Home Buying in Fort Myers>Question Details

Alan, Home Buyer in Outside U.S.

We are from Canada and retired looking to buy a house in Florida for the winter we have 3 dogs so I figure we need to buy and not rent what do you

Asked by Alan, Outside U.S. Sat Aug 6, 2011


Help the community by answering this question:


Alan, I would like to answer your question as I am a homeowner in Cape Coral wanting to relocate and have found that most realtors do not give you all of the info you need to know when considering the purchase of a home in Cape Coral. When looking at the purchase of a home, be sure to compare apples to apples. Take into consideration the year the home was built. There were a lot of constructual changes that took place after Hurricane Andrew came through.If the house is on the water, and this includes canals, you property taxes are higher.If you have a pool, you homeowners insurance is higher on top of the cost to upkeep the pool you hardly use.If your home is not on City water and sewer, eventually it will be and you will be hit with an expensive assesment plus the mandatory Plumber you will have to hire to bring the water from the street to your house. Your plumbing will also need work as the well and septic ruins the pipes. You will also have the septic tank to dispose of eventually. And don't forget that if the electric goes out from our thunderstorms, your pump will not run and you will not have water or electric. Make sure your home is new enough to have PVC plumbing and not copper as they found out the copper piping does not last as long as the PVC and will need to be replaced. I am not against living here, I happen to be a native Floridian and have lived in this area my whole life. I just feel the need to point out a few things that I don't think the realtors tend to point out. My house is on the markt right now but has lost out to other homes because they were on the "water" or had a pool. I don't think anyone brought up these other issues as right now I think a sale is a sale so buyer beware. Being from Florida, I have to say I think you will LOVE it here, just make sure you do your homework and do a fair comparison when deciding on a home. Don't just look at the size and price. GOOD LUCK!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 16, 2011
Hi Alan:

There are always options available to an individual willing to go after what they want and need.

Get online to different realtors in the communities in which you feel you will be happy living. Let them know your situation, Humans love dogs, you just need to find a human lover of dogs that wishes to rent to you, and your twelve other paws. It can happen, just give it a go.

As much as I am an advocate of home purchasing, ideally you should experience a neighborhood first hand before buying.

Good luck! Florida is a treasure.

Ana Barlow, Coldwell Banker Preferred, Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 20, 2011

I am a fellow Canadian who is fortunate enough to live and work here in South Florida. I wouldn't worry too much about the 3 dogs. Here is why: where there is a will there is a way! If you are looking for a condo, we may be limited on where we look but we may have other options. A single familly home or town home may be a better suited option. Contact me if you are looking anywhere in the Ft. Lauderdale area. By the way, Hallandale Beach and Hollywood Beach are extremely popular with the Canadian crowd. Other fellow agents already mentioned what a great time it is to buy. The Canadian dollar is strong and the market here is ripe for buyers - enough said ;)

Contact me if you want to discuss this further! lidyad@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Hi Alan
I think you are on the right track… to find a rental where they would accept 3 dogs will be like finding a needle in a haystack .You would probably need to purchase a single family home as most condos have pet’s limits usually no more than 2 pets.
If you wanted you could set some off some of the expenses by renting out the home to Europeans during the summer months but make sure the home has a pool.
I have worked with Canadians and many other people looking for a winter retreats…. feel free to contact me so we can come up with a plan of action to acquire the perfect investment for you that meets your needs
Regards John
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
I live in a community where owners and renters can have dogs...and many do. No limitation on breed or quantity. Just pick up after them and leashed, of course.

As an investor with rental property, I prefer tenants who do NOT have dogs. And that is due to past experience where I allowed one older dog and unbeknowst to me they brought in a puppy who chewed up all the woodwork including the edges of the stair treads. Kinda put me off tenants with dogs.

If you can afford to buy, that is the best way to go not only because very few landlords allow pets, but because prices for homes are so low now which may not be the case by the time you decide to buy again. In Sarasota we have gone from a high of 17,000 homes for sale in 2007 to below 6000 in 2011. And in certain price range it is almost impossible to find anything that doesn't need work.

If you are not locked into Ft. Myers, consider Sarasota in your search. Lovely small city (50,000) with better beaches, restaurants, entertainment (in my opinion). Lots of choices including villas, townhomes, single family homes and varied price range.

And closer to Tampa, Atlanta and points north should you want to drive back to your old stomping grounds.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Hello Alan - Is it snowing in Canada yet? I have a property in Naples, Florida with a large fenced in area that includes our tropical fruit trees and is great for our dogs. My work is taking me up the road to Fort Myers and this house and lot is available for both sale or annual lease. You can speak to my real estate agent Lisa Cooke, 239-980-6688. Lisa's email is realestate6688@gmail.com. My cell phone is 239-595-0159 if you have difficulty reaching her.
Best Wishes - SEAN
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Alan -

I have recently been assisting 2 canadian buyers in the past couple weeks & they agree also that this is the time to buy! With prices as low as they are (although we are actually starting to see slight increases in some pockets) and the Canadian dollar so strong there has never been a better time to buy here :)!

SW Florida is a winter paradise with beautiful beaches, first class arts & entertainment, wonderful shopping & restaurants and close proximity to the SW FL Int'l airport.

With 3 dogs your best bet is to buy a home in a pet friendly development rather than trying to rent. Besides a great place to winter it will be a great investment for the future. Inventory has already shrunk 50% and sales have been booming since Jan. Even this summer has been busy (usually our slow season!)

Feel free to call me or Email 239-839-6577 or WentRealty@aol.com. I have been a broker here for 14 years & know the market well!
Best Regards,
Web Reference: http://wentworthrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
RENT A House. If you are not very familiar with the area. If you are then buy. Not sure? i would wait. Prices of homes are not
going to go up very much in the next year. I know This is not your standard answser
Ken :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
Hi Alan:
Thank you for your question.
As a mutual dog lover, I would love to help you with your questions.
Please feel free to contact me, I have some properties in mind for you.
I am here to help.....Call or email me anytime.
Check my website for information on Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
I have free valuable home buying reports for you to help educate you and save you money.
Don't forget to visit my website. You can search for homes on the MLS.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
Cape Coral Homeowner gave you some good advice. Numerous factors will effect which property best suits your needs. In addition to the items he mentioned, you also need to be aware of chinese drywall that is in alot of newer homes (primarily built between 2004 and 2008). As a resident of Cape Coral for 23 years I know the area extremely well and will be happy to provide you with references (including Canadians) who will let you know that I tell you the good...the bad...and the ugly so you can make an informed purchase decision.

I will also be happy to email you a brochure I have that explains everything non US citizens should know when purchasing property in the US. Feel free to email me at leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net or call me at 239-707-4575.

Terry McCarley, Realtor®, CDPE
Jones & Co Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 16, 2011
Alan, it is only 3 days into your question and you already have 32 replies, can you tell people are starving. Oh well it is good to have quality service it is something that disappeared a few years ago. You know I have been wanting to learn Canada's Buyer needs/wants so we might be able to help each other out, even if you don't purchase in SW Florida were I am located. Anyway, can you shoot me an email or give me a call I would love to chat.

Thank you,
Justin Ruzicka
P: 239-699-0517
E: justin@jrrc1.com

ps, you might enjoy my blog. http://blog.house-guy.com/

thank you again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
Hi Alan,

I you'd like a free copy of my guide to the buying process for Canadians, shot me an email. No obligation.

If the Orlando area is of any interest I'd be glad to lend a hand.

Good luck,
Mark LeMenager
Find your next house with the click of a mouse.
Search the MLS without obligation or registration from my website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 10, 2011
Yes buying is definitely the way to go! Especially with the low pricing and the strong Canadian dollar :)!

Most rentals (if they allow pets!) have weight and number limitations. This is even true for some communities with regards to purchasing.

Having been a Broker here in Southwest Florida for 14+ years I am very familiar with the neighborhoods that allow pets so feel free to contact me at 239-839-6577 or Email WentRealty@aol.com.

Look forward to working with you!
Dorenda Wentworth, Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Wow...I am floored there are 20+ answers on here. I guess we can welcome a whole lot of new people to Trulia!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
Hello Alan,

Not only is it almost impossible to rent with dogs some restrictions are also breed and number specific .

That said, you are definately moving in the right direction. If you could furnish some additional information ie, Bedrooms, garage, square footage, amenities and housing budget etc. I can begin to bring information to narrow the search. There is an excellent chance that you could close on a property in time to enjoy our beautiful weather this winter

Have some very well priced new construction opportunities that you might find interesting.

If you have never been to Naples Florida you are in for quite a treat, so much to do and you will meet friendly folks from all over the world. Plus we recently completed a new dog park.

You may contact me directly by clicking my profile.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Agnes Tabor, REALTOR
(239) 564-0384
ABR - Accredited Buyers Representative
Naples Florida
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
It is not impossible to find a home to rent with three dogs. I would however consider looking at buying as there are many wonderful opportunities in the current market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
i rent is ptch with 2 dogs since i lost my house
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
i live in port charlotte i do not fort myers but houses r very very cheap here
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
nice ares is midway blvd and edgewater, there are a many houses 2 chose from i lost my house 2 yrs ago and i live in this area. the water side of Midway blvd I have 2 dogs not a problem, i rent in this area i love it there is a marina up the street from my house. i love dogs so as long as there r not destructive and assure the owner u will handle any damages but the may want an extra deposit for 3 dogs
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
It is an excellent time to invest in Florida! I have represented numerous Canadians as their buyers agent and would be more than happy to assist you. I have a very detailed brochure that explains what non US citizens need to know when purchasing property in the US. For a free copy email me at leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net.

Terry McCarley / Jones & Co Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
I just read your profile and see you are from Canada. I've sold to four sets of Canadians recently: townhome to folks from Montreal (they have lots of children no dogs); family from Toronto who moved into my neighborhood and they visit whenever their children are out of school; two young men who bought as an investment and are now renting their place (and it is available for rent for a year if you want to bring the dogs and see if you like it in Sarasota); a couple who bought a condo just for getaway and finally a couple from around the middle of Canada who bought a real steal with me that they are totally renovating. All of them could have dogs in the communities in which they bought.

If you are interested in renting in Sarasota, in a house with a pool and 3 bedrooms, 2 baths With a Pond view, please contact me right away as I am just beginning to help them find a yearly renter. $1900 and you can bring the dogs as the last yearly tenant had dogs as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011

Yes, of course, buying would be much better for your situation.

In order to help you best, it would be good to know more about what you prefer in a home. The most popular home for retirees is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, pool home. Buyers from Canada and UK often like the area around Rotonda West because it is very close to gulf beaches, there are many golf courses, it is convenient to shopping, restaurants and entertainment, has low traffic and most importantly, the prices are great.

On our website I have several reports of homes in and around Rotonda. Please visit this page where you can easily search for properties: http://www.suncoasteam.com/articles/122.html

Feel free to call me anytime if you wish to discuss properties in the area.


James Mulligan
Licensed Real Estate Broker
Suncoasteam Realty
PO Box 380503
Murdock, FL 33938
941-456-3034 voice
941-585-0505 fax
Web Reference: http://www.suncoasteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Yes, Alan, the three dogs will definitely hinder your search for a rental, especially if they are medium to large size. Three Chihuahuas or similar size dogs may not be as big of a problem. If you are considering anything around the Tampa Bay area I would be glad to help you. Good luck in your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011

It is possible to rent or lease a single family home. Many property owners are Dog Lover's too and appreciate the FACT, that Dogs, Cats, Birds, Fish ARE part of one's family.

I'm not familiar with the Fort Myers market, but I am sure that there are several options open to rent and or buy a home with a yard.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Hi Alan,
Yes with three dogs renting would be tough. Lots of Canadians are buying winter retreats here. I have helped many Canadians buy here. I would be happy to help you figure out how to start the process. My clients from Canada have also spoke with some of my future clients to give them advice. They would be happy to do the same for you. My clients become life long friends and I look over many of there homes in there absence. If I can help you in any way please feel free to contact me. nancy.doyle1@comcast.net or 239-209-2237 If you look on my profile you see my recommendations and under testimonials you can read some of my reviews.

Have a wonderful day,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011

Call me at 239 292 1350. I have been helping buyers like yourself find the right home for many years. As a RE/MAX agent you can trust my experience.

Tom Unglaub
RE/MAX Realty Group
7910 Summerlin Lakes Drive
Fort Myers, Florida 33907

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Alan - It may be difficult to find rentals that accept 3 dogs, so I think purchasing is your best bet - especially now, with prices so low. To help you find properties go to http://tampahouse1.com From here you can research exactly what you're looking for. Let me know if I can be of service.
Web Reference: http://tampahouse1.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Good Morning Alan!
Prices have never been as low in the Fort Myers/ Cape Coral area as now.
The time is right to buy in Southwest Florida.
Important to know would be: are you looking for a waterfront home, Dry lot home, how many Bedrooms and Bath and I'm certain that you would like to have a fenced yard for your Dogs. Also a price range would be of big help.
I would like to do a custom search for you or you can search for your self on my website at http://www.Lilosellscapecoral.com
Good luck , looking forward to your reply,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Alan, with the Canadians Dollar strong and the home prices at prices from before the boom of 2004-2006, the time is indeed ripe to purchase.
I have worked with many Canadians who have purchased in SouthWest Florida, in the area of Naples up to Cape Coral/Fort Myers and there is a reason why. Most analysists agree that we may have bottomed down in Southwest Florida and if you are serious about purchasing you may want to make your move before the winter when you will have more competition and often multiple offers on Real Estate deals.
We also have a lot of foreclosures still in the area and of course deals but on the other side we are selling a lot every day, so you have to be prepared and ready to make an offer fast when a property fits your needs with all your documents ready. Florida is large and you have to see what works for you. I believe that for example Cape Coral will offer the most for your buck if you want to be near beaches, waterfront or near or on a canal and want also a pool for example. I own one dog so I understand about these hairy family member.
Of course, Fort Myers Beach with its island charm, 7 mile beach and canals and South Fort Myers may also work very well for you. Here is a short video: http://youtu.be/5dMXjoygVSU
Just contact me by e-mail or on my cell and I will tell you objectively what we can offer you for your price range.

Check the link below and you can sign up to views all our listings: http://lloydnswfloridahomes.listingbook.com
or check th other link below for my blog site and Good luck!

LLoyd Nichols
Sandals Realty
cell: 239-810-2980
office: 239-463-5217

Web Reference: http://activerain.com/lloydn
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Alan with 3 dogs rentals may be scarce but with people eager to just find renters you may be in luck. As far as buying there are great buys out there as well. Again make sure there are not covenants or rules against having dogs. good luck
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Hello Alan, this is a great question. Your decision to purcahse is very smart for a few reasons.
1.) Many folks do not consider renting vs purchasing based on their four legged family. I can tell you most properties that are listed for seasonal rentals do not accept pets or charge heafty fees for each pet you have.
2.) Property vaules are increasing in the Lee County area however you can still purchase a home less than the reproduction value, in most cases you are basicly paying for just the sticks and bricks. This provides you with an opportunity to get more bang for your buck.
3.) If you plan to finace you are choosing a great time. Interest rates are still at an all time low.

Please check out our website and see if there are any homes that interest you in our area or call me directly and I will create a search for exactly what you are looking for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
The prices here in Central Florida are perfect for buying right now, and the over all view is that you could pay a lot less per month owning the home that you can renting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
If you let me know areas and price and criteria that you looking for, I would be more than glad than provide you with a customize report , weekly or daily that way when you ready to buy you have a better knowledge in the area, I also can provide you with a detail information of the area.Please feel free to contact me anytime at 239-895-2683, or e-mail: barbarasells@hotmail.com.


Barbara Gonzalez
Weichert Realtors on the Gulf
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
You can start looking today !
Have the advantage of searching like a Pro !
Just sign up for a listingbook account on the front page of my site, you'll receive the latest listing sent right to your inbox!
I"m a buyers agent I work for you! The listing agent works for the seller !
No tricks ,No gimmicks, No harassing phone calls.
You tell me when you're ready !!!!
Click the link below for a free listingbook account:

Best regards ,
Susan Callahan, ABR, CNS
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC
CELL: 239-896-6342
7205 Estero Blvd # 724 Fort Myers Beach, FL. 33931
E-Mail: Agent4lee@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
I just listed a home with an electric fence. Keeps the dogs in while allowing the view. Think you are correct about buying vs renting. I would love to help you. Let me know your criteria, price range, size, etc and I will send you a custom list of properties. I also have an automated search program that works great.
Let me know how I can help.
Marge Bennett
RE/MAX Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
The Fort Myers area is very popular with Canadians. The strength of your Loonie coupled with our affordable home prices have attracted many Canadian buyers. Here are some blog posts about Canadians targeting our market: http://www.gulfreturns.com/tag/canadians

Our team works with many Canadian buyers and can help guide you through the process.

Good luck with your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
I can help you find a property that would fit your needs. Call or email me at 239-770-7660 or mickheuerman@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
We sell alot of property to Canadians. You can easily search our website to find what you are looking for. We have an easy to use and up to date website. Click on link below
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Hi Alan,

I have a client that is sellig their house in Florida to move to Colorado. Can you tell me what price range you are wanting to buy in Florida?

Best Regards,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
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