I am a Canadian (Toronto and Montreal areas), and I also sold real estate in Toronto for 5 years. The process is different, to be sure.
Please feel free to contact me and we can go through it together.
You can search currently available properties in the beach towns from Clearwater Beach to
St Pete Beach by entering your criteria or browse lists of beach properties for sale in
various price ranges at http://www.floridagulfbeachrealty.com.
Tom & Lisa Slaughter
Century 21 Coast to Coast
(727) 213-1452 / Toll free (877) 213-6611
Find your next home at http://www.floridagulfbeachrealty.com
Mobile real estate search - http://kur.io/beachagent
We sell houses and condos from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach, Florida.
Depending on your planned use of the property and how it will be titled, there are tax considerations to be aware of before you purchase and preliminary planning can save you a bunch. There are many lenders who specialize in foreign national loans. I know of one that will provide up to 80 percent financing. My team also includes an International Business Attorney, Immigration Attorney, International Accountant, and Monetary Intermediary. If you're considering a condo, I just listed an affordable 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit at the Boulevard Club in Seminole. This is an active 55+ community that is very popular with Canadians and is within minutes to Madeira Beach. My office is located on Madeira Beach and I am a Certified International Property Specialist.
If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to call me on my cell anytime. My SKYPE name is darla.a.schroeder
We have three major types of Sales in Florida:
.1) Regular sale where owner has equity or if no equity can bring cash to closing to make up difference
2) Bank owned foreclosed properties
3) Pre-Foreclosure Short Sales
Also if you are considering buying a condominium, you may be required to pay ALL CASH. It's difficult nowadays for lenders to take the risk on condominiums. There are some "approved" condominiums but many are not.
If you're looking at buying a townhouse or single family home, you will not have the financing headaches of a condo.
Generally the Seller will agree to pay certain closing fees, i.e. Document Stamps on the Deed and also pay for the Owner Title Insurance Policy. If you are paying ALL CASH you will lower closing costs because you will not have to pay the "lender related" fees. Your lender can give you a "good faith" estimate of your costs, too.
As far as property taxes, you absolutely cannot assume you will pay the same tax as the current owner. You can click on the left column, "How to Estimate Taxes" As a ballpark figure, you can use 2% of the sale price. http://www.pcpao.org/
As far as the 3 types of sales, with a Short Sale the sale may not ever close or may close as soon as a month or you may have to wait a year. Also the list price on a Short Sale is purely ficticious until/if the lender approves the seller for a short sale and then does their own appraisal. You can get a discount on a short sale but you may get a property that has been stripped of kitchen appliances, light fixtures, window treatments, etc. Also some short sale owners will rent out the property "after" accepting a contract and may intentionally delay the process to collect rents as long as possible. And a tenant with pets may cause a lot of damage to the property so you truly to not know what you are buying until the short sale eventually gets approved and you have your 7 days to inspect and cancel.
So to find the absolute best deal, you may want to consider bank owned listings and regular sales.
Hope this helps.
All the best,
Alma Rose Kee PA
Future Home Realty
Often the best real estate resource for Canadian buyers is using previous Canadian buyers as sources of information. We find there is a mush higher level of trust when hearing about fellow countrymen's experiences.
Our recommendation is to approach buying with an open mind being certain that you identify an area first that is going to be perfect for you and your family. Unless you are personally familiar with a location or have friends and relatives in a certain area, it may be good to explore a little to be certain.