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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 Jun 15th 2021, 4:45 pm
  #61  
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Consulates vary, sometimes significantly.

President can not cancel ESTA, that would require Congress.

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Old Jun 16th 2021, 8:23 am
  #62  
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Consulates vary, sometimes significantly.

President can not cancel ESTA, that would require Congress.
Yes Consulates vary but rules of entry to the US don't.

There's a lot of talk at the moment about when and how the US opens back up and I've read a lot of debate about the possibility of cancelling the ESTA program entirely, apparently its a bit of a political issue for some in congress and the pandemic may give them room to push for change, hopefully this doesn't happen.
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Howmuch View Post
There's a lot of talk at the moment about when and how the US opens back up and I've read a lot of debate about the possibility of cancelling the ESTA program entirely, apparently its a bit of a political issue for some in congress and the pandemic may give them room to push for change, hopefully this doesn't happen.
Some reference(s) would be helpful. For sure, ESTA has been suspended to varying degrees due to the pandemic but "cancelling the ESTA program entirely", I think not.
There is a vast difference between "a lot of talk" and being passed by Congress.
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Cancelling ESTA/VW would basically kill the bulk of US tourism from G7/G20 countries and maybe airlines for decades to come. The amount of embassy’s needed to process visas would be crazy and other countries would likely reciprocate by requiring visas for USC’s… and that’s assuming the average tourist would be willing to get a visa. Sure they can make changes, but I think it would be unlikely we don’t end up with some online process that authorizes travel and uses a VW like program on arrival even if it had a different name. I could see some ways to make it less prone to abuse, maybe adding an requirement to input trio details like length and where you will stay each night vs. address in first night of arrival. Would make it easier to spot those who are “living” here on VW vs actual tourists and business travelers. I have always thought the B1/B2 180 days and VW 90 day admission is long especially compared to other countries I have visited which give much shorter admissions. Something like the Indian e-visa could be a direction they could go: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

Last edited by tht; Jun 16th 2021 at 12:13 pm.
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Some reference(s) would be helpful. For sure, ESTA has been suspended to varying degrees due to the pandemic but "cancelling the ESTA program entirely", I think not.
There is a vast difference between "a lot of talk" and being passed by Congress.
Like I said it was only talk but there were news articles for what they are worth saying that there is political opposition to the ESTA programme in itself and this is being discussed on other forums as one of the possible reasons for the delay in the US opening up to ESTA countries whilst remaining open to countries who pose a greater risk regarding Covid.

I don't think this personally but do believe its more of a political football now than a public health issue.

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Old Jun 16th 2021, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

The banned Countries are not ESTA countries, some ESTA countries are not banned, some countries banned are not in ESTA.
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
The banned Countries are not ESTA countries, some ESTA countries are not banned, some countries banned are not in ESTA.
You are right but the overwhelming majority of countries that use the scheme are banned.

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Old Jun 16th 2021, 3:22 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?
I'm a Brit, US Citizen. Been in FL best part of 21 years.
Held the rental home for 15 years in Ft LAuderdale.
Selling that place was the happiest day of my life.

HOA fees are never 'set in stone'

Started at $200 pm when we sold it was closer to $600 pm

The Special assessments were a killer. At a minimum $1500 pa. Worst was a $10,000 assessment.
We had no choice in the matter, between the LGBT board and the management company we were raked over the coals.




Last edited by excpomea; Jun 16th 2021 at 3:25 pm.
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by excpomea View Post
I'm a Brit, US Citizen. Been in FL best part of 21 years.
Held the rental home for 15 years in Ft LAuderdale.
Selling that place was the happiest day of my life.

HOA fees are never 'set in stone'

Started at $200 pm when we sold it was closer to $600 pm

The Special assessments were a killer. At a minimum $1500 pa. Worst was a $10,000 assessment.
We had no choice in the matter, between the LGBT board and the management company we were raked over the coals.
The board are usually owners elected by owners and all have to pay the same (in proportion to ownership % / unit size). Not sure how their sexual preference impacts their board role?

The management company is usually selected by the board. The last condo I brought, I called an election and had fellow owners take control from the sponsor ASAP and replaced their managment company with one of our choice, and went through 3 or so before we settled on one we were happy with.

We implemented a special assessment for a few years to fund a lawsuit against the sponsors, we settled but got a good ROI on the legal fees.

While a special assessment can be annoying how is it any different than a freehold property owner who needs to replace a roof or central AC or re-do their driveway? If they are building an appropriate reserve it will actually avoid these types of big expenses.
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
The board are usually owners elected by owners and all have to pay the same (in proportion to ownership % / unit size). Not sure how their sexual preference impacts their board role?

The management company is usually selected by the board. The last condo I brought, I called an election and had fellow owners take control from the sponsor ASAP and replaced their managment company with one of our choice, and went through 3 or so before we settled on one we were happy with.

We implemented a special assessment for a few years to fund a lawsuit against the sponsors, we settled but got a good ROI on the legal fees.

While a special assessment can be annoying how is it any different than a freehold property owner who needs to replace a roof or central AC or re-do their driveway? If they are building an appropriate reserve it will actually avoid these types of big expenses.
I’m very surprised to hear these are owner managed when the fees are so crazy ?

I’m used to condo fees in Spain being no more than $150.00 a month which includes community gardening,pool upkeep, lift and building maintenance and often even security.

On Houses it’s generally much less.

When I first starting looking at Florida I was looking at properties north of Miami on the coast and soon went off the idea with some HOA fees we’ll over $1000 a month on the houses I was looking at, I just can’t get my head around that?

Pretty much everything south of Orlando has expensive HOA so ended up buying north of Orlando and pay zero HOA on one property and a couple of hundred dollars a year on the second for upkeep of the estates roads etc.

I was convinced it was some kind of racket run by developers in a kind of time share scam that people had been suckered into…
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Old Jun 16th 2021, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Howmuch View Post
I’m very surprised to hear these are owner managed when the fees are so crazy ?

I’m used to condo fees in Spain being no more than $150.00 a month which includes community gardening,pool upkeep, lift and building maintenance and often even security.

On Houses it’s generally much less.

When I first starting looking at Florida I was looking at properties north of Miami on the coast and soon went off the idea with some HOA fees we’ll over $1000 a month on the houses I was looking at, I just can’t get my head around that?

Pretty much everything south of Orlando has expensive HOA so ended up buying north of Orlando and pay zero HOA on one property and a couple of hundred dollars a year on the second for upkeep of the estates roads etc.

I was convinced it was some kind of racket run by developers in a kind of time share scam that people had been suckered into…
Maybe they have a more “timeshare” esk set up. But in a real condo the sponsor is pushed out once the majority of units are sold. They don’t have the votes to maintain control if the owners are smart enough to push them out.

What the fees are depends on what they pay for. In my city condo it was cleaning and maintenance of all the common elements, insurance .. water, gas, hot water, central heating / cooling of water supplied to “heat pumps/AC” in each unit, elevator maintenance and repair and when it needs a new roof it will have to pay for that… for me it’s about 25% of my monthly outgoing on that property… but if I owned a full building myself I would still have to pay all those costs.. the board is not paid so the only other real overhead is the managment company who collects the fees and organizes everting from employing staff to soliciting bids for board approval.

It had benefits like us being able to to negotiate a 30 unit 5 year agreement with Verizon to bring in fiber internet.. but you also have to have smart people on the board who bother to dig in to the details… question amount of supplies purchased used etc and fire the managment company when needed.

Last edited by tht; Jun 16th 2021 at 7:10 pm.
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Old Jun 17th 2021, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Curious to hear the difference, if any, from people that had 2nd homes that weren't condos, since a lot of the cons seems to be around HOA fees.
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Old Jun 17th 2021, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Tino View Post
Curious to hear the difference, if any, from people that had 2nd homes that weren't condos, since a lot of the cons seems to be around HOA fees.
Big difference, you have to upkeep the house yourself unless you are in a HOA that takes care of everything which costs a lots per month.

I was disparaging towards condo fees and was happy that I am not paying them but then read the above !!

While a special assessment can be annoying how is it any different than a freehold property owner who needs to replace a roof or central AC or re-do their driveway? If they are building an appropriate reserve it will actually avoid these types of big expenses.
I've had my holiday home for around 3 years and had to replace my indoor AC unit last year 2500 dollars, the driveway is lifting so I obtained a quote before the pandemic, 15000 dollars, my roof is now 20 year old which is old apparently in Florida and you will struggle to get insurance without replacing it every 15 to 20 years so now need to replace that when I get back and that's going to be way over 15000 dollars given its a big house, so spending 37500 dollars over 3 years isn't so cheap and I'm now no longer feeling so smug.....
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Old Jun 17th 2021, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

US houses aren't exactly built for low maintenance costs, especially in a climate like Florida's.
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Old Jun 23rd 2021, 8:42 am
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Default Re: Does anyone here from the UK have a Florida home ?

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
US houses aren't exactly built for low maintenance costs, especially in a climate like Florida's.
So I've been finding out, its wasn't too bad before Covid because I was there every month and as maintaining things all the time but with travel restricted I can't even get to the house now, being in Florida the AC has to be on all year around to keep humidity in check, thankfully I changed the AC thermostat to a wifi one and I can see that this is still functioning correctly and cooling the house.

I have a gardener cutting the grass and trimming bushes when needed.

Still not good leaving a house for a year in Florida which was never factored in when I bought the house, hopefully things change soon.
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