can canadians buy a home in florida and do they incur more expenses because we are not residence of Florida?

Asked by Elaine, Ontario, CA Sun Feb 17, 2008

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Randy, , Paseo, Fort Myers
Tue Jul 27, 2010
regarding buying Florida property, I have few more tips
1) take a long drive from the Texas coast down to Key West, then on up to North Carolina, along the coast. You will see a lot of country and get an overview of how each region feels. Ideally, do it in July and January, to get a sense of the climate extremes.
2) rent for a month in an area that attracts you, spend a lot of time driving around to check out the various neighbourhoods.
3) once you see a neighbourhood you are interested in, rent for a month or a season there, and get to know the various sections, which side of the street has the best sunlight on cool January days, find out the dirty laundry at the HOA and CDD meetings.
4) make a clever insider purchase in the off season when there is blood in the water...don't be a sucker yankee buying the first thing he sees first trip down, while you are still hypnotized by the sight of a palm tree.
5) pay attention to ease of flight connections from your home area
0 votes
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Fri Jul 23, 2010
Yes, RBC, ING, and HSBC are all excellent for foreign nationals.
0 votes
Randy, , Paseo, Fort Myers
Fri Jul 23, 2010
try RBC Bank USA (owned by Royal Bank) for best terms on mortgages for Canadians. They use your Canadian credit rating. Also excellent online integration of US and Canadian bank accounts.

pay attention to not being in a FEMA high risk flood zone and look for a high evacuation zone rating. Gated does not require homeminder for insurance purposes.
0 votes
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Fri Jul 23, 2010
Hi Eliane,

Yes and yes. I've got plenty of Canadian clients who own here. If you do not live in the property, then you will pay higher property taxes than owner's who occupy their property. That's pretty much true everywhere in the US.

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
Hithere, , Ontario, CA
Fri Jul 23, 2010
“Whether you’re an investor or ready to retire, it has never been a better time to own Orlando Florida.”

There’s a great workshop going on about Florida real estate. Whether its visiting, vacation or settlement in Florida, its the perfect time to buy property in Orlando. They’re holding real estate seminars around the GTA, and I think it’s extremely worthwhile and an ideal opportunity for Canadian snowbirds. For more information, go to They have great rates as well.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Warm Sunny F…, Home Seller, Florida
Mon May 3, 2010
Yes, you certainly can purchase a home in Florida! We have hundreds of happy Canadian residents who have purchased their Florida dream homes in one of our many, beautiful 55+ CRF communities. I encourage you to consider purchasing an inexpensive winter home in Sunny Florida. With home prices so low there has never been a better time to buy than right now. You can view our selection of exceptional homes and outstanding communities by visiting our website, see link below. This website will give you a great idea of what is available, the prices and even photos of each home. I know you'll look forward, each year, to staying at your sunny, warm winter getaway home in Florida! Thank you. Starr Maskal, CRF Resales
Web Reference:
0 votes
Susan Milner, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Mon Sep 22, 2008
Yes you can! We have some great buys right now too. We are getting calls every week from Canadians. They love the prices in SW Florida!
Absolutely not ~ to the additional expenses. As others have mentioned, getting financing will require more money down than a US resident with good credit would have to put down and if you are not living here full time you cannot get the homestead exemption.

Feel free to view our site for more information on buying here!
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hi Elaine,

There are no more additional expensed then if you were from California, New York, or Hawaii. The additional expense enters the picture when a person is a home owner and not a full time resident of the state of Florida.
0 votes
Karen Wantuck, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Sat Jun 7, 2008
I'm working with a Canadian at this moment. Of course you can buy anywhere in the USA and there are not additional expenses if you are not a resident. After purchase, however, if you do not homestead (and you can ask me about that later) you will pay more taxes. And that is not because you are Canadian...but because you are not homesteaded in Florida with the home you purchase.
0 votes
Randy, , Paseo, Fort Myers
Sun Jun 1, 2008
anyone who owns property in Florida and is not living in it as a primary residence, does not have the homesteader property tax cap protection, which I think is about 3%. In a rapidly rising market, this can become significant cumulatively, as the non-resident, which includes Floridians who own as investors or vacation owners, may experience property tax increases over time proportionate to the percent rise in thier property values.

The other thing to consider is inheritance tax. My understanding is that there is a significant inheritance tax for foreign owners of Florida property, but this is significantly impacted by your world net worth, and the issue can be managed with proper research and planning. For large properties, it pays to hold the house with a Canadian sole use corporation, avoiding death taxes.

Note that some insurance companies do not require property management of vacant snowbird homes if it is in a gated community.

If you want to discuss this further, email me at

check out Paseo Fort Myers which is where I bought after extensive research.
0 votes
Brett Matthe…, , 33028
Thu May 15, 2008
Foreign National loans are now requiring additional monies for down payment. In the past the loan to values were higher but now we are seeing 35-40% down payment requested. This not technically an "expense" however it is additional funds to close. Keep in mind that lenders and loan programs across the board are requiring increased down payments. This is giving lenders a margin in the event that the market declines further.
0 votes
M, , Florida
Sun Feb 17, 2008
Dear Elaine;
You should not incur additional closing costs as a foreign purchaser. We are a firm that specializes in helping people locate property in the southeast. We have been doing this for over a decade and we are not tied to a specific area, community, development or developer. Our goal is to help you locate your ideal property. I am not sure this is the very best time to purchase FL, at least in a lot of FL. But, there are a lot of great opportunities if you know where to look and how to ask the right questions. Visit our site or give us a call.
Marian Schaffer
The Schaffer Realty Group
0 votes
Trish Macdon…, , Charlotte, NC
Sun Feb 17, 2008
Dear Elaine:

I am from the UK and purchased my first home in Florida (Ft. Lauderdale). I didn't incur any additional closing costs as a foreigner but did have to put more money down. Contact Justin Friedle at Tell him that Trish MacDonald told you to contact him (so that he gives you VIP service!) He is a mortgage broker and the one that got me my first mortgage. I have found that there are many brokers who don't understand how to deal with mortgage for foreigners. Good luck and if I can be of more help, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more