Ron Cielinski, Home Buyer in Toronto, OH

is it time for Canadians to start buying condos in florida?

Asked by Ron Cielinski, Toronto, OH Mon Feb 4, 2008

Help the community by answering this question:



I am answering you as a consumer and not a real estate agent with an agenda. Prices have dropped in South Florida but they are still too high and are poised to come down further. That's the first thing to keep in mind.

Secondly, there is high risk in buying a new construction condo. They are having problem selling units in many areas and those who have bought are complaining that they are having to foot a larger percent for maintenance/home owner's association for instance. There is also the issue of unsold/abandoned units and what will happen if they never do sell or, if they sell at a much lower price (as expected) and your value dropping.

There are great, stable areas but these are usually at the higher end. If you are looking for beach side, the neighborhoods can go from excellent to questionable in a matter of blocks and you must keep that in mind.

You will find great buys in some other parts of Florida, but they too are seeing similar issues. Not sure where you were looking to buy.

Good luck to you.

(The number of thumbs down I get reflects how much the agents don't want me posting some truths around here)
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
It's time in general for everyone to buy homes in Florida. Prices are unbelievable, lending Rates are great and there is plenty of inventory which makes it one hell of a buyers market!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 23, 2011
Ron- It's my professional opinion that REALTORS should not be telling buyers that "Now is the time to buy", as you may have seen in the commercials by the National Association of REALTORS. Every state, county, city, neighborhood and even street is an individual entity when it comes to whether or not the prices are going up or down.

That being said, I do believe that in the Daytona Beach area, we are very close to the bottom. Our market is very active in the summer. I have a chart, showing the the 1st quarter real estate sales for 2008 on my blog. You can access it through my web site. However, I am in Volusia county and I see you're looking to invest in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I know several excellent REALTORS in that area, who could help to guide you through your research and decision making process. I also see some very good advice here, in response to your question. I hope you're able to find a trustworthy, dependable, experienced agent to help you with your decision.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
Yes, the exchange rates do fluctuate, that is why you work with a company that can lock in your exchange rate for a term. Then no worries if it goes down.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008

Only you can answer that question. Here are some facts though. The USD is down, the real estate market has seen a significant down turn and properties have fallen in value. Therefore Buyers have an advantage in this current market since supply is greater than demand and you can buy more condo with your Canadian $.

I think you get the idea. Don't overlook the central and west coast of Florida either.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 21, 2012
I'm a professional Realtor and my agenda is to give accurate information. You bet it's the time. We have sold record numbers of property because the price has been so incredibly low. We were the first to head down, the first to stabilize and hit bottom and the first to recover. We are up 13% over same time last year. New construction has picked up. You still can't build them for what you can buy a home or condo. That has always been a barometer for investors. I have a furnished turnkey condo with wonderful amenities, huge pool, spa, tennis courts, work out room and condo fees of only $249 a month (that includes water and sewer). It's a wow at only $100,000. The best part of this gated community near the beaches, you can rent it weekly. That's called cash flow for your vacation home. It pays the taxes, condo fees, and you can get a free vacation! Check my website for video tour.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 3, 2011
For those that are not sure if it actually is time to buy or not then renting is always a good alternative.
Not only are home prices lower but the cost to rent is also lower because of the competition between landlords. If interested in renting in The Villages Fl feel free to visit http://www.VillagesHomes4Rent.Com and
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 23, 2011
Ron, yes it is a good time to buy. Actually the begining of the year was a better time to buy. Poperties are moving, due to the fact we have many international buyers. I am working with 8 clients outside of the U.S. 2 are from Canada, not including local clients. Right now properties are receiving multiple offers, so some prices have moved slightly up from the rock bottom. Example, I was showing a client condo's 3 weeks ago for 50-70K. I went to see what was available in that same complex last night, there is nothing below 100K. Not to say nothing will show up there under 100K in a few weeks, but it will be bought quickly. 6 months ago you could of have your choice and you would be the only offer. I am not claiming we hit bottom, I am telling you what I see, and this is not a news report, which is usually 6 months behind. Will there be deals in Florida for a few years, yes. Florida will always be desirable, since the weather is always warm and there is less congestion then other major cities in the U.S. We always have buyers either international or national looking to purchase here. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Depends on what you want to do with it and how long you want to keep it.

There are allot of great deals out there right now...I would buy at a fire sale price...that way if you want to sell it could get your money back..or if could make a nice return. This is where a great agent is worth their weight in gold...

Right now, I'm seeing allot of cash buyers!!

Jeff Holloway
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Hi! You should consider California. For one thing our taxes are lower and home insurance is low. Florida is extremely high. I just sold a home on the golf course here in southern California for $130,000. The community of Silver Lakes is in a great location. Three hours to Las Vegas, two hours to Los Angeles, less than two hours to Palm Springs and beach cities. We have a lot of Canadian people who even rent for the winters here. You definitely should check it out before going to Florida. We haven't got the humity or bugs!
Our association is only $140/Month which includes unlimited golf for a family, 2 lakes, 27 holes of golf, an equestrian area, RV parking, tennis courts, swimming pools and 24 hour security. It does sound too good to be true - come - take a look. If you have e-mail, I can send you pictures of some of the house & condo listings that are for sale. Hope to talk to you soon. Priscilla @ Professional Realty 760-954-1073
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 26, 2009
wow! look at all the florida agents saying it was the perfect time to buy in florida!!!! for almost a whole year now on this thread!!! Meanwhile prices have continued their inexorable drops!!!! h

great predictions! truly terrific, as florida prices have certainly gone up a ton since then!!!!!

Barry Dunn with his same advice from six months ago: "nobody will recognize the bottom of the market till its past..."

Unfortunately, Barry doesn't seem to have the understanding of economics to see:

1. more job losses are bad for the market.
2. more foreclosures are bad for the market.
3. a years supply of inventory for sale is bad for the market.

Barry has his own blogs, where he has always said it is time to buy in Ft. Lauderdale. Anybody listening to that advice has watched prices continue to plummet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 7, 2009
Hello, i am from Canada currently own 2 vacation rentals in Kissimmee and plan to buy 3 more this year based on the prices and the success in renting them out to people in Canada.

on another note work for Canada's leading newspaper group The Toronto Star with over 100 community newspapers we have just recently opened up a vacation rental website that caters to the canadian market have over 400 rental properties throughout florida on the site response has been overwhelming many of our renters are asking about buying a vacation property might be a great opportunity for a florida real estate company to promote there services to Canadians
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Hello, i am from Canada currently own 2 vacation rentals in Kissimmee and plan to buy 3 more this year based on the prices and the success in renting them out to people in Canada.

on another note work for Canada's leading newspaper group The Toronto Star with over 100 community newspapers we have just recently opened up a vacation rental website that caters to the canadian market have over 400 rental properties throughout florida on the site response has been overwhelming many of our renters are asking about buying a vacation property might be a great opportunity for a florida real estate company to promote there services to Canadians
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009

I don't think I've EVER seen so many answers on Trulia in such a SHORT amount of time! I live and work in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I posted a blog two weeks ago that has MORE than enough information to get you "up to speed" on where our market is at the moment.…

When you say "Is it time for Canadians to buy" there is probably something else from your viewpoint that is not being communicated and we Realtors are -perhaps ineptly- reading between the lines what you mean by "is it time".

If you are asking - has the market bottomed out? Then the answer is: No one will recognize the bottom of the market until AFTER it has passed. At this time, the local market still seems to be declining.

Keep in mind that SALES PRICE is only HALF of the equation for the majority of home buyers. The other half is the interest rate. Today's buyers have taken low interest rates for granted. Fort those that wait another year or two to buy, this assumption could backfire and leave them stuck with a HIGHER monthly payment than what they would have if they bought now, EVEN if their sales price is lower at that time. NO ONE HAS A CRYSTAL BALL that perfectly tells the future. There is NO WAY TO KNOW what your exchange rate and interest rate will be 12 to 24 months from now.

If you are asking - "Is this a good time for Candians to buy so when winter gets here we already have a second home to go to where we won't freeze our butts off" then YES, there is no reason NOT to come here now and line up a condo so it will be ready to enjoy for the winter.

If you are asking - "Is this a good time to buy before the dollar regains strength against your currency?" I wouldn't even venture a guess. My expertise is in the Fort Lauderdale real estate market, NOT the exchange rates.

If you are looking for a LONG TERM real estate investment at historically low interest rates, then YES, this is a good time to buy. If you are planning something else, to buy something that you might sell in a couple of years, then NO, DON'T BUY. Just come down and rent for a few months while you are in town!


Barry Dunn
Keller Williams Fort Lauderdale
cell 954-298-1650
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 25, 2008

Other residents from Canada are doing it. We are working with Canadians who are looking for, and buying real estate in SW Florida. Our area, Cape Coral/Ft. Myers was hardest hit with the real estate decline and there are some great buying opportunities here.

Feel free to visit my website to search around for houses/condos!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 22, 2008
Without a doubt.......we have seen so much Canadian activity recently. There is currently a huge inventory of homes, sellers are motivated, and the exchange rate made it even more appealing for the thousands that have already made the move.
Our best advice......pick a location, find a deal, and enjoy life......

The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar and Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
Hi Ron: Yes! The time to buy is now! Prices are extremely low and interest rates are also historically low. In my professional opinion of value as a licensed real estate broker, we have hit the bottom and will begin to see a change from the buyers' market towards a more neutral market over the course of the next several months. Feel free to contact us.

Local Area Information
Come visit one of America's best kept secrets and you will truly fall in love with our subtropical paradise!

Just 35 miles east of Orlando, Brevard County prides itself as the home of Kennedy Space Center, the only facility in the world that launches the Space Shuttle; Port Canaveral, the second-busiest cruise port in the world; 72 miles of beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches; and the largest collection of endangered wildlife and plants in the continental United States. With its tropical weather, cultural activities, educational opportunities, active and passive recreation options, high-technology industries, and family-friendly atmosphere, the Space Coast offers an exceptional quality of life that residents and visitors enjoy year-round. Nearly 500,000 people call its 15 municipalities and unincorporated areas "home."

Satellite Beach is a small community located on Florida’s “Space Coast” in Brevard County. Situated along the central Atlantic coast, Brevard county is seventy-two miles long and fronts the Atlantic Ocean for its entire length. A few of the other cities in this region include Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Melbourne and Palm Bay. Miles of beautiful, white sand beaches run from the Canaveral National Seashore in the north to the Sebastian Inlet State Park at the southern end of the county. Recreational opportunities in Satellite Beach abound, including swimming, beachcombing, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, boating, fishing and more. There are numerous golf courses, skateboard parks, ball fields, lake and beachside parks within minutes of town. Brevard County is also the spring training home of the Montreal Expos National League Baseball team. Nearby places to visit include the Kennedy Space Center and NASA, Astronaut Hall of Fame and the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts. Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios are all just an easy hour and a half drive away.

Why Florida?
Florida’s strong population growth boosts demand for housing.

As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, Florida’s population is expected to increase by 325,000 in 2008, spurring demand for working-age and retirement housing.

“Florida remains a prime destination for workers seeking new jobs and for the growing wave of baby boomers,” said economist Hank Fishkind, president of Fishkind & Associates in Orlando. “However, a slower national economy means that 2008 growth will be somewhat below the levels seen during the recent boom years.”

Fishkind’s analysis of demographic data indicates Florida enjoyed a net population growth of 350,000 each year from 2000 to 2006. That includes about 203,000 people who moved to Florida from other states, about 107,000 migrants from foreign countries and about 47,000 from natural increase.

“It’s important to note that this is net growth,” added Fishkind. “The actual number of people who move to Florida each year is far greater.”

On the domestic side, the strongest “sending” states are New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and California. Among top foreign countries are Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Canada.

“Florida has a long history of population growth regardless of the nation’s economic cycle,” said Nancy Riley, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Pinellas County and the 2007 president of the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). She added that Florida has been one of the top ten fastest growing states for seven decades in a row, exceeding the U.S. average by 100 percent since 1970.

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that in 2010 Florida will surpass New York and become the nation's third most populous state. By 2030, the Census Bureau projects the state’s population will reach 28.6 million, an increase of 12.7 million since 2000.

One reason for that growth is that the state’s highly diversified economy continues to attract jobs in tourism, technology, international trade and business services. That brings in individuals, couples and families in their 20s to 50s, primarily to Florida’s larger metropolitan areas.

In addition, Florida traditionally captures a large share of the domestic retiree market, ranging from highly affluent entrepreneurs and executives to moderate-income couples seeking a warm-weather destination with plenty of recreational opportunities.

Mark Palace, CEO/Founder
Palace Properties International, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 2, 2008
All you need is 25% down and you qualify for a No income No asset verification loan with a rate around 6.5%.
954-764-7064 ext 203
Community Mortgage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 1, 2008
In Cocoa Beach this year, I have already closed 5 condos that were purchased by Canadians and have 2 others pending. My other buyers are from England and other overseas countries. Many are paying cash....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 19, 2008
I wouldn't normally chime in on something so far away, but Florida and condo are two words I would want to avoid unless you got an absolute dream deal (and I mean way more than the 25% drop some have already seen.) I'm in a hard hit California city and out here people have been heard saying, "at least it's not a Miami condo." Be careful you don't buy a liabilty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Absolutely! Their dollar is strong, our prices are week, and interest rates are low... what more could you ask for??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Yes. There are alot of great bargins out there now. Plan on getting your profit right up front, meaning buying well below market as to give you a hedge against future devaluation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Start? I had the BEST clients I EVER had buy a condo from me from Vancouver, EH?
Canadians can get some great values in our city, and I can get them financed locally...'cause, hey, eh? They are almost Amerikans!! (I say this even though I am a Brit by birth).... .

And we LOVE them down here...not just because they buy our old houses, but they know how to have a good time...come to think of it, alot of our French heritage were Canadian French people that came down here...once again they are coming, and we love them....lots of fun, and naturally real people.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
Start? They already have. St. Petersburg is a destination hot spot for many Canadians and I've talked to a lot of agents and developers who've seen an influx of buyers from the Great White North. There's nothing like a nice waterfront condo in Florida. I guess the question to ask is what are you buying it for? Are you looking for an investment property? Second Home? Although the exchange rate does vary it's still favorable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
Good Afternoon, Ron
I'm a Canadian myself, working as a relocation director for my office Century 21 in Fort Lauderdale area and I can assure you that if they really want to buy it's a really good time. Feel free to call me anytime if you decide to sent some referrals.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 6, 2008
In the Daytona Beach area, over the last month and a half, my showings and sales have drastically improved. But many sellers are still reducing their prices! So we're still in a strong buyer's market. If you're ever unsure about a property, you can have your REALTOR determine the true market value, and add a clause to your contract that says the contracted property must appraise for at or above the contract price.

The banks are still being VERY cautious, and won't lend money if they think the value will continue to drop. I won't say that I know anything for sure, but I do think we're turning the corner. And of course we'd love to have our Canadian friends come back =)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
I wouldn't suggest you buy anything due to exchange rates. They can fluctuate wildly. If I were spending my own $$$ (that's how I work with my clients), I would buy either brand new or newer construction, looking primarily for the lowest $/sq. ft. for the highest end properties I could afford. The key is to buy right. Nobody can tell you for sure you can get a better deal in x number of months/years. Yes, there will be more inventory coming along and foreclosures are going higher. But how much of that is already baked into the cake?? So, Ron the main thing I would focus on is why are you buying? If you are ready to hold the property 3-5 years minimum AND you buy at the right price you should be fine. Any other questions, please contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
Hello Ron,

It really depends on what part of Florida if you truely want a condo.
With the exchange rate right now, if you are looking in the disney area, I would go with a single family home or even a townhome.

Just my 2 cents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
Hi Ron,

There are many great buys right now, not only for Candians, but for anyone. Unless you plan to pay cash, you should explore your financing opportunities before you start the process. You will need a larger downpayment if you are not an American Citizen or do not have a green card.

Also, you may want to check out other coastal areas other than Florida for a second home or investment property - we have great properties available here in Hilton Head Island, SC.

Hope the info was helpful!
Julie Toon Pawley
Real Estate Broker
Hilton Head Island, SC
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
Now is the perfect time to buy. Prices of homes are great. The interest rates are at a all time low. If your are interested in receiving updates on homes and there prices you can visit my website at or you can call me at 954-865-7541. Look forward to hearing from you.

Jeannette Neerpat
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
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