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Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Old Apr 6th 2008, 4:30 pm
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Default Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Hi

We are considering buying a villa on the Gulf Coast. It will be primarily for our own use so rental is not the most important thing.

What we would like to know is :

1. Are the property prices in Florida still falling?
2. If we did buy a place how often could we visit each year and how long could we stay each time?
3. Would we ever be able to move there permanently or is it a no go?
4. Whats the best Gulf Coast area to buy?
5. How is the rental market currently, has that slowed down as well?

Any advice/guidance that current owners could give would be most appreciated.

Many Thanks
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Old Apr 6th 2008, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by carcuscrae View Post
Hi

We are considering buying a villa on the Gulf Coast. It will be primarily for our own use so rental is not the most important thing.

What we would like to know is :

1. Are the property prices in Florida still falling?
2. If we did buy a place how often could we visit each year and how long could we stay each time?
3. Would we ever be able to move there permanently or is it a no go?
4. Whats the best Gulf Coast area to buy?
5. How is the rental market currently, has that slowed down as well?

Any advice/guidance that current owners could give would be most appreciated.

Many Thanks
1/ Low ball your offers.
2/ Eighty-odd days a visit; spend at least as much time out as in. If you're of retirement age, you could apply for a B-2 and spend 170-odd days here instead -- otherwise known as snowbirds.
3/ Possible but unlikely. See here.
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Old Apr 6th 2008, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by carcuscrae View Post
Hi

We are considering buying a villa on the Gulf Coast. It will be primarily for our own use so rental is not the most important thing.

What we would like to know is :

1. Are the property prices in Florida still falling?
Yes
2. If we did buy a place how often could we visit each year and how long could we stay each time?
as above by FB
3. Would we ever be able to move there permanently or is it a no go?
basically no chance
4. Whats the best Gulf Coast area to buy?
Pick the area you like ..above Tampa is cheaper than below Tampa
the further south you go ..the hotter it gets
5
. How is the rental market currently, has that slowed down as well?
yes ..a lot ..winter lets for the snowbirds (US cits) Jan to Mar is good

Any advice/guidance that current owners could give would be most appreciated.
Property tax and insurance will horrify you ..keep away from the coast line
on the water is an Insurance nightmare

You will need a property manager ... pools and lawn have be attended to weekly

Electric and water bill are not cheap ..even if you not there ..

If you have the money ...great ...I love it here ...
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Old Apr 7th 2008, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Ouch...plenty more research needed before you bother to consider this...

Anyway, without knowing your rough age or occupation and place of birth, no way of knowing if you'll be able to get a visa or not...but there's a good guide in the wiki to get you started.

Plenty of threads here on cost of living....insurance, AC and property taxes will be just the start of your joys to an expensive money pit.
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 2:15 am
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Not much more to add from what Ray and FB have already said. If I was not resident here, my main concerns would be:

a. Hurricane Potential - if you are literally right "on" the Gulf Coast, a possible nightmare in the making - not only through insurance premium, but if the hurricane comes through during your 3 months out and not being able to get back in at immigration, etc etc etc - I can see potential drama there, so best to make sure you had a decent management company (who can also address the less dramatic things as Ray has mentioned). Moving inland a tad mitigates both risk and expense, but drops desirability somewhat, in the eyes of the masses.

b. Property Taxes - you stand to face substantial increases not being permanently resident (probably won't happen for a while though, given the market strength...which brings me onto c)

c. The market is crap right now, if you are thinking you need to rent it, think again. If not, fair enough, some bargains to be had, but be aware you may have to play the "long game" on it.

d. Regarding area, as Ray said, but bearing in mind moving permanently will be very very difficult if not completely impractical, I think your best bet is to try to find the right balance between affordability and desirability - do loads of research and find up and coming areas. Biased I may be, but Tampa reminds me of San Diego about 10 years ago, and I think that should the national economy manage to right itself, there's plenty more expansion to come yet. To my mind Tampa is already more of a fully functioning city area than, say, Sarasota and Naples, both of which I am not sure why are priced so high. Fort Myers a possible alternative to Tampa, I'd say. I don;t really know much about the panhandle, other than statistically, its more in the hurricane firing line.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Its seems as though its an expensive business buying in Florida if you are not a US citizen, all I want to do is live there, if only Britain was the a state like Hawaii
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
b. Property Taxes - you stand to face substantial increases not being permanently resident (probably won't happen for a while though, given the market strength...which brings me onto c)
Whats this substantial increase you mention?

Also how easy is it to get a visa if you try to get one by buying a US business?

Thanks
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post
Not much more to add from what Ray and FB have already said. If I was not resident here, my main concerns would be:

..........
You left out Healthcare...
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
You left out Healthcare...
I don't know, would travel insurance not cover it? If they are based in the UK and just bouncing back and forth?
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by carcuscrae View Post
Whats this substantial increase you mention?

Also how easy is it to get a visa if you try to get one by buying a US business?

Thanks
Basically if you are not resident, then the 3% annual property tax cap does *not* apply to you. So should the market take off again, it can quickly become a tax nightmare. This was discussed on another forum at length; the forum seems to have now disappeared, unless maybe Ray can point you in the right direction?

The small business angle is fraught with problems too, especially with regards to acquiring permanent status. Search E2 Visa to find out more. There is another Visa for big money investors (EB-5) - which is a far better bet, you might look that up to see if you qualify.

Last edited by Dan725; Apr 9th 2008 at 4:17 pm.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Gulf Coast Villa

Originally Posted by Dan725 View Post

The small business angle is fraught with problems too, especially with regards to acquiring permanent status. Search E2 Visa to find out more. There is another Visa for big money investors (EB-5) - which is a far better bet, you might look that up to see if you qualify.
wiki is a good starting point too...
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