Home Buying in Sarasota>Question Details

Sheri, Home Buyer in Oshawa, Ontario, Can...

We are Canadians looking to buy a vacation home in Sarasota and would like to know about taxes. What would?

Asked by Sheri, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Sat May 24, 2008

they typically look like on a $150,000 condo? Are taxes any different for out of state and not a primary residence?

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Betsie Taber’s answer
Hi Sheri,

Property taxes are the same for everybody and do not take into account where you come from. This being said, property taxes will be reduced if you are a "full-time resident" of Florida and have applied for homestead exemption. You should also know that you can't have more than one homestead exemption since it only applies to primary residences. As a Canadian, I found that it is a very good idea to use canadian banks down here to get advice and/or financing for your purchase. I know some very good people at RBC if you are interested. They do that everyday.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 28, 2008
I have sold 5 vacation homes to Canadians (Newfoundlanders),so far this year, and have 4 others that I am currently working with.

I like to use 1.7% of the sale price on the property, that way there are no surprises at tax time. Since you are using it as a second home you will not be entitled to the “homestead” deduction that full time residents receive.

Are you paying cash or financing? If you are financing, you have several options. For Canadians your best deal would be to get the money from a Canadian bank. That way you are not paying your mortgage in U.S. dollars. One way to do that would be to use the equity in your Canadian property. Consider talking to your banker about a line of credit for the financing.

You can also obtain a mortgage in Florida by using an international bank. One would be to use an affiliate of your Canadian bank, i.e. Royal Bank owns RBC Centura and BMO owns Harris Bank…ask your personal banking officer, they can tell you if they have an American counterpart.

I can also put you in contact with a few mortgage brokers who specializes in obtaining mortgages for foreign buyers. Although the U.S. banks are a bit stricter now following the sub-prime fiasco, if you have good credit ( and I’m sure you do), they'll work out a deal.

For non U.S. residents, most U.S. banks or mortgage lenders will require 2-3 yrs of Revenue, Canadian assessment notices, a personal net worth statement, employers confirmation, etc…the normal stuff.

If you finance through a US bank or mortgage company, you can also expect to pay a higher interest rate. Sorry about that, but from the lenders standpoint, any foreign buyer is a high risk; i.e. if you walk away from the property, they have no way to get their money from you.

One final word. Real estate in the U.S. benefits from political and economic stability, population and job growth, and a transparency of information and data. U.S. real estate has low risk and a strong legal system to protect investment. Despite recent events, it is still the most stable market in the world. With the Canadian dollar on a par with the U.S. dollar, now is the time to invest in Florida real estate. So what are you waiting for?
I have a “Canadian Welcome Package” that I send to all of my Canadian customers. It’s full of information to help Canadians make an informed decision when they purchase property in the U.S. If you would like a copy, just send an email to antaeusb@Verizon.net.

Hope this helps,
Antaeus Balevre (941) 400-1055
WEB AntaeusB.com
Web Reference: http://AntaeusB.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008

Sales price multiplied by 1.5% gives an good base estimate The formula is SP multiplied by the millage rate. Voters recently voted to extend a cap on assessments that will benefit vacation property owners.

I have provided a link to the Sarasota tax collectors millage rates for 2007 (2008 rates are published in Nov) According to this chart Sarasota County millage rate is 12.6368 plus 3.1662 if you live in the city of Sarasota. or 15.8030 mills In my county the formula would be 150,000 X 1.58030 X 92% = $2180.00 I am not sure if th 92% portion of the formula applies to Sarasota County.

Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Congratulations! What a great location for your vacation home.
Our general answer to your question is to multiply your sale price times 1.5 to obtain an approximate tax amount. As a means of being certain you might want to check with the Sarasota County Tax Department.
Additional good news is that part-time owners now have a "cap" on the amount their assessment can be increased annually. Previous to this year there was no cap for this pool of owners so large tax increases were common. Since this is not longer the case....youre timing is great.

We have a good number of units that might be of interest to you in your price range, near the gulf, newer construction, fixer uppers, golf course,etc. etc. Feel free to contact us any time ecklerteam@comcast.net
or 941-408-5363

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar and Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Sheri, Your purchase of a vacation home, now, in Sarasota is perfect timing. It is still a buyer's market and currently your dollar (Looney) has a much stronger purchasing power than our US dollar. Basically, the rule of thumb for taxes is 1.5% of the sale price. By the way, our tax bills come out at the end of the year, so for the first year after your purchase, you would benefit from the previous owner's tax rate. (i.e. if you purchased a home in June 08, the tax bill for 2008 comes out in Nov. From the date you move into your new home till the end of 2008, you would benefit from the same tax rate the seller paid. The following year, the taxes will be reassessed to your purchase price and would be recalculated. Most likely there would be an increase over the 2008 rate from the previous owner to you). For the 2nd home buyer, interest rates would be slightly higher than if this purchase was for your primary residence. Another thing you need to know is if you finance your purchase here in the US, most lenders here are requiring more of a down payment - closer to 25% down. This is a recent change for foreign buyers and came about because of the sub prime market problems we had in the past. I think it would be best if you could get your financing at home in Canada. Or you could check with a Canadian Bank here in Sarasota. If you would like, we could check into that for you. Just let us know. If you are paying cash, the financing issues, of course, do not affect you. If you need more specific questions answered, feel free to contact us; we are happy to be of assistance, any time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
You will be subject to FIRPTA at the time of sale:

Good choice, Florida is beautiful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2008
Donna Scarlatelli is an Immigration Atty. here in Sarasota and can answer your questions as to visa's, taxes, and many other questions. Her Email is: donna@greencards4u.com

Jim Soda, Realtor
Prudential Palms Realty
Web Reference: http://www.jimsoda.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2008
Looking at the answers that you have received thus far, I am impressed. I really think that Bill, Cathy, and Antaeus have provided good information, and I hope that you found my contribution to be valuable as well. With this information in addition to the suggestions that you have received elsewhere concerning vacation homes in your price range, you should be well-prepared for your search. I hope that you will choose one of us to assist you. It seems as if they are all competent real estate professionals, and I'm sure that you would benefit from their expertise (or from mine, if you choose).

As you know, there probably has never been a better time for Canadians to purchase a vacation home in Florida. Our market is showing signs of strengthening, and the U.S. dollar won't be this weak forever, so it's time to get serious about buying. Good luck, and don't forget to contact one of us for assistance!

Charles Offer
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc.
423 St. Armands Circle
Sarasota, FL 34236
(877) 351-0111 toll-free
(941) 321-9664 mobile
Web Reference: http://www.CharlesOffer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Bill's suggestion of 1.5 percent of your purchase price as an estimate is a good place to start. To help you a little more, I'd direct you to this web site for the Sarasota County Property Appraiser: http://www.sarasotaproperty.net/default.asp . Be sure to read about "Amendment 1 benefits." You will also want to visit the site of the Sarasota County Tax Collector: http://taxcollector.co.sarasota.fl.us/PROPERTYTAX_PAGES/PT_G… , where you should read about millage rates and non-ad valorem assessments. After you do that, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect for taxes, and you'll know more than most Sarasota homeowners and Realtors.

If I can help you learn more about taxes, or about Sarasota properties, please give me a call or send an email.

Charles Offer
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
423 St. Armands Circle
Sarasota, FL 34236
(877) 351-0111 toll-free
(941) 321-9664 mobile
Web Reference: http://www.CharlesOffer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
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