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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 5th 2021, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
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 ?
How would you propose to do that? If your place is on a website like AirBnB or that of a holiday management company, it will be open to anybody in the world and you can't exclude certain nationalities, so not sure how feasible that idea is tbh.

I agree with the above on the wear and tear thing, our general rules is to halve the time we'd expect something to last with guests going in - i.e. if you would expect a kitchen to last 10 years in your own home, then assume 5 years in a holiday rental. Ours is a high end rental and we don't rent to single sex parties or youngsters, but even so people just don't care and will happily trash the place, we've had windows ripped off hinges, carpets burned, decking burned, wooden flooring torn up, and one memorable year got through 3 fridges! A deposit will help with that, but it's still a hassle factor you don't need having to get it replaced. So do make sure you factor that to your calculations and include the time for somebody to go in and replace whatever it is that needs replacing (often on an 'emergency rate' as you don't find out about it until the cleaners go in, so only have a few hours to fix it before the next guests).
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
How would you propose to do that? If your place is on a website like AirBnB or that of a holiday management company, it will be open to anybody in the world and you can't exclude certain nationalities, so not sure how feasible that idea is tbh.

I agree with the above on the wear and tear thing, our general rules is to halve the time we'd expect something to last with guests going in - i.e. if you would expect a kitchen to last 10 years in your own home, then assume 5 years in a holiday rental. Ours is a high end rental and we don't rent to single sex parties or youngsters, but even so people just don't care and will happily trash the place, we've had windows ripped off hinges, carpets burned, decking burned, wooden flooring torn up, and one memorable year got through 3 fridges! A deposit will help with that, but it's still a hassle factor you don't need having to get it replaced. So do make sure you factor that to your calculations and include the time for somebody to go in and replace whatever it is that needs replacing (often on an 'emergency rate' as you don't find out about it until the cleaners go in, so only have a few hours to fix it before the next guests).
Hi, my point with that was connected to people not leaving the premises mentioned by Glasgowgirl, which no one would want.

I am happy to take on board any knowledge about how people trash places, as that's real life experiences we don't have. The thread is perfectly serving the purpose I was hoping for.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
Hi, my point with that was connected to people not leaving the premises mentioned by Glasgowgirl, which no one would want.
Exactly, and that's what I meant by my response - there is no (legal) way of you excluding certain nationalities, so you can't know that all of your holiday lets would be people from abroad that have flights to catch. I'd think the chances of anybody deciding to squat there would be fairly slim though.

Glad the thread is helping, owning a holiday let has certainly opened my eyes! It's been worth it for us but it's only 3 hours away and we can use it ourselves for the odd weekend as well as holidays, so that's one big advantage. But it's amazing how some people treat somewhere that they've rented, they seem to think that means they can do what they like with it! Some people are super respectful and will even clean it before leaving, others just don't care. The worst ones were the decking I mentioned above (BBQ tipped over on it, they left the hot coals and then we had to replace the whole lot, so their deposit didn't even come close) and the idiot people that decided to move sofas outside on to the patio. In England. Which of course then got rained on when they went to bed drunk! So that was another few grand on replacing those.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Mar 5th 2021 at 9:36 am.
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Exactly, and that's what I meant by my response - there is no (legal) way of you excluding certain nationalities, so you can't know that all of your holiday lets would be people from abroad that have flights to catch. I'd think the chances of anybody deciding to squat there would be fairly slim though.

Glad the thread is helping, owning a holiday let has certainly opened my eyes! It's been worth it for us but it's only 3 hours away and we can use it ourselves for the odd weekend as well as holidays, so that's one big advantage. But it's amazing how some people treat somewhere that they've rented, they seem to think that means they can do what they like with it! Some people are super respectful and will even clean it before leaving, others just don't care. The worst ones were the decking I mentioned above (BBQ tipped over on it, they left the hot coals and then we had to replace the whole lot, so their deposit didn't even come close) and the idiot people that decided to move sofas outside on to the patio. In England. Which of course then got rained on when they went to bed drunk! So that was another few grand on replacing those.
Yes it's definitely been very worthwhile and I am relaying this all to my wife. Our 'plans' have dramatically decreased since their inception !

To conclude my point about renters not leaving, that was on the basis of a management company renting it to a US based couple, maybe snowbirds, and they not wanting to move out. Yes, people holidaying from across the world you'd have no control on who stayed their.

Ps, my wife is one of those who cleans before the cleaners come in on leaving !
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Old Mar 5th 2021, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Another option would be a motor home or travel trailer. Many great deals available for used and plenty of businesses that store when not in use. Would also give you the chance to see more of country.
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Old Mar 6th 2021, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Thought I'd check in, so having spoken to my wife out reformed plan is to do the B2 visa (hopefully if we are allowed) and do up to the 6 month allowed in a rented house, well certainly for the first couple of years if our finances remain the same.

Renting isn't the easiest thing to accept for us as we've never done it and you are just literally spending a big amount like a long holiday, but plenty on herehave cautioned against owning then renting, so we are taking that on board. I suspect if we can ever buy a house, if we wanted to, then we'd sway away from renting it out to people apart from friends/family, as we definitely don't want the hassle/stress of what others may do to it.

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Old Mar 6th 2021, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
Thought I'd check in, so having spoken to my wife out reformed plan is to do the B2 visa (hopefully if we are allowed) and do up to the 6 month allowed in a rented house, well certainly for the first couple of years if our finances remain the same.

Renting isn't the easiest thing to accept for us as we've never done it and you are just literally spending a big amount like a long holiday, but plenty on herehave cautioned against owning then renting, so we are taking that on board. I suspect if we can ever buy a house, if we wanted to, then we'd sway away from renting it out to people apart from friends/family, as we definitely don't want the hassle/stress of what others may do to it.

Good idea. It will also help you to decide if you really do want to spend six months at a time in Florida -- or more especially, Orlando. I will be very different from a vacation trip.
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Old Mar 8th 2021, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by davidtoft View Post
Hi Excpomea

Are you a Floridian ?

Also, how did you get stung with a big HOA fee, are they not set in stone from the outset?
Yes I'm a Floridian, been here 21 years. Retired from the RN.
We had a place, 2nd home, holiday home, rental property on the Intercoastal. That's an inland waterway, about a mile from the beach in Ft Lauderdale.
Main home is in Tallahassee, Northern Florida.
The monthly condo fees paid to the association were $500 P/M. That was on top of any tax $3500 P/Y and a mortgage.
The condo board, 5 members that represented the rest of us liked to spend money they didn't have.
My guess is they sat around watching Home and Garden TV looking for ideas on how to 'improve' the property.

This would cause a special assessment to be voted on by the 5 members. Sometimes, $2000 per unit sometimes $10000 per unit. It was impossible to budget for.
This was on top of the regular monthly payment to the very health reserve balance.
It was a nightmare that we endured for 12 years. We finally managed to sell the property to a developer.
Had to be a cash buyer as there were too many rental properties within the association and the banks would no longer finance a mortgage on any of the units.

Worst financial mistake of our lives. In the end I figure we lost about $250,000 over the 12 years,

Huge relefe when that was sold.



Last edited by excpomea; Mar 8th 2021 at 4:21 pm.
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Old Mar 8th 2021, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Another big expense is homeowners insurance in Florida. Even if you have an inland property you pay extra to cover those in a more hurricane prone area. If I was planning to spend 6 months a year in Florida and wanted to avoid high rent I would definitely look into an RV. A hardly used travel trailer can be purchased very cheaply and stored when not in use. You could probably even pay to have moved yearly from storage to site without having to own a large pickup truck.
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Old Apr 8th 2021, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Hi Guys,

I've literally just joined this forum but felt compelled to contribute as this thread as it is particularly relevant to me because I have rented out a Condo apartment in FL for the last 20 years.

Here are my expenses for 2020 (December End)

HOA : $5,671
Property Insurance : $ 1,876
State Tax (Council Tax) : $2,743

Total Outlay For 2020 : $10,290

This excludes management fees, Aircon service and any internal maintenance costs.

I'm currently in the process of selling it (hoping to close end of June provided the Association approves the new buyer) and I'm on here researching the dreaded FIRPTA. Which basically means I'll loose 15% of the net sale value of the property to the IRS.

As I am on a research mission, I've not digested this thread completely but these are facts I have personal experience of :

HOA fees
These are not set in stone and increase on an annual basis (hopefully not more than 10%)

Assessments
These are financial demands from a condo association to cover expenses not covered by your regular HOA fees and can be dropped on you at any time (eg, replacement roof, external building works anything within the associations responsibility). If you don't pay, a lien is placed on your property and you could be forced to sell it to cover the lien.

State Tax - The equivalent of our council tax and being non resident, it is extortionate with annual increase of roughly 5%.

Be aware EVERYTHING cost a lot of money. Eg, I needed a new water/emersion heater (I'm British) and it cost me the best part of $1,000 plus a fee for a permit from the local council equivalent. $800 to have a new toilet supplied and fitted.

Unless you have very, very deep pockets and can annually right off $15k a year in maintenance, I wouldn't be looking at a second home in Florida.

If my new membership allows, I'm happy to answer any question.

Last edited by Freydad; Apr 8th 2021 at 5:44 pm.
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Old Apr 9th 2021, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

FIRPTA is a fun one for sure, put in place to stop foriegn person running off with their capital gains and the IRS never getting their share of capital gains taxes. You then have to file taxes the next year and if the actual amount of capital gains tax is less then you get a refund. I'm guessing the IRS got left without a payment too many times and put the process in place.
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