When dreaming becomes a reality

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 08:38 AM.

As locals, we hear time and time again from visitors that we are so lucky to be able to live along the Emerald Coast . As they are packing up their cars, they groan and we hear, “It would be amazing to own a piece of property here.”

If you want to see someone get excited and passionate about selling property, ask Paul Couch, Senior partner at Destin Palms, to show these dreamers how easy reality can be.  

“Making the numbers work on investment property is like putting the last puzzle piece in. You get a rush looking across the desk at a couple who never thought it was possible (and are still in disbelief). The moment they see how they can own their own beach vacation home or condo with little or no out of pocket expense is a moment that never gets old.

“People tend to trust their 401K and retirement savings to the stock market. How safe is that investment? How much did you lose in 2008? How long before it came back? It is back to where it was now? So, in 6 years, you made no money on your investment? This is a never ending conversation I have with my father-in-law,” Paul jokes.

“What if you took your money out of the stock market and put $100,000 down on a $500,000 vacation rental? Even if the property breaks even on a vacation rental program, someone else is paying your mortgage. If property values appreciate at 12.5 percent (like it has the past two years along the Emerald Coast ), you’ve just appreciated $62,500. That is a 62.5 percent return on that $100,000 down payment. Plus, your family and friends got to use it and make memories. Plus, you are getting a tax deduction.”

Associate Michael Savage chimes in, “Paul’s enthusiasm is infectious. It is awesome to see a family coming out of Paul’s office and stepping into Jessica’s, our Operations Manager, realizing their dream and having 100 percent trust in our vacation rental team to maintain and manage it.”

Infectious is definitely the right word. I am leaving Destin Palms’ office and heading to investigate my stock portfolio. Maybe this dreamer has a new vacation property reality in her near future.

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