|How to Buy Florida Property from Abroad|
Sterling Chase Realty
The Time to Invest in Florida is NOW:
Recently at Sterling Chase Realty we have experienced an increasing number of international buyers wishing to take advantage of the real estate deals offered in Florida. As an international Buyer, you need someone with superb knowledge and experience in this market, someone you can trust to handle everything when you are thousands of miles away.
Since Money Exchange, Immigration Issues, Tax Liabilities and Tax Advantages are amongst the largest concerns of our clients abroad; We have compiled a short list of recommended sources to help streamline the process.
Immigration Attorneys and other immigration info
UK residents wanting to move to the USA
While not wanting to step into the role of immigration attorneys, we can tell you this....
Unless you were born in the USA, or marry a US citizen, or you are the minor child or parent of a US citizen, or buy or start a business (under strict guidelines), or invest in a legally recognized project which will give you a visa such as the EB-5, or are lucky enough to find a US employer who will go through the extreme hassle of employing you, then there really isn't any other way to legally move here.
The EB5 visa for a US Green Card (Permanent Residence) by investment into the most popular Government approved EB5 Regional Center
You and your immediate family can now obtain green cards and permanent US residency with anEB5 visa by investing $500,000 into a government designated Regional Center. It will give each of you the security of permanent US residency without repeated visa applications. Citizenship may be obtained after five years.
Green Card. The attraction of a green card via an EB-5 investment visa is that it can be secured before you commit to emigrating. You will also have the flexibility to take any job, run any business, retire and live anywhere in the USA. As a resident you will have access to many of the benefits enjoyed by US citizens such as education and, in certain states such as Florida, you will enjoy substantial savings in property tax.
Permanent Residence. For most, emigrating to the USA is about a better quality of life. Permanent residency avoids repeated visa applications and allows you the opportunity of dual citizenship. The EB-5 visa will secure you Permanent Residency.
EB-5 Visa Permanent Residency – in Brief
Drawbacks of other visas: Work visas tie you to a specific job, location and/or career. E-2 visas can be difficult to renew and force children over the age of 21 to leave the country. Student visas allow very limited or no work.
It’s fair to say that no-one wants to invest $500,000, plus nearly $50,000 in related costs, to secure a green card. The fact that so many do so is a strong indication of how hard it is to obtain Permanent Residency in the US.
Advantages of the EB-5 visa
Requirements of the EB-5 visa
Advantages of American Life Regional Centers
Qualifications of American Life Regional Centers
Many people are under the mistaken impression that they will be allowed to stay here if 1) they own property here , or 2) they are retired. Unfortunately, no amount of property ownership, nor being retired, gives you the legal right to stay in the USA.
Even having family in the US will not get you in here, because although a US citizen is allowed to sponsor immediate family, in reality, there is a backlog of some 12 or 15 years, during which time you must wait in your own country.
If the EB-5 is not an option, then the easiest way is to buy an existing business, but there are requirements for that. While the guidelines are not actually set in stone, a rough guide of a minimum investment for a business is now close to $200,000, with most of that coming from the buyer's personal (documented) funds. Higher priced businesses may be allowed some borrowing of funds, but the majority must still be personal funds. Also, this business must support two American citizen employees and still be a viable business.
Another thing to consider when looking at E2 qualifying businesses, is that the INS is really looking to see that the business is not just a little "mom and pop" business and that it is a substantial investment, which will provide a good means of income for the owners (after paying the two required American citizen employees). The business should also be housed in commercial premises (either owned or leased) and not a home based business.
Exchange and transfer of currency
HIFX - Foreign Exchange Specialists: learn more
Moneycorp Inc, a subsidiary of TTT Moneycorp Limited: learn more
When you buy an overseas home for investment or personal use, you will need to perform one or more currency transactions. Some people would simply use their bank and instruct them to buy their currency for them. However, there are potential huge savings to be had by speaking to a 'specialist currency broker'.
HIFX and Moneycorp both understand that buying or selling significant amounts of currency can be a new and daunting prospect. It is essential to understand that when you agree to buy property abroad, you are exposed to 'currency risk'. Ignorance could cost you thousands of pounds! The following example illustrates an avoidable and unnecessary increase in the cost of a property:
If you had agreed to buy a property, priced at $250,000 USD in June 2005 (when the GBP/USD exchange rate was 1.83) it would have cost you $136,612.02 USD Had you neglected to fix the exchange rate at the time, that same property would have cost $142,857.14 USD by the end of July, an increase of $6,245.12 USD in 4 weeks.
With several years experience helping clients to buy and transfer currency for a property abroad, both HIFX and Moneycorp understand your needs. They also appreciate that each client is different. That is why they will give you your own personal currency dealer, who will take the time to listen and help you at every stage. Saving money on the exchange rate is only a small part of the service they offer; timing and good communication between all parties is also essential.
RBC Bank: learn more
RBC Bank has some great innovative mortgage loan programs for Canadians buying properties here in Florida. Instead of being treated as a foreign national, where the minimum down payment is now mainly 35% to 40%, now a Canadian resident can receive the same treatment as a US citizen, with low down payment loans available. Not only that, since one in three Canadians already banks with RBC, the whole loan process here is made much smoother.
Check out some of the advantages:
RBC Bank understands Canadians like no other bank in Central Florida.
There are often rumors (especially in Canada) that non US citizens are discriminated against and have to pay higher property taxes. This is completely false and although there are indeed two levels of property taxes, the higher rate has absolutely nothing to do with your nationality, or even your State of residence. This has everything to do with whether or not you actually live in the property you own. Even those of us who live in Florida have to pay the higher (non homesteaded) rate on any property we own that is not our principal residence. You are only allowed one homesteaded property and you must live in it.
Have other questions? Feel free to contact us directly at (352) 478-4300
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