Common questions from the international buyer

Will I be taxed at a higher rate because I am not a US citizen?

It is often a misconception of foreign nationals interested in purchasing a home, condo, or vacant land in Cape Coral FL that they will be forced to pay a higher tax rate because of their lack of citizenship. The answer simply is NO. U.S. citizens and foreign nationals are taxed with the exact same guidelines in regards to property tax. Taxes are based on the millage rate set forth by our local government and can change from year to year. Contact your CPA for more info.

I plan to rent my investment property, what type of home will attract that type of cliental, and how much of the year will it be rented?

We find homes that are most appealing to seasonal renters are homes that encompass the Florida resort lifestyle; pool, water view with or without gulf access, upgraded and spacious with a functional floor plan. The season in Cape Coral is from October –April. Rental prices varying during those months, but you can count on much of that time being occupied.

What will it cost to maintain my property when I am not there?

Often home owners will decide to employ a property management company to take care of everything. From securing renters to making certain the home is properly maintained. The charge for an annual rental is around 8-10% of the monthly rental and seasonal rentals range from 15-25%. If you plan to manage the property yourself here is what you can expect:

Lawn maintenance / $75-$100 per month.

Pool maintenance/ $60-$80 per month

Utilities/vary- ask us about the difference in City water and Well water homes.

Alarm system or home watch company/ $50-$150 per month

House keeper /they typically work on an hourly basis/ $20 and up and are usually paid by the renter

Costs associated with marketing your property varies depending on the amount of exposure you desire. A do-it-yourself advertising campaign can become very costly. Check with a rental agent to see what is included in their fees.

What is an AS-IS purchase and sale contract?

An AS-IS purchase and sale contract is the most commonly used in the real estate profession. Often buyers associate this type of contract with short sales and foreclosures. It is in no way limited to those types of transactions. It is also not an indication that there are major issues or an abundance of repairs needed. It simply gives the buyer upfront knowledge that may save time for all parties. An AS-IS contract tells the buyer that the seller will not make any repairs; you are buying the property just as it is, with your right to inspect. If at any time the inspection reveals something you aren’t comfortable with you have the right to move on, buy the property, or reexamine the offered amount. At the end of the day everything is negotiable.

State of Florida existing condo sales rise in November 2010

It was recently reported that every 8 seconds this year a baby boomer will retire.  Is that the reason for the recent rise in existing condo sales in the month of November?  Many retirees often look for warm climates to spend their winters, and it appears Florida has been
on the top of the list.  The Florida realtors association reports that an 11% rise in existing condo sales in November over the previous year.   In 09′ 4860 condominium units were sold in comparison to 5411 in 10′.  The median price for existing condos in the state
of Florida in 2009 was $88,200.  In 2010 we saw a slight decrease in the median price it was $82,400.

In our area of Cape Coral the trend held true.  In 2009, 498 condos sold with a median price of $76,000.  In 2010 existing condo sale were 527 with a median price of $76,000.  Is the trend because of the falling prices, retiree’s or increased interest in
foreign buyers?  There are so many great condos offered at great prices, many located on golf courses or offered with gulf access. 

We encourage buyers looking for a great new place to call home permanently or seasonally, come  see what Cape Coral has to offer.  If we can help with your search, please don’t hesitate to call.  We look forward to speaking with you.

 Yours in Success,     

The Florida Future Realty Team


Foreign buyers making an impact on our market

 We have seen an influx of foreign buyers scooping up real estate in recent months, the reason for this increase is simple. The falling costs of real estate and the favorable money rate exchange is allowing for this trend to take place.   

 Foreign buyers who once thought living abroad was a pipe dream are now boarding planes from all around the world to cash in on our less than favorable real estate market.  Instead of investing in stocks and bonds, they are using their savings to pick up heavily discounted properties, especially condominiums.  Once the market rebounds they hope to sell these properties for a more than generous return on their investments. 

Miami appears to be one of the cities seeing this increase, one particular complex is more than 90% owned by foreigners, particularly Europeans and Latin Americans.  This isn’t the only state to report this trend; similar stories are being reported from Washington, New
York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.   

The questions remains, will these buyers help our sluggish real estate market quickly rebound?  Probably not, but areas like Miami and Washington have stated it has at least helped their markets to stabilize.  To put it into perspective foreign buyers still only
represent 7% of today’s totals according to the National Association of Realtors.  We still have a ways to go to see our market completely turn around, but this jolt may get us heading in the right direction. 

If we can help you with your buying or selling needs please don’t hesitate to call.  We look forward to assisting you.

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team.