Trisha is one of our homeowners from the UK. She lives in Yorkshire with her partner Mandy. Together, they own the beautiful Anchor’s Away property on the Tuscan Ridge community in Davenport.
We caught up with Trisha to ask her about being the owner of a vacation home in Florida and what she loves about her home and the state of Florida.
What made you decide to buy a holiday home in Florida?
We were looking in Spain originally, but then a friend told us about a company selling houses in Florida. They flew us out for a week and showed us a load of homes. We fell in love with the second one we saw, right on the first day.
How long have you had your home in Florida?
We bought it in 2003 and we’ve never looked back! When we bought it, it was brand new. We bought it with the intention of keeping it for five years, but we’ve had it now for 17 years. We love the house and the area and we absolutely love Florida.
When did you first fall in love with Florida?
I went for the first time in around 1989, I think. We’d been a couple of times in the 1990s. But now it’s a home from home that we really love. When it was my sixtieth birthday, we went out and stayed for a month.
Did you always know where you wanted to buy?
Osceloa county is Disney county and the homes there are much more expensive. We bought just over the county line in Polk county. At that time there was quite a few neighbourhoods going up and it was a lot cheaper to buy in Polk county. What I love about it is the close access to the I4. Within fifteen minutes of leaving our home, we are driving under the Welcome to Disney arch.
What is the area like?
When we first bought the home, there were just a few restaurants nearby. Now, there’s everything you could want right on the doorstep. There’s an English café that serves English food like Sunday roasts. We love Bob Evans and Mani’s Chop House and Longhorn Steakhouse.
It’s just five minutes onto the Interstate and, from there, you can explore the whole of Florida.
Did you always know you would rent your home?
If we can’t rent a home, we won’t buy it. This home has been great for us, especially with White Rose Villas managing it. Every year it’s already booked up for most of the next year!
How did you find White Rose Villas property management?
We had various nightmares with other property management companies. We were even robbed by one of them! But White Rose Villas property management is the best we’ve ever had. Everything gets done if they say its going to get done. They go above and beyond; we can’t fault them. After all the nightmares we’ve had, White Rose Villas property management is like a godsend – they’re absolutely the best!
Do you have any advice for other people thinking about buying in Florida?
You need to be aware of all the financials. You need your own accountant because you have to be IRS registered. If you are going to rent out your home, you’ll be paying tax. You have to consider the admin and the community charges, the homeowners’ association fees. And the utilities cost a lot more than they do in the UK. Get the right advice before you buy.
Have you got any tips that guests should know before booking your home?
We’ve tried to make it a home from home – so that nobody ever thinks ‘I wish this home had…’. It’s got everything you might need. The only thing we don’t allow is barbeques because it can really stain the covered area around the pool.
What is the best thing about your home?
What’s the best feature – besides the pool? I think the games room we’ve created by converting the garage. There’s table football, pool, ice-hockey, a big TV with games.
White Rose Villas comment: the heated hot tub on the pool deck is another superb extra.
Have you got any advice for anyone considering a holiday in Florida?
Everybody should go! It’s every child’s dream. And once you’ve been, you’ve got the bug! I know two or three people who’ve bought a home there after going there on holiday. It’s a fabulous place. Last November, one of our guests went swimming with manatees!
We love to take our granddaughters to the parks. When you watch the Disney parade with the fireworks over the castle afterwards, it has brought tears to my eye every time I’ve watched it!
We also love St Augustine. It’s about an hour and a half to St Augustine but the drive is really interesting. We’ve been to Anna Marie Island and Key West. Miami is 240 miles away but it’s like a different planet altogether! It’s so fabulous! We’ve been all over, but we like Clearwater and Treasure Island. We just book overnight at a cheap hotel and go and explore.
You can have your own Florida adventure by booking Trisha’s home.