A Brief Guide for Canadians Buying Property in Florida
Are you ready to escape the winter freeze in Canada? It’s (almost) always sunny in Florida, so learn about buying property in this state and start living your American dream as a Canadian.
Canadians who want to escape the winters in Canada often purchase property in the United States Sunbelt, which they use as a winter getaway. Perhaps you're retired or semi-retired and want to try out the snowbird lifestyle of living in Florida as a Canadian for part of the year. Or maybe you simply desire a peaceful retreat for family weekends and vacations.
If you're thinking of buying a house or condo in sunny Florida, there are some important things to consider before you start looking for your new place.
Can Canadians Buy Real Estate Property in Florida?
Yes, Canadians can buy houses in Florida, there are no restrictions on buying property in Florida as a Canadian citizen. The process is similar to what other foreign buyers do when purchasing property in the United States. It includes obtaining a tax identification number, opening a US bank account, and paying fees and taxes associated with the purchase. Remember that Florida's local property rules and regulations may differ from those imposed by Canadian provinces.
What’s the Cost of Buying a House in Florida as a Canadian?
There are various costs to factor into your Florida property purchase. You will need to consider not only the down payment when buying a house in Florida as a Canadian but also the real estate commission, legal fees, and closing costs. The closing costs are typically around 2% of the house's original cost.
Make sure you research the area to determine how safe and secure your investment will be. You should also contact your mortgage company to ask about their options for financing.
Factors to Consider When Buying Property in Florida from Canada
When buying property in Florida, it helps to define your criteria. For example, what will the property be used for – vacation or rental? Consider what lifestyle you want to lead in Florida. Do you want to be near the beach, the mountains, or theme parks? Also, what’s your budget like?
Florida has 67 counties, so you can use factors like crime statistics, weather patterns, amenities, the number of attractions, and the opinions of ex-pats, to reach a personalized decision. Ideally, you want to have eyes and feet on the ground to scout and see the properties for yourself. Working with independent, licensed realtors and local property companies will make the job much easier.
The Benefits of Buying a House in Florida as a Canadian
Why buy property in Florida as a Canadian? Some of the key benefits include the following:
Beautiful weather in Florida. Florida is filled with sunshine and perfect for those who love spending time outdoors. The climate is subtropical, with mild winters, hot, humid summers, and plenty of rainfall throughout the year. The beautiful weather in the Sunshine State is a major selling point for many Canadians.
Diverse real estate market. Types of properties to choose from include beachfront houses, condos, and golf course communities. Florida is one of the fastest-growing states¹ in the U.S., so its real estate market has been growing steadily in recent years. You can find properties at different price points, depending on your budget.
Low cost of living. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other states like Hawaii, California, and New York.
Great investment. Property values have been steadily increasing, making it a good investment opportunity. Now is the perfect time to invest in a Floridian holiday home because prices are still relatively lower than in other parts of the world. In addition, the state has no income tax.
Canadian-friendly lifestyle. Canadians looking for a second home to escape are welcomed with open arms by Floridians. There are plenty of amenities like sandy beaches and fantastic art galleries. In addition, many festivals and events frequently occur throughout the state. The international airport is filled with travelers from all over the world, creating enriching cultural exposure.
Best Places for Canadians to Buy Property in Florida
There are many great places in Florida to buy property, but some are more popular than others. Here are five of the best places to consider:
Miami Beach – This is an excellent place to buy property if you want to be in a vibrant, exciting city. The beaches here are beautiful, and there is always something to entertain you.
Naples – Naples is a more relaxed town, perfect for those who want to enjoy a quiet beach lifestyle. The beaches here are also impressive, and there are plenty of great restaurants and shops in town.
Orlando – If you're looking for a place that has something for everyone, Orlando is the place to go. There are theme parks, resorts, great restaurants, and theaters. What's not to love about Orlando?
Boca Raton – If you are looking for the ultimate lifestyle destination, look no further than Boca Raton. This beautiful city has something to offer everyone—sunshine, white sand beaches, art galleries, and outdoor attractions everywhere you turn. It is also a great place for golf enthusiasts as there are many world-class courses. In fact, Golf Digest declared it to be one of the top 'Best Places to Live and Play' in America.
Tampa – Is another city that offers a lot for property owners. It has thousands of restaurants serving delicious cuisine from around the world, a thriving arts scene, and a variety of outdoor activities, from biking to kayaking.
What Documents are Required to Buy property in Florida as a Canadian?
You need all your paperwork in order before you can begin the process of purchasing real estate in Florida as a Canadian citizen. This includes:
A valid passport
Proof of your nationality
A NEXUS card (if you are part of the NEXUS program)
A valid visa for foreigners
Evidence of residency
A valid driver's license (if you intend to drive in Florida)
A letter, bank statement, credit profile, and other evidence of financial stability
Steps for How to Buy a House in Florida as a Canadian
Buying property in Florida as a Canadian is an increasingly popular choice. Here are some steps to complete if you’re thinking of making the USA your second home.
Identify Your Wants and Needs - When searching for a property in Florida, you should first identify your wants and needs in a home. Factor in aspects such as the location, size of the property, type of housing, and any other amenities that are essential to you.
Research the Market - It's crucial to research every area and the potential property you're interested in. Additionally, investigate the local real estate markets, taxes, and educational opportunities.
Real Estate Agent - An experienced real estate agent is key to a stress-free home-buying process. They will help you locate properties that suit your needs and budget and be available to answer any questions you have along the way.
Making an Offer - Once you’ve found a property that meets your needs and budget, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent can help guide you through the process and negotiate on your behalf.
Closing the Deal - After you’ve reached an agreement on the sale, you need to close the deal. This includes signing the necessary paperwork, obtaining homeowners insurance, and paying closing costs.
Are you looking to buy property in Florida as a Canadian and worried about the exchange rates? If so, an MTFX account could be the right solution for you. We offer bank-beating exchange rates (3-5% lower) and low transfer fees.
Open an account today with MTFX to enjoy simple, secure, and cost-effective international payments when you send money from Canada to buy property in Florida.
Buying Property in Florida as a Canadian-FAQs
Can Foreigners (Non-US Citizens) buy a house in Florida?
Yes, foreigners are allowed to buy a house in Florida. They have the same rights and privileges as US citizens when it comes to purchasing a home in Florida. No additional Visa requirements are necessary to buy property in the Sunshine State.
Is it worth it for Canadians moving to Florida?
Florida is a great place to live, work, or study. It offers beautiful scenery, plenty of activities, and a relaxed lifestyle. Moving to Florida as a Canadian can be an excellent decision for those looking for a change. Additionally, the state offers plenty of job opportunities if you want to pursue your career path.
How do I pay for my Florida property purchase?
The smart way to pay for your Florida property purchase is through a foreign exchange specialist like MTFX. You get access to a 24/7 secure online account, competitive exchange rates, low transfer fees, expert FX tools, and personalized tools to make the most of your money.
What are the Tax Implications of Buying Property in Florida as a Canadian?
When it comes to buying property in Florida as a Canadian, there are some important tax implications to consider.