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International Buyers | Investing in Florida Real Estate

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  How to Buy Florida Property from Abroad 

 

 

Sterling Chase Realty

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The Time to Invest in Florida is NOW:

  • Acquire a Luxury Property or Golf Estate for just a fraction of its original cost!
  • Invest Now for both pleasure & potential returns... and pave the way for the future!
  • Plant your Dollars, Euros or Pounds in Sunny Florida and watch them GROW!

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

  • Bernstein Osberg-Braun & de Moraes is the largest Immigration Law Firm in Miami and South Florida: VisaAttorneys.com - Specialists with the EB-5 Regional Center Investor Visa. The EB-5 visa, is probably the easiest and best way for you to obtain permanent residence in the US.
  • Immigration One - offers cost-effective immigration services representing both individual and corporate clients with immigration matters.  Each of their experts is well-versed with investment, employment, and family-based visas in their jurisdiction.  Their specialities includeL-1 visas, H-1B visas, E-2 visas,Tier 1 Highly Skilled visas, UK Work Permits, K-1 fiance visas, U.S. green cards, and UK settlement visas based on marriage.  

 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

  • Permanent Residence for the whole family with one investment. 
  • Husband, wife and all unmarried children under 21 receive Green Cards.
  • Live anywhere in USA.
  • Take any job, run or start any business, even retire.
  • Any nationality may apply.
  • No language requirement.
  • Same privileges as a US citizen:-
    • Free public school education.
    • Same University fees as a citizen.
    • Access to Medicare after 5 years.
  • Wider job market for your children in the future.
  • Property tax savings in some states like Florida.
  • Citizenship after five years.

Requirements of the EB-5 visa

  • Net worth of $1 million, or high annual income
  • Minimum investment of $500,000
  • Associated costs almost $50,000, including:-
    • Specialist EB-5 attorney
    • Medical check
    • Filing fees to the USCIS
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Police Record check
  • No previous US immigration violations
  • Detailed documentation for source of funds
  • Time to obtain Conditional Green Card, almost 12 months but getting less.
  • Time to secure Permanent Green Card, circa 3.5 years

Advantages of American Life Regional Centers

  • Choice between equity or loan-based projects
  • Fixed income for loan-based projects
  • Rental income on an equity investment, plus capital gain expected in the long term
  • If you change your plans, you may exit your equity investment at anytime
  • Dispose of your equity investment after circa 3.5 years under visa rules

Qualifications of American Life Regional Centers

  • Nearing 1000 EB-5 investors
  • 15 years’ experience with the EB-5 program (since 1996)
  • The most popular Regional Center
  • A business model with zero debt
  • Every EB-5 project has met job creation and all other USCIS requirements
  • We have more investors with unconditional Permanent Residence (I-829) than any other RC
  • No denials at conditions' removal stage (I-829) 
  • The only Regional Center with US individuals as well as pension fund investors
  • Over 450 US investors, unique among Regional Centers
  • Experience with investors from Britain, South Africa, India, Korea, Mexico, China, Iran, Brazil, Colombia, etc. etc.

 

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

UK Buyers:

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. 

Canadian Buyers:

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:

  • Communication from Contract to Closing 
  • SIN (Social Insurance Number) accepted 
  • No USA score required 
  • No prepayment penalty 
  • Competitive rates/low down payment options 
  • Homebuyer Reward Package 
  • Seamless banking between Royal Bank and RBC Bank 

RBC Bank understands Canadians like no other bank in Central Florida.  


International Movers


Property Taxes

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




Properties for sale


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25607 High Hampton Cir
Sorrento
6BR/5BA/1HBA
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200 M Norte De La Escuelala Vieja De Florencia

3BR/3BA
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7087 Nobleton Dr
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4BR/3BA/2HBA
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393 River Bluff Cir
Debary
6BR/5BA
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$499,999
7678 Lake Angelina Dr
Mount Dora
5BR/3BA/1HBA
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8607 Bear Haven Ct
Sanford
5BR/5BA
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$825,000
508 Sweetwater Club Cir
Longwood
6BR/5BA
For Sale | active
$739,900
8309 Day Lily Pl
Sanford
5BR/5BA/1HBA
For Sale | active
$579,000
25534 High Hampton Cir
Sorrento
4BR/4BA
For Sale | active

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