Archives for June 2018

Canadians Should Know these 4 Things When Buying Property in South Florida


Canadian snowbirds have migrated to South Florida and they are buying property; a lot of it! Between the years April 2016 and March 2017, they have doubled their purchases according to a new survey from the U.S. National Associations of Realtors. It doesn’t seem like much of a surprise since U.S real estate is generally less expensive than most parts in Canada. As the snowbirds are rapidly making their purchases in the warmth of South Florida, it’s crucial to have these important facts in mind:

Taxes Virtually Even Out for Canadians

An interest any foreigner buyer has when investing into property is the addition of tax cost they need to pay compared to residential buyers. This is not the case for the Canadian snowbirds! They have the advantage when purchasing property in Florida because the property tax is equal or less than the property tax amount in Canada. Home insurance is another concern foreigners have when investing into South Florida homes because of their occasional annual storms, but Florida offers relatively inexpensive home insurance.This will protect your investments and leave buyers with peace of mind without spending a goldmine.

Snowbird Affiliated Mortgage Lenders are Best

When purchasing U.S. real estate, it is best if done through a mortgage lender to ensure and smooth and less expensive process. There are several differences between the process of Canadian mortgage lending and the U.S mortgage lending that should be recognized. For example, the mortgage lending approval time in Canada is quicker than the process for Canadians purchasing in South Florida; the documentation is a bit complex, and also the closing cost is about 3% of the loan cost. The best way to ensure a smooth process is with a Canadian affiliation rather than an non-affiliated U.S lender. A Canadian affiliated lender could provide transactions with U.S. operations, which can arrange a cheaper rates. Also, a mortgage lender in Miami for Canadians can handle the application quickly to receive an approval as quickly as possible. It is recommended for snowbirds to take this route when investing in South Florida property.

Investing into the Right Property is Key

Don’t worry snowbirds, you’ll find tropical weather in many areas of South Florida, but the question is what exact properties are best to invest in? Florida offers a range of choices, whether the buyers desire to enhance the Miami nightlife or if they desire a peaceful home in Naples. First, a client should consider their reason for investing into the property, whether it is for business, vacation, or personal use. Investors should ensure that the neighborhood they have chosen will benefit them in the long run.  A helpful tip that can help any future foreign buyers is to invest into neighborhoods that are going through development. Before the area fills up with other buyers, it may be possible to land a great deal.

Real Estate Agents have your Best Interest

Thinking you do not need a real estate agent may not give you the best results when investing. The process of international purchases has many differences than residential purchases. When a buyer chooses a real estate agent, it’s recommended that he/she has experience with these purchases. It is recommended for Canadians to develop a dream team for international investments in South Florida; this means an experienced accountant, personal banker, and a real estate agent who understands the American and Canadian lending options. Also, having a mortgage lender for Canadians seeking to buy property in Miami or South Florida is vital.  Also, know your neighborhood is a fundamental rule in real estate, a real estate agent who has knowledge of their local market area can walk you towards your best investment. A mortgage lender who is familiar with the local market will also help make the entire process much smoother.

 

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What Argentinians Should Know Before Buying Property in Miami

argentinians buying property in miami

It’s no surprise that Miami real estate is one of the top investment destinations for international buyers, with Argentina being one of the top Latin American groups buying Miami properties. Many high profile projects are being bought and put in motion by Argentinian nationals – for example, the world renown, 66 story Aston Martin Residences was developed by G&G  Business Developments, a Miami-based firm owned by an Argentinian. The Oceana branded condominiums in Key Biscayne and Bal Harbour were created by an Argentinian art collector. Argentinians have also been quietly launching restaurants and many other businesses in Miami. They are boosting the market with their desire to work, play, and live in Miami’s multicultural environment as well as invest in its development.

While Miami is generally considered to be a “safe” place to invest in due to its relatively stable real estate market, it is important for Argentinians to know these key factors when purchasing Miami property:

Why Invest Abroad?

Other than the world renown, luxurious lifestyle, Miami has advantages over Argentina when it comes to property investment. Due to the country’s weakening peso and an inflation rate of about 25 percent, many expats are desperately moving their money into American real estate. The dollar restriction has caused Argentina’s own real estate market to decline, prompting those with properties to sell in dollars rather than pesos. “There are few profitable investments left in the country”, said Eduardo Blasco, a financial consultant in Buenos Aires. Argentinians are saving and making more money through renting while investing into Miami properties. It is safe to say that Miami is a “safe haven” for this group to make lucrative investments.

The Right Mortgage Lender

Argentinians, like many other foreign buyers from Latin countries, often purchase property with cash – many times because they believe this is the only way to do it. However, working with mortgage lenders has its advantages – it allows the buyers to secure assets while keeping their capital fluid and ready to invest in other opportunities simultaneously.
The key here is to choose the right team that is familiar with your home country’s customs and processes. While there are many great real estate professionals in Miami, When choosing a real estate broker, it is highly advised to pick one who has experience and knowledge with international real estate specifically. Same goes for the morgage lender.

What to Expect

Mortgage lenders for foreigners require a review of the client’s bank history and transactions to ensure they can afford the loan and also be asked to pay a deposit, normally of at least 35% up front. When choosing a mortgage lender, Argentinians should prefer one who not only speaks the same language, but who also has knowledge of Argentina’s economy, customs and processes as well. A mortgage lender in Miami for Argentinians that knows his or her way around the south american market could make the process easier and safer.

Before the Deal Seals

Proper tax planning when purchasing South Florida property is essential to making sure you don’t pay unnecessary taxes or worse, end up with an investment that isn’t as profitable as it could be. It’s important to be aware of the consequences that can result from not planning properly when closing the deal. These consequences can vary, depending on the ownership (individually or through an entity) and how the buyer plans to use their property whether it will be  personal, for vacation, or for business. Expats need to make sure potential tax liability for them as individuals can be reduced and or completely avoided. Buyers should organize their planning with tax professionals in their home country to assure that any U.S. tax planning does not lead to any unexpected tax consequences back in the buyer’s home. It is very important to schedule a talk with a U.S tax professional before closing on the transaction to guarantee the purchase is properly aligned with the buyer’s goal. In many cases, it is difficult to unwind the deal if accidental tax costs occur. It is strongly advised to make proper tax planning a priority when purchasing Miami real estate. One way to purchase properties in the U.S. as a foreign buyer is to form a domestic L.L.C. that is foreign owned so the asset belongs to the buyer’s domestically owned L.L.C, therefore being treated as citizen owned property and being subject to less taxes. This is just one method of many that can help reduce unnecessary costs.

 

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What Colombians Need to Know When Buying Property in Miami


Colombians are making their way to South Florida and closing deals rapidly in Miami. In the last year they have been behind ten percent of all international transactions, leaving Colombians to purchased the third-highest amount of Miami real estate compared to other foreign buyers. From Weston to Aventura, Colombia continues to be a growing community. To make sure Colombians proceed with their investments properly, here are a few tips that they should know:

Why Buy Property as a Foreign National in Miami?

Miami real estate has boomed in the past couple of years, offering high end commercial developments, luxury condominiums with a plethora of amenities, glamorous new environments, and seemingly endless career possibilities. Colombians are jumping at the opportunities in order to enhance their lifestyles. Colombia is also one of the highest tax burden in Latin America, in the past years their hasn’t been much development in the country. Also due to the widespread corruption of elected officials and those in power in Colombia, many citizens are seeking stability and investment opportunities outside of their homeland. South Florida offers that stability and offers many business openings for Colombians searching for a better a life. “I know the cost of living is higher, but obviously, income is higher as well,” says William Otalora as he begins to plan his future to settle in Miami.

The Choice of Getting a Mortgage

Not many international buyers are aware of the advantages of purchasing homes through mortgage lenders, since investing in cash is so common. When opting for financing, it is important to find a mortgage lender who is bilingual and has knowledge of Colombian and American circumstances for an easier process. When making the decision to purchase through a mortgage lender, buyers will be required to provide the following documents:

  • Copy of passport or visa
  • Letter from employer or an accountant that verifies their salary
  • Bank reference letter showing funds available for down payments, closing cost, etc.
  • Utility bill that demonstrates current residency

Any extra paperwork will be noted before the buyer meets for financing. Also, clients may have to pay a down payment for the mortgage, usually a minimum of about 35% or more, subject to vary depending on differing factors. Mortgage lenders can walk international buyers through the best rates and terms; currently, the market is such that experienced lenders can offer lower interest rates and longer terms on housing loans.

Always do Business with a Good Real Estate Agent

Expats can experience their best investment through an real estate agent. Colombians are obsessing over Miami property because of neighborly environments, high ranking schools, a culturally vibrant lifestyle and promising business opportunities. It is advised to work with agents that are native spanish speakers and understand what Colombians prefer. South Florida is finding many Colombians in popular neighborhoods such as; Weston, Pembroke Pines, the Biscayne area, Miami Shores and Aventura. International investing in Miami with a good real estate agent can expose buyers to Miami’s world class retail therapy, the tropical climate, and luxurious multiculturalism.

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