Daytona Condo-Hotels

Daytona Condo-Hotels (aka Hotel Condos, Resort Condos or Condotels).

What are Condo-Hotels?

Basically Daytona Condo-hotel is a hotel, where rooms are owned by individuals or legal entities, and are recorded as condos in the county records. Owners own their rooms (units), and share undivided interest in common areas.

Condominium is a form of ownership, while hotel is business. Think about Daytona Condo-hotel as a condominium, operated as a hotel, offering daily rentals and providing services common for hotels.

Owners are receiving part of rental income, and the split differs and depends on the arrangement between the owners and Front Desk.

Condo-Hotels vs. Residential Condos

So, what is the difference between the condo-hotels and condos in Daytona Beach area?

They are zoned differently. Condos as multi-family, and condo-hotels as hotels/motels. World of difference right here.

Condos can be your primary residence, you can retire there, you can homestead them, or you can rent them in accordance with condo restrictions.

Daytona area condo-hotels CANNOT be your primary residence*. Even if the Association amends their Declaration to allow for use it as primary residence (Daytona Beach Club, for example), your use of condo-hotels can be regulated both by the municipality and the State, and both the City Ordinance and/or State Law would trump the Condo Declaration in this regard.

There is no uniformity in restricting/limiting owners’ usage, and it varies from not more than one month a year to unlimited. And these rules may change.

You may not be able to convert a condo-hotel to residential condo. The requirements set forth in the City Codes for residential condos are more stringent than for motels/hotels, and it is practically impossible for a condo-hotel to become a residential condo. (Why can’t a condo-hotel convert to a residential condo?)

After all, there is a reason why condo-hotels are relatively inexpensive. It is because of these limitations.

If I were asked to come up with rule of thumb for Daytona Beach area, the list would be like this:

If you can afford a residential condo, choose a residential condo.

Condo-Hotels: Myths & Reality

1.      Condo-hotel is not a place to call home. It is a hotel, where you own your room.

2.      Condo-hotel is an income producing property, which may produce nothing. Condo-Hotel is not a cash cow. It can cover your expenses (excluding financing), but while expenses are guaranteed, income is not. So, it is possible that not only you would not cover your expenses, but would need to bring money to the Resort to cover your expenses. I.e. it is possible that Condo-hotel may operate in the red.

3.      Financing existing condo-hotel in Daytona area with institutional lenders is nearly impossible. Theoretically it is available, but practically it is not. Overwhelming majority of Daytona condo-hotel units do not qualify for financing because of the size or setup of the unit.

4.      Investment value is usually in resales, not in rentals.

5.      Expenses per sq. ft. in condo-hotels are usually significantly higher than in residential condos. You end up paying similar association dues for a small studio what you would pay for a 2- and even 3-bedroom residential condo.

6.      You may expect more Special Assessments in condo-hotels than in residential condos due to high traffic and the fact that there is less control over the property from absentee owners.

Summary

Daytona Condo-hotels are generally for those, who occasionally use them and rent them either through the Front desk or by the owner and/or agent at other times to offset the expenses.

If you are buying a condo-hotel because they are affordable and are right on the ocean, and everything else does not really matter, think twice.

Condo-hotels are not bad type of condos. It is simply that they are often bought for the wrong reasons.
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  • Some Condo-Hotels have in their Declaration that units can’t be their primary residence and can be homestead. Which does not mean that they are, but rather that you might at some point fight not with the Association, but with the City and/or State.

About Jon Zolsky

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