I am a canadian and thinking of buying a home in cape coral. I have heard that insurance and taxes are much higher for non u.s. residents. please

Asked by Tiger, Hancock, Cape Coral, FL Fri Mar 26, 2010

advise if I were to buy say for 60000 what would be the taxes and insurance. Also closing costs I understand are much higher in florida than any other state.
Thanks for your reply.

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Terence Trom…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
At a $60,000.00 sales price, your Estimated Assessed Value: $ 54,000
Current Millage Rate: 16.5957
Estimated Taxes: $ 896

As for Insurance it will vary greatly on the homes age, which insurance company you choose, and the deductibles you opt for. Also whether or not you are in a flood zone or not...
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Capt. Mick J…, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Mon Aug 6, 2012
Some good answers out there for you already regarding this question from our qualified local agents. Only one person replied that called our tax system a scam that obviously doesn't get it...but thats to be expected I suppose. Almost every state offers a homestead exemption for primary residents. If people are feeling scammed here, its probably because they fail to recognize that they are recieving a benefit in their home town as well. Being that Florida does not have a state income tax, the state has found that it can subsidize its budget through the sales tax that people that are locally consuming goods are paying, since they are localy paying these taxes they recieve the incentive of home ownership and therefore are granted additional taxe benefits. In addition, there are laws in place that protect families from being taxed OUT of their homes. Being that Florida has been a natural attraction to the aging population that often finds themselves on a fixed income, its important to protect those homeowners with a reasonable tax based on a value from a time in which they purchased the home. Long time residents taxes are far reduced from those taxes more equivalent to todays property values. Its all relative! Florida is home to many nationalities and foreign investors and many have purchased in Florida and continue to do so. So for that reason if others are still buying here, it really cannot be as bad as you might have heard. Like many other aspects of the real estate purchase there are of course differences in a transaction between areas, between states, and between countries. Sometimes, it just cost more to live some where, but generally you tend to get what you pay for. All I know, is that it is Florida here every day, and for many buyers living outside of Florida, that fact alone is enough to make these "added expenses" worth while. Either way its a personal choice that must go into the consideration to buy a home anywhere. As a buyer it will either be worth it, or it won't, thats the beauty of choice. For every reasonable budget there will be pros and cons to every purchase, and these compromises will have to be independently decided during the purchase process to stay on budget. Generally speaking taxes will range between 17 - 21 dollars per thousand of taxable value, and property insurance is typically about 1.5 - 2% (because of higer replacement value costs then we can currently purchase a home for) of value depending on use of the propety and deductibles, and condition of the property. The most important thing is for the buyer to have these conversations with their professional REALTOR, so that they can be better advised during the search process. There should be no surprises, as these details will come out later in the process before your "committed" to buy. Be careful you dont let the cart pull the horse or you can end up overwhelming yourself in the detail of a property before you are even pursuing the property. At this time of change in our market, you will find yourself missing out on the best homes by sitting on the sidelines "Paralyzed by preperation". Don't underestimate the value of the INSPECTION period. Trust in the process and in your agent, as they will help you find the right property based on the surface requirements, then they will look for a reason NOT to fulfill the contract terms in order to over disclose any and all details so that the buyer can be confident that all consideration has been made and to continue with the purchase is still to their ultimate best advantage.
Good Luck with your search! Its a great time to buy, and Florida is a great place to live, visit, or invest.
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Valerie, Both Buyer And Seller, Cape Coral, FL
Mon Mar 5, 2012
My husband and I buy property for rental and resale. You can get lots of information from leepa.org. That is the property appraisers website. It will give you information about taxes, previous sales, square footage, etc on specific pieces of property. It also has information about sales prices for various areas or types of housing (say 3/2 or 4/3). There are still some great deals out there but the market is rising. Good luck.
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Douglas Flood, , Broward County, FL
Sat Nov 27, 2010
you've received some pretty good advice so far fromother agents/brokers. The only thing I can ad is that as a Canadian myself I purchased a home here a year ago and there are no "extra" fees, etc that you will pay. The only consideration is that you will not be able to claim a homestead exemption which will reduce your property taxes somewhat-not alot-unless you designate your home your principal residence. You will also have to pay a capital gains tax (if there is a gain) when you sell. Other than that you are treated as any other out of state purchaser.
Hope this helps
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Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sat Nov 27, 2010
I have a detailed brochure for non us buyers. If you would like me to email you a copy just let me know. Terry McCarley - Remax Realty Team - leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net
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Canbrit, Home Owner, Fort Myers, FL
Thu Nov 25, 2010
I am Canadian that has owned a home in the area for 10 years and has studied the property tax issue.What it boils down to is that the florida residents who have the vote have voted themselves tax exemptions re homestead and save our home exemptions that can amount to thousands of dollars p.a.The same house next door to me where my taxes are $2755 can be $1200 depending on certain parameters.The residents are the ones who receive the services so this is basically a scam foisted on out of staters by the residents of the state.
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Mark Washburn, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Tue Mar 30, 2010
Foreign nationals do not pay higher taxes in than US citizens. Florida does have the Homestead Act which regulates how much the value of a home can increase on an annual basis. A Homestead Exemption is only available for Florida residents at their primary home.

Closing costs in Florida are not higher than other states. We use title companies to close real estate transactions. In some other states, attorneys are closing real estate transactions and this can add hundreds of dollars to the closing expenses.

Here are some blog posts about Canadians buying property in SW Florida: http://www.gulfreturns.com/tag/canadians

Good luck with your search!
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Alexandra Fi…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sun Mar 28, 2010
As all the other agents already explained, there is no difference when buying. When it comes to selling there are some options though. We are from Germany and have helped many foreign sellers.

Contact us.
Juergen Hahn
0 votes
Denny Sharma, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Sat Mar 27, 2010
Hi Tiger,

There is no difference in property tax or insurance premiums that a Canadian or USA buyer pays if it is their investment, vacation or retirement home. When you purchase home, your closing cost will be same as any American buyer. However, when you sell the US property, IRS rules require that 10% of proceeds be witheld for tax purposes by your closing attorney or title company. If you would like me to assist you, as I have helped many other Canadian and foreign homebuyers, please contact me at 239-770-7427 or denny.sharma@floridamoves.com. Thank you.

Denny Sharma
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Megan Eister, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Sat Mar 27, 2010
Hi Tiger,

As a non US Citizen, when you SELL your home the Title company who performs the closing normally withholds 10% of your proceeds for tax purposes. I would ask your own accountant about the process. It depends if it is a rental property, commercial, etc..and how much profit gained from the sale. You will get a form at the closing that documents the withholding that you will need when you file. Other than that, it is pretty much the same rate of property taxes and insurance as anyone else.


Megan Eister
Broker, Florida WestShore Realty
(239) 415-6500
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Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sat Mar 27, 2010
Hi Tiger,

As Carla explained, you will not pay more in taxes or insurance than any other non-resident would. Things that effect you really come up when you decide to sell the property at some point in the future.

I have a very detailed brochure that explains the things you need to know as a Non US Citizen purchasing property here.

Feel free to email me and I will be happy to email you the brochure so you can have your questions answered in much more detail than space allows here.

I have sold several properties to Canadian residents and would be happy to put you in contact with someone who has already been through the process of buying property here in Florida.

Terry McCarley, Realtor, CDPE, CPV
Remax Realty Team
email: leecountyrealtor@earthlink.net
cell: 239-707-4575
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Carla Rayman, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Sat Mar 27, 2010
This is a common misnomer. Non-US citizens pay no more in taxes than any non-resident of Florida. That means someone who has not declared residency in Florida (such as someone from New York) will pay the same taxes as a Canadian or European. Florida residents can apply for something named a homestead exemption which affords them a tax advantage.
Insurance costs will be the same and depend on a number of variables - where is the home located? Is it in a flood zone? If it is close to the coast, wind insurance will be a factor. If the house is older, insurance may be higher.
Closing costs also can vary but will be higher if you are financing versus paying cash. These costs will include any pro-rated real estate taxes, home owners or condo association fees, and other taxes and fees. Your real estate agent or attorney or closing agent will be able to give you an estimate once the property has been identified.
As a non-US citizen, I would recommend you speak to a US tax advisor who specializes in interntaional tax. They will advise you on how to take title to the property as well as any other factors that will help you sell or deed the property in the future.
Should you need any assistance in professionals to contact, I would be happy to assist you. Also, if you are in the Toronto area, we will be giving consultations and presentations the first week of May and would happily send you or someone you know an invitation to join us.

Best Regards
Carla Rayman, Your Global Agents
Director of International Development
Prudential Palms Realty, Sarasota, Florida
+1 941 724 0519
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