Canadian Purchasing Of Florida Real Estate

Canadian Purchasing Of Florida Real Estate

The following information is intended to provide information to the international traveler that I hope will assist them. Being an international traveler myself and having lived and worked in Canada over the years has given me an appreciation of the different customs of other countries. I am anxious to keep learning more of the rich cultures of foreign lands.

The US continues to be a very popular country for Canadian investors buying second homes abroad, and the majority of them buy in Florida. With the favorable exchange rates and the availability of flights (and bargain fares) from all major airports to Southwest Florida Fort Myers International Airport help make the area a desirable destination for vacations. Interesting statistic is that approximately 60% of the Us's wealthiest citizens winter in Southwest Florida. With magnificent white beaches, azure seas, plentiful moorings, shopping, cultural amenities, fine restaurants and the large number of championship golf courses it is easy to see why. See Southwest Florida Map at Southwest Florida MAP.

Although there are no restrictions on Canadians buying a property in Florida or anywhere else in the US, there are limits to how long they can spend in the country each year. See Visa application requirements at Visa application requirements. Please independently verify the current visa requirements for entry into the US.

Many developments in Southwest Florida also impose restrictions on the number of days per year that homeowners are allowed to lease their property to visitors. Also there are usually other lease restrictions that you need to be aware of. If your intent is to purchase then lease the unit part of the year then a Property Management Service is a must. Please consider Grande Cypress Realty for your property management needs. You can find a description of the program here: Property Management Service

Paying a mortgage and other costs using lease returns, although most desirable, is rarely feasible. Purchasing Real Estate in Florida is quite different from Canada so the services of a Florida licensed Real Estate Agent is essential. We hope you will consider using Grande Cypress Realty.

In Florida, nearly every property for sale by Real Estate Agents is listed on a central database called a Multiple Listing Service and is available to all real estate agents that subscribe to the service. Different Multiple Listing Services cover different areas. We can provide a no-cost or obligation access so that buyers can search both Southwest Florida Multiple Listing Services. Just E-mail us what areas you are interested in. Most real estate agents join the National Realtors Association and subscribe to a code of ethics that is strictly enforced.

The purchase process starts with a formal offer in the form of a purchase contract. When signed, this is binding, though contingency clauses allow either side to withdraw in defined circumstances. Once a price is agreed, the buyer deposits a goodwill deposit that is held in an escrow account, usually by a third party such as a title company. A title insurance company searches public records and insures the property against any third party claims. Transferring of the balance of the purchase price into the escrow account can complete the purchase. Time is a crucial element in the purchase process. If you fail to observe dates stipulated in the contract, you risk losing your deposit. Again the services of a Florida licensed Real Estate Agent is essential. We hope you will consider Grande Cypress Realty.

Buyers should allow around five per cent of the purchase price for various legal fees, document fees and property taxes & insurance. Always obtain a document titled as a "Good Faith Estimate". This document will be an itemized list of all the costs and fees that is associated with the real estate purchase. In case you are interested, it is customary for the seller to pay the real estate commission to the seller's real estate broker. The seller's broker offers a commission to any Florida licensed real estate broker representing a willing and able buyer. So it makes sense to be represented by your own Real Estate Broker. We hope you will consider Grande Cypress Realty as your own personal Real Estate Broker.

Paying cash is often recommended, but you may not want to tie up a relatively large sum in this way. Consult one of the specialist currency exchange companies for best available exchange rates and potentially save thousands in the process. If you prefer a mortgage we can put you in touch with a local lender. Note that lenders will require at least a 20% down payment and may require much higher depending on your particular situation. We always recommend local lenders since they are familiar with local customs and the market. We do not receive any fees from any lender that you were to chose. You may want to consider a loan for the equity value in your current home to pay for the second home. Contact your current lender if applicable.

The US taxation system is a complex one, and may involve payments to at least four different levels of government: local, regional, state and federal. A Taxation Treaty between the US and the Canada prevents double payment of taxes. Florida ranks lower than many other US states in terms of the tax burden it imposes. It is one of only nine states that do not levy a personal income tax. More than half of its non-federal revenue is collected at the local level, mostly through property taxes, which, for homeowners, amount to about 2 per cent of their property's value per annum. All rental income in Florida is subject to tax. Intangible personal property (that is, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and so on) is also taxed. Although not considered to be a tax, developments that are managed by a homeowners association will impose a fee to cover various costs for upkeep of the development. This fee varies greatly between various developments. It can be from several hundred dollars a year to thousands of dollars a year.

Florida's sales and use taxes provide over half of state revenue. Sales tax applies to most retail items. The rate is currently 6 per cent.

Florida's immigration laws are strictly enforced. Those seeking a Florida Green Card, which entitles them to live and work in the state, face close scrutiny by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, particularly if they wish to start a business. Those not planning to work, including retirees, must be able to demonstrate substantial means. This can be an obstacle to many people's dream of retiring to Florida. Again, Please independently verify the current visa requirements for entry into the US.

Hospitals in the US provide some of the most advanced health care in the world. Most are private. There is no national health service. For visitors, private medical insurance or travel insurance is essential. If you are seriously injured, the emergency services will treat you and charge you later. If the injury is not serious and you need to consult a doctor, a basic consultation will cost approximately $100US. There are a variety of policies available for travelers.

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