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Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Old Mar 4th 2021, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Er, you are on British Expats!!!
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Er, you are on British Expats!!!
There are a couple of people on this thread seemingly who are from Florida that came across as being Americans, but I may have misunderstood them.

With regards to doing stuff in the UK and the B2 visa. I am just 47 and realise that visa is way off, until I retire at least, but it is the only visa I am aware of where I might be able to say up to around 6 months without being sponsored or working there. I need to know really what my options are should I want to do it, as that seems the only option for that length of time.

Re the weather, yes it's possible to go out and do stuff, I have two kids and an allotment for a start. The football is called off plenty at weekends due to pitches being too wet to play on, both days of a weekend, and my allotment becomes dormont from about late October until around this time. Shove in the fact that no matter what outside activity you want to do will 70-80% of the time mean you are cover in mud.

I like to run and that's absolutely fine, but when it's bitterly cold and/or pouring with rain it's not hard to get disheartened. We all need reasons do want to do things, mine rightly or wrongly is to be able to plan a day out, go to a beach, do a bbq, go for a run/walk, visit a theme park without massively worrying that the weather is going to completely wipe out a whole day or days in one go.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Well I have never been to Florida but remember being in Mexico and there were some people staying in the same place complaining about the lack of AirCon, from what I could gather they lived in AirCon, houses, cars, shops. Not sure I saw the point.

Anyway they moved to a Hotel with AirCon. It wasn't that hot.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Must say I was a little 'surprised' by last couple of long term posters replies. Not really something a newcomer would want to see.... Only my opinion!!
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Floridablues View Post
Must say I was a little 'surprised' by last couple of long term posters replies. Not really something a newcomer would want to see.... Only my opinion!!
While there is the usually discouragement of people moving to Florida in the thread, healthcare costs are usually brought up, as they can be a much bigger issue than most of the ones mentioned.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

18 years here and rode my 'luck' with the lack of health insurance. Now I'm at seniors age I, at least have Medicare. First learning 'curve' for me 15 years ago, was when i trod on a staple pin skirting board/baseboard nail which only just broke the skin through my foot protecting flip flops. Infection and a $1,500 bill for a tetnus/antibiotic shot which was massively reduced as I paid cash because I had no health insurance coverage!
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Floridablues View Post
18 years here and rode my 'luck' with the lack of health insurance. Now I'm at seniors age I, at least have Medicare. First learning 'curve' for me 15 years ago, was when i trod on a staple pin skirting board/baseboard nail which only just broke the skin through my foot protecting flip flops. Infection and a $1,500 bill for a tetnus/antibiotic shot which was massively reduced as I paid cash because I had no health insurance coverage!
then you had time to pay SS and in to Medicare, the OP won’t if he is a retiree.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
then you had time to pay SS and in to Medicare, the OP won’t if he is a retiree.
... and there is the next big cost. Presume one would not get a normal US health insurance policy if you are only 'visiting' for 6 months.
So one would have to get an international one or maybe a form of travel insurance to cover you for the 6 months in the US?
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
... and there is the next big cost. Presume one would not get a normal US health insurance policy if you are only 'visiting' for 6 months.
So one would have to get an international one or maybe a form of travel insurance to cover you for the 6 months in the US?
From a practical standpoint unless very well off, may have to just chance it. Retirement age insurance would be nearly prohibitively expensive. Just be ready to return to U.K. for treatment and self pay for unavoidable US health expenses. Another good reason not to own property that could be attached. Most hospitals are willing to work with patients to get what they can especially if the person has no easy to grab assets.
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Old Mar 4th 2021, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
... and there is the next big cost. Presume one would not get a normal US health insurance policy if you are only 'visiting' for 6 months.
So one would have to get an international one or maybe a form of travel insurance to cover you for the 6 months in the US?
Long term travel insurance. Problem is premiums increase with age, same with any health conditions. 10 years ago we paid approx £1K for insurance for my 80 yr old MIL to visit us in NJ for 2 weeks.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Agree on the healthcare situation. This will likely be your biggest cost and concern. You really need to explore that as a priority, especially as you would be in the older age range when you attain this goal.

I do not own rental property in Florida but I do elsewhere in the country. You need to think about how you would manage your rentals. If short term you need excellent and prompt customer service as someone said earlier. Realistically you need a property management company if you are remote, and more so if you are in a different time zone. You will get constant contact sometimes because there is a problem like something is broken, or the cleaners overlooked something (people will complain about the most trivial things) but frequently because your guests do not understand how to make appliances work, run the A/C, washer/dryer, etc, or just have questions. People expect instant responses. Do not underestimate how time consuming that can be and how inconvenient it will be when you get a call in the middle of the night your time. A decent property management company will take care of all of that and manage bookings but will take about 1/3 of your income plus you will have to pay for repairs and maintenance, and as someone else said these maintenance costs are far more than you are used to in the UK. Do not forget US income taxes and the hassle of preparing them, home insurance, property taxes, and utility bills all of which will also be an order of magnitude more than you are used to in the UK. Landscaping maintenance will be another major expense. A property where an HOA takes care of the outside would make your life a whole lot easier if you go it alone and probably well worth the additional cost.

If a medium term rental then you need to think about how your will handle someone who does not leave the property when their agreement ends, or does not pay the rent. Using the courts to evict is a slow process and difficult if you are out of the country (or even the state). Also, think about the fact that renters will not treat your home as you would. You can expect the furniture, linen and houseware to be replaced much more frequently than if you were the only user. You may get frustrated at the wear and tear in your home each time your arrive for an extended stay.

As others have said, think about renting medium term from someone else. You avoid the significant hassle and costs involved with rentals, and by the time you pay for all the recurring costs as an absent landlord I doubt you will come out ahead. If buying as an investment or to save money I would look at drawing up a budget for all your costs, add some contingency and then convince yourself that this is the best investment you can find.

Also, you may find that you do not like Florida for longer periods as much as you do for shorter periods. There are so many amazing places to visit in the US it seems a shame to tie yourself to Florida.

Owning as an out of country landlord works for some, but many people regret the decision. I guess the key is to go into it fully aware and with your eyes wide open. If this is your dream you can make it work but it will take quite the commitment in terms of time and money. Good luck, I hope it works out for you.




Last edited by Glasgow Girl; Mar 5th 2021 at 12:29 am.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
We are naturally attracted by the weather, if you were from the UK you'd understand.
Understand why one would want to live in Florida for six months of the year because of the weather? Well, I wouldn't and I'm most definitely from the UK. Of course, I do realize everyone's different.

More seriously, tons of reasons to go the rental route imo.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Mar 5th 2021 at 1:07 am.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 7:23 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
There are a couple of people on this thread seemingly who are from Florida that came across as being Americans, but I may have misunderstood them.

With regards to doing stuff in the UK and the B2 visa. I am just 47 and realise that visa is way off, until I retire at least, but it is the only visa I am aware of where I might be able to say up to around 6 months without being sponsored or working there. I need to know really what my options are should I want to do it, as that seems the only option for that length of time.

Re the weather, yes it's possible to go out and do stuff, I have two kids and an allotment for a start. The football is called off plenty at weekends due to pitches being too wet to play on, both days of a weekend, and my allotment becomes dormont from about late October until around this time. Shove in the fact that no matter what outside activity you want to do will 70-80% of the time mean you are cover in mud.

I like to run and that's absolutely fine, but when it's bitterly cold and/or pouring with rain it's not hard to get disheartened. We all need reasons do want to do things, mine rightly or wrongly is to be able to plan a day out, go to a beach, do a bbq, go for a run/walk, visit a theme park without massively worrying that the weather is going to completely wipe out a whole day or days in one go.
Even here out West I can't remember when we had a full day of rain and it's certainly not a harsh winter. Apart from that, even the climate can change, it rains in Florida and life is life.
Although we own a holiday home in Spain and it's a lot easier, a sunseeker will always make mistakes and you need to look further than a few holidays. I once thought owning land in Abaco would be a good idea, but luckily I woke up and didn't end up signing. Take all advice you can get and look at all options rather than focusing on one option.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 8:52 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Glasgow Girl View Post
Agree on the healthcare situation. This will likely be your biggest cost and concern. You really need to explore that as a priority, especially as you would be in the older age range when you attain this goal.

I do not own rental property in Florida but I do elsewhere in the country. You need to think about how you would manage your rentals. If short term you need excellent and prompt customer service as someone said earlier. Realistically you need a property management company if you are remote, and more so if you are in a different time zone. You will get constant contact sometimes because there is a problem like something is broken, or the cleaners overlooked something (people will complain about the most trivial things) but frequently because your guests do not understand how to make appliances work, run the A/C, washer/dryer, etc, or just have questions. People expect instant responses. Do not underestimate how time consuming that can be and how inconvenient it will be when you get a call in the middle of the night your time. A decent property management company will take care of all of that and manage bookings but will take about 1/3 of your income plus you will have to pay for repairs and maintenance, and as someone else said these maintenance costs are far more than you are used to in the UK. Do not forget US income taxes and the hassle of preparing them, home insurance, property taxes, and utility bills all of which will also be an order of magnitude more than you are used to in the UK. Landscaping maintenance will be another major expense. A property where an HOA takes care of the outside would make your life a whole lot easier if you go it alone and probably well worth the additional cost.

If a medium term rental then you need to think about how your will handle someone who does not leave the property when their agreement ends, or does not pay the rent. Using the courts to evict is a slow process and difficult if you are out of the country (or even the state). Also, think about the fact that renters will not treat your home as you would. You can expect the furniture, linen and houseware to be replaced much more frequently than if you were the only user. You may get frustrated at the wear and tear in your home each time your arrive for an extended stay.

As others have said, think about renting medium term from someone else. You avoid the significant hassle and costs involved with rentals, and by the time you pay for all the recurring costs as an absent landlord I doubt you will come out ahead. If buying as an investment or to save money I would look at drawing up a budget for all your costs, add some contingency and then convince yourself that this is the best investment you can find.

Also, you may find that you do not like Florida for longer periods as much as you do for shorter periods. There are so many amazing places to visit in the US it seems a shame to tie yourself to Florida.

Owning as an out of country landlord works for some, but many people regret the decision. I guess the key is to go into it fully aware and with your eyes wide open. If this is your dream you can make it work but it will take quite the commitment in terms of time and money. Good luck, I hope it works out for you.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed response, it was very interesting.

I was sort of aware of the majority of that without all the details. We've seen some Condos on gated communities which have high HOA fees a month but say all you need to pay for is electricity, as all other aspects are covered in that fee like wifi, maintenance, trash etc. I am investigating more about that, as it doesn't mention the care/repair of AC units.

Most interesting was the part about renters not moving out. I think we'd only rent out to people holidaying from the UK/Overseas meaning they'd need to return. Would that correct that potential problem ?
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 9:06 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

An additional question, as this is all very interesting and helping build a proper picture of what I can expect, has anyone long-term rented a place, ideally in Florida, and how much did you pay?

If a B2 visa is around when I retire and me and my wife can qualify for it, I believe it's valid for all but a few days of six months, that's the span of time I am looking to stay.

The only issue with that, and it's not a potential killer, is that renting is just giving money away that's not coming back. If you own, you'll clearly lose money after buying a place outright, but not in one hit, over a length of time, so instead of burning say 6-8,000 dollars each year just on rent before anything else, you may lose £2000 a year if you own and rent out on the assumption you get some money in from holidaying people.
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