Buying Real Estate in SWFL: A Guide for Canadians

Posted by Mary Ray on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 at 12:29pm.

As I mentioned in my post, "The Canadian Invasion: Why Canucks are Flocking to Lee County," Canadians are accounting for a large number of real estate buyers in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and surrounding communities. Because of this, I wanted to provide a bit of information to Canadians and other international buyers who are looking for property in the Lee County area. Please note: the information below is just a general guide; for specific questions and buying advice, please contact me online or call (239) 410-5821. I'll be happy to help you assist you.

Q) How long can I stay in the U.S.?

A) Generally speaking, most Canadians can stay for up to six months in a year. Any longer than that, and you risk losing your provincial health coverage. Lengthier stays also make things a bit more complicated at tax time.

Q) Is there any difference between getting a U.S. based mortgage and going through a Canadian company?

A) Yes, there are differences. Because you're not a U.S. citizen, lenders will require somewhere between 25 and 50% down payment on a property, and you'll also need enough liquid reserves in a U.S. bank account to cover closing costs, taxes, insurance, and 12 months' worth of principal and interest. The bank could also require you to have up to 6 months' worth of mortgage payments on hand as well. Another difference is that U.S. mortgages are often for 15 or 30-year terms.

Canadians may opt to go through a Canadian lender for their mortgage, or they can go through RBC, which is the U.S. division of Toronto's Royal Bank Financial Group. RBC only requires a 25% down payment on a home.

Q) Can I rent out my SWFL home while I'm back in Canada?

A) Yes, you can. Renting out is a popular option for many international buyers. For one thing, renting out means that the house will be regularly maintained, and will be much more secure than if left vacant. You also have the added bonus of making income from your property when you're not using it. Note however, that if you rent out your SWFL home, you'll need to file a U.S. income tax return.

Q) Do I have to pay property taxes on my Cape Coral home?

A) Yes, you will have to pay property tax on your home in Florida, which is about 10% of the home's assessed value.

Q) Where can I find out about other tax implications?

A) The Canada Revenue Agency has an informative guide for Canadians Going Down South. The IRS also has a slew of information for non-U.S. residents.

Canadians need to know quite a bit before purchasing real estate in Southwest Florida. I'll be happy to guide you through not only the technical aspects of buying out-of-country, but I can also provide insight into which areas will garner a solid investment, and which properties will best suit your needs.

Read about foreclosures in Cape Coral Real Estate

By David Sporleder | Sporleder-Ray Realty Group || Google+


1 Response to "Buying Real Estate in SWFL: A Guide for Canadians"

Cape Coral Homes for Sale wrote: [...]Cape Coral Homes for Sale. Paradise is AffordablePerhaps you battle the winters on the cold, windy streets up north and are looking for a second home that lets you escape from the cold and snowy conditions.  If you have been dreaming of owning a home in Florida, there is no better time than now to look into the opportuntities that exist in the homes for sale in Cape Coral and surrounding communities.Even if you've been living in a cave, you know that the economic conditions of the real estate industry have been nothing short of devastating. For the Cape Coral area, it has been some of the most difficult conditions for some homeowners, who have found it impossible to avoid foreclosure.  Although this may sound tragic, it is a buyers market for anyone who is looking at homes for sale in the Cape Coral area.Whether you're looking for a get-away from the blizzard conditions that plague the northern states every winter or you want to make an investment in real estate on the southern coast of Florida to expand your investment portfolio, looking at Cape Coral Homes for Sale is the way to go.  Never before has there been an economic scenario quite as advantageous as the one that currently exists in this area.Tropical winds, sandy beaches and some of the best southern Florida coastal weather is a part of the Cape Coral home scenario that owners enjoy all year around.  Fishing, boating and close proximity to Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale make Cape Coral the perfect location to buy homes for sale at price's that are sure to make your budget quite happy. Waterfront homes prices are some of the best ever.The economic conditions are no reflection on the quality of homes for sale and the potential of Cape Coral, which was founded in 1960.  Families, entrepreneurs and other business capitalists alike are taking a close look at this city that ranks third safest in Florida, is easy to get around and has a wealth of large growth potential.Although Cape Coral has been leading the nation in foreclosed properties, there is a definite upside to being in a real estate downturn.  More homes for sale have recently been listed in Cape Coral property market, making it a buyers's choice mecca of optons designed to suit any budget, any taste and any interest in purchasing homes for sale in this location.If you have even thought about living off the coast of Florida, whether part time or as a permanent move to this sunny state, there has never been as opportune a time as now to get in on the low prices being made available in the homes for sale in the Cape Coral area.  There's no better way to get your feet wet that to take a look at some of the listings currently on the market. From Cape Coral waterfront homes to inland gated golfing communities, Cape Coral has it all.  The real estate market in Cape Coral has dealt some harsh blows to many who have been negatively impacted by the recession, yet, it's the perfect time to make your dreams come true with a strategic move to this corner of paradise, with the strategic purchase of a Cape Coral home.Buying homes in Cape Coral Real Estate [...]

Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 10:31pm.

Leave a Comment

Have a Question?

Contact Us

Follow Us