Naples, Bonita Springs & Estero Real Estate Industry News & Updates

What Canadians Need to Know About Buying a Second Home in Florida

November 10th, 2014 by

kitchen in quail west naples floridaFor Canadians who are tired of spending six months of the year battling snow and cold winds, the prospect of purchasing a second home in Florida may seem like a dream come true. Some interested investors from Canada are unaware of how simple it can be to invest in a vacation home in Florida, but a few helpful tips can clear up the process. Here are just a few of the most important things that Canadians should know about buying a second home in the Sunshine State of Florida. 1. Canadian Airlines Fly to Florida More Than Ever

If you are lucky enough to own a second home in Florida, you might want to travel back and forth from your home in Canada on a regular basis. If there were no direct flights, that journey could easily become a stressful day of multiple connections and layovers throughout North America. Fortunately, that is rarely a problem for Canadian buyers.

Canadian airlines recognize the sheer number of travelers who come from the Great White North to the Sunshine State and have increased the frequency of direct flights from cities as varied as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. 2. Property Tax is the Same for Americans and Canadians

One major concern that Canadians have when it comes to buying a second home in Florida is that they will be forced to pay exorbitant property taxes since they are foreign residents. Luckily that could not be further from the truth.

Whether you are from Canada or Kansas, you will pay the same property tax on your home in Florida. Even better, that property tax may be less than what you are used to paying back home in Canada.

Another tax-related concern that Canadians have is that they will be forced to pay a hefty estate tax based on the value of their Florida property. Once again, that is an unfounded worry. Canadians have an exemption of over $5 million apiece, or $10 million per couple, which means that only the most valuable properties in the state will ever be taxed upon the owner’s death. 3. Florida is a Diverse State

Snowbirds, or those Canadians and Americans who head south to Florida for the winter, often don’t realize just how large and how diverse the state truly is.

If you want incredible nightlife, Miami is a big city with lots to offer. If you want a home close to the water and year-round incredible weather, then Naples or Bonita Springs might be the ideal destination for you.

From small towns and rural homes to apartments on the beach, condos in a big city or villas right on a golf course, Florida has every kind of second home you might imagine, and they are available in a range of price points to fit into any buyer’s budget. 4. Home Insurance May Not Be As Expensive As You Think

Although Florida’s weather is best described as sunny, warm and pleasant year-round, some Canadians and other foreign investors are concerned about the storms that can occasionally pass through in the summer as well as how that risk could affect the costs of home insurance.

Home insurance in Florida can sometimes be slightly more than in other parts of the country, but it is typically the same as anywhere else in North America. In fact, since the cost of real estate is lower in Florida than elsewhere, the overall cost of insurance is also often cheaper. This means that you can safely protect your investment, even when you aren’t physically in the home, and enjoy peace of mind without spending a fortune in the process. 5. Florida Offers Affordable Real Estate

Whether you want to invest in a second home in Florida as a place where you can vacation with family, so you can spend the winter in a warm environment or simply as a way to bring in a rental income for most of the year, there is no question that the real estate for sale fits into a wide range of budgets and you may be shocked at the affordability of exceptional property.

Of course, price fluctuates just like it does everywhere else in the world: a house on the beach costs more than the same house in the suburbs and a condo in a small town will be cheaper than one in the heart of Naples. However, compared to similar warm, beautiful and scenic destinations, Florida’s real estate market is very reasonably priced, making a second home a real possibility for Canadians. 6. Canadians Can Spend Six Months a Year in Florida

Another big consideration that all Canadians should know before buying a second home anywhere is whether they can legally enter the country on a regular basis. In some spots around the globe, visiting for more than a certain number of days each year is illegal or may cause you to be eligible for domestic taxation. The relationship between Canada and America is a strong one, and immigration issues are minimal.

Canadians who own property in Florida can spend up to 180 days in the United States each year without needing to declare residency in their second home. Additionally, Canadians won’t have to pay American taxes as long as they spend fewer than 182 days in the country. That translates to as many as six months annually relaxing in the warm climate of Florida. 7. Canadians Can Legally Rent Out Property in Florida

The final thing that all Canadians should realize before they begin the buying process for a second home in Florida is the fact that they are allowed to bring in a rental income from the property. It is actually very common for Canadians to invest in a second home in Florida that doubles as a vacation destination spot for them and a way to bring in additional revenue throughout the year.

This makes it possible to block off a few months each year to enjoy the house yourself and then legally rent out the space to visitors for long or short term rentals depending on your financial needs and your travel schedule. If you are a Canadian who is thinking about investing in a second home in Florida, you have a variety of options open to you. Click here to learn more about why places like Naples, Florida, can be the ultimate place to relax and enjoy life in an unbeatable climate.

About the Author:

Melinda Sullivan is Realtor specializing in luxury property in the Naples, Bonita Springs & Estero areas. She updates this blog on a weekly basis and writes about anything and everything to do with buying or selling property in Southwest Florida. You will find regular blog posts on her website at http://www.bonitanaplesrealestate.com/blog/

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