EUROPEAN love to buy Property in Florida
Let me explain you how !
(UK for example..)
The US is the most popular country after Spain for British people buying second homes abroad, and the majority of them buy in Florida.
Some watchers are predicting that the fall in Florida property is almost at an end, and prices have nearly 'bottomed out', so for people buying now it could be the perfect time for an investment.
Consider the reasons for buying property in Florida and
Contact a professional Florida REALTOR®
Attractions include the climate, favorable exchange rates and the availability of flights (and bargain fares) from all major UK airports. Few purchasers appear to be put off by travel time - a minimum of eight hours from London, depending on whereabouts in the state you are flying to. As the US economy recently slid into recession and the long-standing property boom came to an end, many developers in Florida have faced tough market conditions in which to promote their projects. One consequence of this has been that intrepid British buyers have been able to get some great discounts on new properties. Another is that the exchange rate between the US Dollar and Sterling means Brits are getting far more property for their Pounds.
Buy Property in Florida Step 1
Consider popular locations in Florida. This guide gives a flavour of the areas of Florida most popular with British second home purchasers - the central region around Orlando, the east (Atlantic) coast and the resorts on the southwest (Gulf) coast
Buy Property in Florida Step 2
Florida, it is warm all year round. Specially in Southwest Florida.
Its popularity, and the resulting healthy rental market, which offers owners the best returns in Florida, makes the area a magnet for both second home purchasers and buy-to-let investors. Prices reflect this, but generally still represent good value as the volume of new construction helps keep them competitive. Most purchasers here are looking for detached villas with pools.
NAPLES ,the Gulf Coast - In July and August, so the potential for letting properties, certainly to families is growing.
Magnificent white beaches, azure seas, plentiful moorings and fine restaurants - attributes that have made it popular with the super-rich.
Around 60 per cent of the US's wealthiest citizens winter in Naples on the Gulf Coast consequently.
For investment properties, consider buying a home within of the coast line, with a large European and expat population
Buy a property in Florida. The Floridian system of property purchase is quite different from the UK's and has several pitfalls for those unfamiliar with it, so appropriate professional guidance is essential.
Buy Property in Florida Step 3
In Florida, nearly every property for sale is listed on a central database available to all estate agents (known as REALTOR in the US), so there is no need to visit individual agents. Agents tend to work as seller's agents or buyer's agents. It is wise to consult a buyer's agent experienced in working with British purchasers.
Cover the costs. To cover legal, title insurer and notary fees, title insurance premiums, transfer taxes, property taxes and mortgage fees (if applicable), you should allow around five per cent of the purchase price.
Buy Property in Florida Step 4
Understand the purchase process. Once a price is agreed, the purchaser pays a small goodwill deposit before making 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. A 10 per cent deposit is then paid into an escrow account. A title insurance company scrutinises the public records and insures the property against any third party claims. Completion, including the transfer of the balance of the purchase price into the escrow account, can then take place.
Buy Property in Florida Step 5
Time is a crucial element of the US home-buying system. If you fail to observe dates stipulated in the contract, you risk losing your deposit.
Buy Property in Florida Step 6
Obtain a mortgage. When working out how to finance your property purchase, consider all the options. Paying cash, if you can afford to, is often recommended, but you may not want to tie up a relatively large sum in this way. If this is an option for you, be sure to consult one of the specialist currency exchange companies in the market, as you can get far better exchange rates and potentially save thousands in the process. The other options are remortgaging your UK home or arranging a mortgage on your Florida property through a UK or US lender. Remortgaging offers the easiest solution. Releasing equity in a UK home means that the second home can be purchased for cash, without the need for another mortgage. However, this may only be feasible for those who own their first home outright.
Buy Property in Florida Step 7
Several UK mortgage providers will lend funds of up to 80 per cent of the purchase price for second home purchase over, typically, a 15-year term.
Get a mortgage in Florida. If you decide to obtain finance in the US, bear in mind that most mortgages available to foreign nationals require a minimum 20 per cent down payment. Some even stipulate 30 or 35 per cent.
Buy Property in Florida Step 8
At the beginning of the process, make sure you obtain what is known as a Good Faith Estimate. This is a standardiesed document used to detail all the costs of obtaining your mortgage, including both monthly and one-off payments.
If possible, try to secure a self-certified mortgage. Unlike in the UK, this kind of mortgage does not necessarily carry a higher interest rate than a fully documented mortgage, and it could save you a lot of time and trouble spent assembling documents.
Understand the taxation system.
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 Double Taxation Treaty between the US and the UK prevents double payment of taxes.
Buy Property in Florida Step 9.
Income tax, a progressive tax ranging from zero to 35 per cent of taxable income, forms the bulk of taxes collected by the US government.
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 local level, mostly through property taxes, which, for homeowners, amount to approximately 1.5 per cent of their property's value per annum.
All rental income in Florida is subject to tax, which is charged on a sliding scale (currently 15 to 34 per cent), depending on the amount. 'Intangible personal property' (that is, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and so on) is also taxed.
Florida's sales and use taxes provide over half of state revenue. Sales tax applies to most retail items (excluding groceries, medicines and certain other items), as well as to car and hotel room rentals and theatre tickets. The rate is currently 6 per cent. Local governments may levy an additional local sales tax of up to 1.5 per cent. The use tax is levied on wholesale items brought into Florida for sale.
Get the right passports, visas and residency sorted.
Buy Property in Florida Step 10
Passports and visas - British citizens may visit the US for business or pleasure without a visa for up to 90 days per year. A passport is required. The traditional Visa Waiver program in operation for most European nationals allowing them to stay in the US for up to 90 days is set to change in January 2009. From this point, all travelers wishing to use the Visa Waiver will be required to register themselves online before departure for the US.
This should preferably be done at least 72 hours in advance, and is intended to afford an extra layer of security for the US authorities. The online registration will be valid for up to two years; will be named the Electronic System for Travel Authorization; and will be similar to Australia's Electronic Travel Authority in operation. The ESTA is also valid for multiple entries into the US, so for property owners it is possible to fill out the online registration once and then travel for two years under the normal Visa Waiver Program.
Those wishing to stay between 90 days and six months must hold a B2 visa. To be successful, applicants must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.
Residency Buy Property in Florida Step 11
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.Buy Property in Florida Step 12
=== EB-5 Investment Visas for those wishing to immigrate into the United States of America. ===
Contact a professional Florida REALTOR® and select your types of investment properties and then have the attorney set up offshore holding corporations in which to own your investment properties. This should provide legally attractive tax benefits to foreign investors vs owning and then later selling as a foreigner and being taxed as such.
Select your type of visa from the multiple visas available which best suits your needs weather it is an EB-5 Investment or any of the other visas readily available to you as an investor in the USA.
== Tips ==
*Individual circumstances will vary widely, so it is essential to obtain professional advice and guidance tailored to your particular situation, especially in areas such as property purchase, potential rental returns, taxation and mortgages.
*Although there are no restrictions on foreigners including Britons 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 Passports, visas and residency section). Many areas of Florida also impose restrictions on the number of days per year that homeowners are allowed to let their property. Some ban letting altogether, so if you are counting on your property in Florida to pay for itself through rentals in any way, it is vital that you know what the letting situation is as early as possible.
*Hospitals in the US provide some of the most advanced healthcare in the world. Most are private.
*The US spends around 13 per cent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, much of it through insurance schemes provided by employers and the two federal schemes, Medicare and Medicaid. There is no national health service as such. Approximately 14 per cent of the population is estimated to be without any form of health insurance. 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 $100 (around £50). There are a variety of policies available for overseas travelers and those intending to live overseas, and they do not have to cost huge sums.
== Warnings ==
*This is intended as a guide only. You should always seek professional assistance when purchasing any type of property.