There are many of our Northern Canadian friends in South Florida so you will be in good company.
Let me reflect on your identified concerns:
Resale-The thing to remember about resale is if you are a foreign seller the U.S. government requires 10% of the sale price to be held back to cover taxes relative to property sale.
Homestead Exemption- to qualify you need to be a registered voter, with a Florida driver's license, and reside at your Florida address for more than 6 months of the year.
Another issue to be aware of is Short Sales and Foreclosures. There is a lot of interest in these sales currently but the reality is there are better opportunities with normal property sales of home that were purchased pre-2003, prior to the repid appreciation. Since these owners purchased their property before prices sky rocketed they can afford to sell at a much lower price. It's a matter of identifying the truly motivated sellers from this pool of owners.
Century 21 Almar & Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
Bill Eckler hit the nail on the head. South Florida has many foreign buyers and most, if not all, are all cash offers. Resale is an important consideration as you may not want to make Florida your winter escape forever. Colin raises a good point as well, check with Canadians who have purchased in the area to see what specific issues arose during their closings. As for finding a home, whether its permanent or a winter get-a-way, there are many fine Realtors in the area ready and willing to help. I suggest researching the area you want to live and finding a Realtor who specializes in that area. Before you contact a Real Estate agent consider the following:
1. What is your primary purpose for this property - vacation? investment? residence? - This will help in vetting out potential agents from your roster.
2. What do you desire and what do you absolutely need - 2 bedrooms and a garage is a must, while a deeded dock is nice to have?
3. What time frame to you intend to buy? A common thread throughout this post is that South Florida's Real Estate market is on the rise with no forecast of slowing down in the near future. If you don't intend to buy in the next 1-3 months, there is no sense in looking at property now. You may find your dream home only to discover that it has been sold after only 10 days on the market (current norm in some cities).
4. Lastly, set a budget before you begin looking. South Florida has some beautiful properties and no one wants to show you a home that is outside your budget. I, and most would agree, would hate to see you commit to a home and not leave any capital left over to enjoy the beautiful surroundings!
Should you decide to purchase in South Florida, I know you will be very happy! So many people flock to this area of the world because it really lives up to the expectations. We have beautiful beaches, tropical climate year-round, and a love for the water that is unparalleled anywhere in the world! We welcome you and I hope each of us can be of assistance in your home search. Finding the right home for our customers is our #1 priority!
Caleb J. Van Dyken
Knightsbridgefx.com works with many Canadians buying Florida and Arizona Property.
From one Canadian to another, Welcome to South East Florida and congratulations on make the decision to buy a piece of paradise. I would love ot assist you and your family in MOVING FORWARD so please call me in confidence at 561.542.4131 or e-mail me at email@example.com. I look forward to your call.
Also can someone recommend a good way to advertise this home in Canada. Iknow lots of canadians that like to vacation in this area.
Please give me a call. I'd like to talk with you about an investor we have coming down from Canada.
The Schaffer Realty Group
You have gotten some good advice. Bill has hit all the key points.
Just one other thing I would like to add is REO = bank owned homes.
If you are looking in the Disney area, drop me a line Jackie@CinderellaRealtyFl.com
Over the past 3 months we have helped numerous canadian buyers in both FL and SC. Visit our site at http://www.marianschafferrealty.com and give us a call. There are some very good opportunities in FL, however you really need to have the flexibility and knowledge to cover the entire state. With some much on the market, you really have to be careful. So much so we are in the middle of revising all of our FL properties.
Give us a call. We would love to help you!
The Schaffer Realty Group
If you would to call and speak more on the subject you can call me at 954-993-4104 or visit my website at http://www.neerpat.com.