Buying property in Florida....

Old May 1st 2014, 1:00 pm
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Default Buying property in Florida....

I am planning to relocate after I've sold my property here in Scotland. Last of my three sons has finished education now and I have no real ties in UK to keep me here whilst I age even more! I am very interested in Florida mainly because of affordable property prices, lifestyle and weather () I presently run a guest house here and would like to do similar in US (as income) and wondered if anyone can direct me to a decent web site or give me info re buying property and the legalities etc for running it as a bed & breakfast/guest house business as a non US citizen? I have checked out various websites including immigration but just really want a simple 'yes, possible or not' before I spend hours on line, especially looking at some of the many value for money mansions that are for sale in Florida. I would be a cash buyer (so no mortgage which I believe is difficult to obtain as non citizen) but would have to generate an income from the property as described as I would be putting most of my equity into the purchase. I would be doing this alone although have a feeling my youngest son may tag along !

Thanks in advance
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Old May 1st 2014, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Welcome to BE.

Are you an US citizen...or perhaps married to an USC? If not what type of visa do you have to allow you to live and work in the US?
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Old May 1st 2014, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

You can't just move to the US on a whim, there is a lengthy process involved if it is possible at all!

First thing to do is read Pulaski's informative wiki to see if there is a category of visa for which you qualify.

Otherwise, it ain't gonna happen.
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Old May 1st 2014, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Just in case the answers to my questions above is no...please take a read through the following. If you fit into one of the categories you may be in with a chance...

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA
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Old May 1st 2014, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Thanks for that, just had a look. I've read similar already but know Brits who have had no problems purchasing property in Florida (as family residence). They do however still technically reside in the UK and go back and forth. One family I know are going to live permanently quite soon...but they are loaded with several businesses which will generate a tidy retirement for them. I certainly don't fall into that category! (money talks..you walk!) There are some companies I've come across who act as agents for people wishing to purchase residential businesses (B&B's etc) They may have advise as they appear to deal with Brits a lot.
Thanks for your replies
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Old May 1st 2014, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Originally Posted by FeistyFi View Post
Thanks for that, just had a look. I've read similar already but know Brits who have had no problems purchasing property in Florida (as family residence). They do however still technically reside in the UK and go back and forth. One family I know are going to live permanently quite soon...but they are loaded with several businesses which will generate a tidy retirement for them. I certainly don't fall into that category! (money talks..you walk!) There are some companies I've come across who act as agents for people wishing to purchase residential businesses (B&B's etc) They may have advise as they appear to deal with Brits a lot.
Thanks for your replies
You can certainly buy a property in Florida...but you cannot operate it as a B & B without the appropriate visa. Without a visa you can only visit the US for 90 days...you cannot live, work or operate a business here.
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Old May 1st 2014, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Nothing to stop you buying property a business whatever.

But as you want to live in the US and operate it and have no way of doing so it would be pretty pointless.
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Old May 1st 2014, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Originally Posted by FeistyFi View Post
I am planning to relocate after I've sold my property here in Scotland.
Do not sell your property until after you know for certain that you have a viable path to live/work in the US. You can't live or work in the US without permission - and that permission comes in the form of a visa. The type of visa you get will determine what you are allowed or not allowed to do.


I presently run a guest house here and would like to do similar in US (as income)...
Generally speaking, there are 3 main visa categories: family-based, employment-based, and investment-based. Others have given you the link to Pulaski's wiki... I suggest you read it and the links thoroughly, in order to familiarize yourself with the various types of visas and their processes. From what you've written, you don't seem to fit either the family- or employment-based visa categories... which leaves investment-based.


I have checked out various websites including immigration but just really want a simple 'yes, possible or not' before I spend hours on line...
Since you ask, yes - it's possible. That said, an investment-based visa will likely be both expensive and time consuming. I've no idea whether the expense and time involved will be worth it to you.


I would be doing this alone although have a feeling my youngest son may tag along !
If your son is under 21, that might happen... otherwise, he'll need his own visa and can't tag along on yours!

Everything starts with the visa... so don't make any plans until after you have a viable path to an appropriate visa. I'll add here that the #1 reason for failure is unrealistic expectations!

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Old May 1st 2014, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

She says she does not have money for investment and a B&B by itself will not cut it.

Last edited by Boiler; May 1st 2014 at 2:15 pm.
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Old May 1st 2014, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
She sais he does not have money for investment and a B&B by itself will not cut it.
I see that now - I was writing while y'all were still posting. Ah well.

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Old May 1st 2014, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

There is usually a reason why property is cheap in a certain area. If it was really a goldmine, that wouldn't be the case.

Why not carry on with what you know and enjoy great holidays in Florida
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Old May 1st 2014, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Thanks guys. I guess it's like Australia, Canada etc...all about the visa ...or if your'e a multi millionaire which sadly I am not! Back to the drawing board then.

Europe is an option...my two oldest sons are married to Spanish girls and I am very familiar with Spain and have lived there before but not interested in moving there now. I schooled in Australia but annoyingly my father never took out citizenship at the time, so that's out, pity as I love it there. I have a cousin in Cyprus but from what she's told me economically it's not a safe bet. I have family in New Jersey and Canada, but as you've all said a huge hurdle to get the appropriate (and probably impossible) visas. I do however want to relocate as can't take the winters here any more and want a challenge. If I don't make moves now I doubt I ever will. Wherever I move to I really need to be doing what I do now...use my property for an income, and anyway running B&B or hospitality is what I do best. I'm not spending my 'mature' years working in a bar just to be in the sun either so I'm quite limited. I'm aware however that if I make the wrong choices and they don't work out I'll use up all my capital (or worse be stuck with a property I can't sell) and have to eat humble pie and return to old Blighty.

Maybe I'm being too ambitious and as some one said to me recently, be careful what you wish for...but I think life is for living, we're dead a long time!

However any suggestions would be welcome. It's all food for thought...
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Old May 1st 2014, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Originally Posted by FeistyFi View Post
Thanks guys. I guess it's like Australia, Canada etc...all about the visa ...or if your'e a multi millionaire which sadly I am not! Back to the drawing board then.

Europe is an option...my two oldest sons are married to Spanish girls and I am very familiar with Spain and have lived there before but not interested in moving there now. I schooled in Australia but annoyingly my father never took out citizenship at the time, so that's out, pity as I love it there. I have a cousin in Cyprus but from what she's told me economically it's not a safe bet. I have family in New Jersey and Canada, but as you've all said a huge hurdle to get the appropriate (and probably impossible) visas. I do however want to relocate as can't take the winters here any more and want a challenge. If I don't make moves now I doubt I ever will. Wherever I move to I really need to be doing what I do now...use my property for an income, and anyway running B&B or hospitality is what I do best. I'm not spending my 'mature' years working in a bar just to be in the sun either so I'm quite limited. I'm aware however that if I make the wrong choices and they don't work out I'll use up all my capital (or worse be stuck with a property I can't sell) and have to eat humble pie and return to old Blighty.

Maybe I'm being too ambitious and as some one said to me recently, be careful what you wish for...but I think life is for living, we're dead a long time!

However any suggestions would be welcome. It's all food for thought...
Having lived in the US for 18 years...if it's a choice between the US and the UK...I know where I'd rather be and it isn't the US.
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Old May 1st 2014, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

Guess it depends where in the US...but I know (I think) what your'e saying, it is quite a different mentality and one thing that worries me is health insurance. If nothing else this forum may just make me realise old Blighty ain't so bad!!
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Old May 1st 2014, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Buying property in Florida....

If you are income poor but capital rich Obamacare works.
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