just been to florida in october for first time and loved it,my wife keeps going on about buying a villa there but i am unsure as i dont like hassle as i get my hours in at work and keep us comfortable ,nice car house payed for in 7 years, and kids in teens, oldest now in college but saying that i do like the idea of owning a villa in florida and just going when we want,obviosly it would have to be rented out to ease the finances
so we would appreciate any first hand experience from villa owners IE
motgages abroad, renting out, maintenence,the non residence issue,
the ups and the downs, and anything else i failed to mention
any advice good or bad will be appreciated
We have one on the gulf coast and only rent out in summer as we go in winter. We only rent through a USA company and they rent mainly to canadians. Taxes (council tax) can be high ours went up to $4700 this year and electric is expensive, costs a fortune to heat the pool. Insurance costs are high too.
Keep in mind that unless you get a B-2 visa you can only stay for 90 days each year. Weather is much hotter though and you can still swim comfortably in the gulf in Dec. Will be off myself soon. Will try to PM tomorrow with a good florida forum.
You need to bear in mind the exchange rate of course which has taken a dive lately and makes things a bit harder.
Do you want new or resale ?
Do you have time to do all the work yourself regarding bookings taxes bills etc or will you rely on a management company to do it ?If you have to rely on a third party then your returns will be much lower -not that you are likely to make any profit until you sell .
As already said all the costs are going up property taxes have risen -in my case by 27% and there are rises in all the utilties coming up.
You will find that most of the good listing sites are full and so find places that will produce you results in respect of enquiries will be difficult so you will need alternative forms of advertising .
You will need to be able to fund the taxes on all bookings generally 12/13% in the disney area , the licences you need state and county,monthly management fees,utilties,insurances,phone,and have enough to cover any incidental repairs that come along .
I suggest you ask your self on e question -if you buy a home and you have no bookiings for 6-9 months -which can happen easily - can you run two households -here and in Florida on the funds you have now ?If the answer is maybe not then think carefully .
Having shed all this doom it is fun having a home there -althoguh you need to be prepared never to have a holiday again as you tend to spend all your time in the local Home depot stores buying for the house to keep it up to scratch !
If you need any further "help" please pm me and ask any questions you may have .
Hard to see a problem in that surely and where else would you get 42 weeks rental apart from Disney Orlando area? Stuart
It is not all doom and gloom but I am trying to make the op see through the rose coloured tint that a lot of people wear when it comes to buying property in Florida .My home has risen in value in the last 18 months but I can assure you that it was the first time it had since buying it in 1998 and now with the $ we are almost back to where we were when we bought.
Bookings do not fall into your lap and guaranteed rental schemes rarely work out to the figures quoted -been there done that .
Try putting a request in to one of the many rental sites there are on the net and see how many replies you get I can practically guarantee you will get to 3 figures as it is not that easy to get bookings at the present time .
thankyou all for all your replies and difference of oppinions ,that is actually what i was looking for when i posted this and i am hoping that others will add their oppinions
Don't be afraid to talk to American realtors or professionals. It can be very helpful to have a "local" on your side in the process and I can tell you that some of the finest friendships I have made in the STR market are with English, Scottish and Irish people I have met through the market.
Follow your intuition in selecting a realtor to represent your interests. If you suspect that you're being sold a bill of goods, this is not the person you want to deal with. Nice people of integrity are the same the world over.
Take your time because you will have a lot of questions to ask. For example, you may not know that heating a pool in central Florida using natural gas can be incredibly expensive - you'll want to know if the pool heater on your villa is gas or electrically powered.
Another example relates to ad valorum taxes (or rates as you would term them). Property taxes have excalated dramatically in the last year as local county governments have tried to cope with the strains all the growth have placed on government services. Ask specifically about the taxes and prospects for increases in the next year. Tax burdens vary from county to county.
Don't be swept away by the hoopla about property value increases in Florida. Yes, as mentioned above, villa owners who purchased prior to, say, 2002 have seen dramatic increases but knowledgeable experts in the Florida real estate industry already see a flattening out of property increases this year. More villas are on the market now than comparably last year and for a longer period of time.
Hope the foregoing is helpful
your posting was very informative and i appreciate your advice and suggestions
I've always been very fortunate that the villa has always paid it's way with a little extra in the kitty to keep it looking good-but it's a full time job so I'm fortunate that I don't work as you need to be continually checking enquries.
For every booking you recieve I bet you answer a 100 enquiries. Or someone will contact you direct-as they've stayed there before and you will find it's one of the weeks you've already sold.
Definitely not something to be rushed into.
ps ime still thinking
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