in some cases, a super-majority vote of those who pay the bills and will be most impacted by them — homeowners. 

These homeowners voluntarily pay more than $2 billion every year to protect their quality of life, home values and property rights through enforcement and compliance through deed restrictions. 

Now, renting out one’s home or a bedroom on a short-term basis is nothing new. However, our laws have not kept up. In fact, Florida actually went the other way to benefit those who exploit home-sharing as for-profit, commercial businesses under the false pretense of “property rights.” 

And guess where those unregulated, commercial businesses with no offices are headquartered?

Right inside Florida’s neighborhoods. 

Mark Anderson


These unregulated businesses then went even further and convinced our Legislature to remove what little oversight that existed — with some exceptions for cities who had existing rules — leaving our neighborhoods exposed as a last line of defense against unregulated proliferation of these commercial businesses.

Our neighborhoods, in many cases, changed almost overnight. 

A buyer’s market is a good thing, but in neighborhoods, the opposite happened. 

While some associations already had protections in place, many did not. Those which did not amended their covenants to halt further proliferation of these commercial businesses inside their neighborhoods, and those efforts continue to this day. 

In the 2018 legislative session, some of these commercial operators tried to remove any local government or neighborhood oversight. The Florida Legislature thankfully sided with homeowners and rejected this idea.

However, this year, some lawmakers are backing bills to remove the last vestiges of the few remaining local rules in place to protect the public. These bills unequivocally state that constitutional  “property rights” apply to anyone who chooses to rent their home, or multiple homes or hundreds of homes by the night, with no regard for the rules they agreed to comply with. 

They say that because vacation rentals are “residential in nature,” they therefore are permitted to exist in our neighborhoods, again, with no acknowledgment of the rights of millions of our fellow Floridians who contractually agreed to play by the rules.

At best, these bills — House Bill 987 and Senate Bill 824 — create confusion and conflict with adopted or yet-to-be adopted protections for our neighborhoods, forcing our associations to increase costs by hiring pricey lawyers to defend the rights of their homeowners. 

At worst, these bills violate deed restrictions for an entire neighborhood by allowing anyone who owns a home — or hundreds of homes they don’t live in — to disregard the rules, which they, as a homeowner, legally agreed to comply with. 

This is wrong for our homeowners, our economy and our state. 

Ten million Florida homeowners who vote, who pay their taxes and pay even more to protect their way of life are depending on our Legislators to stand up, once again, for them and oppose these bills.

And they will be watching.

Mark Anderson is executive director of the Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies, representing management of more than 14,000 homeowners associations, more than 18,000 managers, and more than 6 million homeowners.


Furnished Vacation Rental: 2-Story Townhome on Sykes Creek 3BR/2½BA

Available nightly, weekly, monthly, or long-term.
Scroll for full feature list.

104 Parrotfish Ln 101, Merritt Island, FL 32953
$2,900.00 Monthly or $1,000.00 A Week.

Come enjoy this incredible vacation home available Nightly, Weekly, Monthly, or long-term! Brevard’s newest and Premier Waterfront Community located at Stunning Cape Crossings. Property sits just off SR528, west of the Barge Canal on Merritt Island. Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral, and beaches, are just minutes away. OIA is 40 minutes away. This Stunning corner unit is located water side and a few steps from the Boat Slips and Pier. This Key West Style Two story Town Home is fully furnished and decorated with nautical flare. All utilities including wifi are included in stay. Resort Community offers pool, sauna, fitness center, and much more. Boat Slips are available for rent through the marina, Rates may vary.

Directions: SR 528 east to exit St Rd 3-Courtenay Blvd to North over Barge Canal. Make U turn to then right into Cape Crossings.

Brochure: CCR_brochureE

Property Features


  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Split Bedroom: Yes
  • Master Bedroom/Bath: Shower, Walk-In Closet


  • Baths – Full: 2
  • Baths – Half: 1

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Lot Description: Corner Unit
  • Patio
  • Porch
  • Dwelling View: Direct, Water View

Interior Features

  • Breakfast Bar
  • Built-In-Features
  • Ceiling Fan(s)
  • Kitchen – Island
  • Open Floor Plan
  • Security/Safety: Smoke Free

Building and Construction

  • Style: 2 Story
  • Style: 2
  • Construction: Combination
  • Roof: Shingle – Wood
  • Total Floors in Bldg: 2
  • Exterior Finish: Siding
  • Floor: Carpet, Tile

Waterfront and Water Access

  • Waterfront Type: Canal Navigation,Sykes Creek

Garage and Parking

  • 1 Car Garage
  • Number of Garage Spaces: 1

Heating and Cooling

  • Heat: Electric
  • Cooling: Electric
  • Water Heater: Electric


  • Electric
  • Sewer
  • Telephone


  • Dishwasher
  • Dryer
  • Range – Electric
  • Refrigerator
  • Washer

Amenities and Community Features

  • Water Amenities: Dock/Slip Community

Pool and Spa

  • Pool-Private or Community: Yes
  • Pool – Private: No
  • Pool – Community: Yes
  • Pool Features: Hot Tub/Spa, Inground

Other Property Info

  • City: Merritt Island
  • State/Province: FL
  • County: Brevard
  • Area: 250 – N Merritt Island
  • Subdivision/Condo Nm: CAPE CROSSINGS
  • Directions: SR 528 east to exit St Rd 3-Courtenay Blvd to North over Barge Canal. Make U turn to then right into Cape Crossings.
  • Tax ID: 24-36-11-00-00505.0-0000.00
  • Condo Unit #: 101
  • Front Door Faces: S
  • Property Subtype: townhouse

Rental Info

  • Rent Includes: Basic Lawn Maint, Cable, Electric, Pest Control, Pool Maintenance, Sewer, Trash P/U, Water
  • Furnishings: Full

Call Rachel DeCamp, 321-403-7155, or email