If you are a Non-US citizen (AKA Foreign National) buyer or seller, here is some useful information on buying or selling a home in Central Florida.
Purchasing a vacation home or property for short term rental
Buying a vacation home can be an exciting and time consuming experience. Our goal is to help walk you through the process. We have been working with customers from Canada, UK and abroad since 2002 and we would love the opportunity to assist you.
There are many factors that should be considered.
As a quick summary, you will want to start by looking at your finances and determining your comfort level with regards to your price point. Are you financing (getting a loan) or purchasing with cash? If financing, you must get your pre-approval done first. Once we have determined your price point, we can then discuss areas and communities that fit the budget. We will then discuss the needs for your new home such as bedrooms, bathrooms, what community amenities are you looking for (if any) and so on. Once you have selected your new home, we will then prepare an agreement to purchase the home. If you are purchasing new construction and the home is not completed, we will take pictures for you throughout the process. There are many other important factors and you will find more detailed information in the sections below .
It is extremely important that when looking to buy a home in Florida that you use a Licensed REALTOR ®. The State of Florida has a Florida Real Estate Commission that tests and qualifies an individual to become a Licensed Real Estate Agent. A licensed Real Estate Agent is not the same as a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a Licensed Real Estate Agent who has taken additional steps to become a member of the local board of REALTORS®. They have subscribed to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.
As your REALTOR® we are your personal contact throughout the home buying process.
Please visit our concierge tab to see how we differ
The Need For One Agent - How We Differ?
The US system allows us to assist you with every aspect of finding a home. This saves you time, as you don’t have to call several agents to view properties. Our MLS system allows us access to all the properties listed in the Central Florida area. Once we define your needs we can then search for properties for you. When you are ready to view the homes we will make appointments and follow it through to the closing process and after!
What Are The Benefits of Using a Realtor®
As your REALTOR®, we have knowledge of the local market and market conditions, have access to information on past sales and current listings, and know what’s hot or not in your community.
Some of the many benefits include:
- Assistance in preparing a comparative marketing analysis, which helps you research homes in the area.
- Knowledge of properties new to the market, or those that are about to be listed. Including NEW HOME construction and resales/existing homes.
- Assistance in navigating through the home-buying process.
- Attendance at closing and assistance with any last-minute problems or details.
- And best of all as the buyer it costs you NOTHING!! The builder or seller pays the commission.
What is Short Term Rental?
A short-term rental property can be rented daily, weekly, or monthly. The majority of customers who purchase properties to rent out will hire a management company to rent it for them.
If you are interested in purchasing a property and renting it out on a short-term basis, then you want to be sure that the property is zoned accordingly. We can assist you with checking the areas and making sure it fits that criteria.
Decorating & Furniture
Once you have purchased, or contracted to purchase a home you need to start thinking about furnishing and decorating your home. Should you wish to purchase a Custom Furnishing Package, we can provide you with contact information for companies in which you can choose from. Your furniture package will include everything you need for your home to be a turn-key operation, including linens, plates, utensils, furniture and more. Prices will vary – so you’ll want to check with different companies for their pricing and package options.
There are many management companies to choose from and it is recommended you interview several before making your decision.
Some short-term rental communities will have on-site management, which can be very convenient and often times a good route to take. Be sure to ask, as this can save you valuable time.
A Management Company should be able to:
- Assist in connecting your utilities. Manage and maintain a reservation or booking system. Many management companies will have on-line access for their customers so they can see when their unit is being rented, etc.
- Arrange for repairs, handle utility bills and invoices related to the property.
- If you have a private pool – make sure this is routinely cleaned and maintained.
- Make sure the property is properly cleaned after each guest.
When you are interviewing management companies take into consideration some of the points above, and any other pertinent information that can help you in making your decision.
It is highly recommended that when you hire a management company – you also actively market your own property. Management companies should openly discuss this and many will discount their fees if you book your own home!
As A Buyer, How Does FIRPTA Affect Me?
FIRPTA stands for Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act.
Whether you are a non-resident or resident of the US, you will want to be aware of possible tax consequences and guidelines that must be followed if purchasing a property from a non-resident.
For more information on this and other useful tax information you can click on this link below, or check with your accountant and/or attorney: IRS.gov
The Buying Process
Thinking about selling, but not sure what the market value is? We can provide you an overview of your home’s current market value, by analyzing your “Competition” and recent sales. We can put together a marketing plan to assist you in selling your home as quickly and efficiently as possible. Allow us to walk you through the process and make it as smooth as possible.
The Selling Process
What Is FIRPTA?
As A Seller How Does FIRPTA Affect Me?
FIRPTA stands for Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. If you are a non-resident and selling a property in the US, you need to be aware of possible tax consequences. If a Seller is a “foreign person” as defined by FIRPTA, Section 1445 of the Internal Revenue Code requires a buyer of real property to withhold 15% of the amount realized by the Seller on the transfer and remits the withheld amount to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unless an exemption applies.
For more information on this and other useful tax information you can visit www.irs.gov or check with your accountant and/or attorney.
This is for informational purposes only. On how FIRPTA may or may not affect you, please be sure to check with your own accountant for more details.