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Florida - The Sunshine State


For those looking for bang for their buck there is nowhere better than Florida. With incredible climate, expansive beaches and first class American infrastructure, when looking to purchase property abroad there really is nowhere else that will buy you quite so much for quite so little.

It is possible to find a 3 bed villa in central Florida for as little as €30,000. For the same price you can find a 1 bed condo, ideally located on the coast in some areas. Of course as with anywhere stateside and certainly in Florida, where there are good and obviously not quite so good area’s, it’s all about location, location, location. But for a discerning buyer that has researched their areas well, there are bargains to be had. In the wake of the sub prime blowout from a few years ago that brought Florida’s prices to a modern day low, it’s taken a while for prices to pick up again and it is still a buyer’s market.

Florida properties are an obvious choice for those looking for cheap retirement homes or families looking to buy a holiday home with an all year round investment from rental yields. Again, when thinking of monetizing property via rentals in Florida, it’s probably wise to spend a little bit more on the property and find something closer to amenities, beaches, golf and other such activities that holiday makers are looking for. If this can be achieved, there really is no reason why a canny buyer cannot have their property paying for itself before too long. For those looking to buy properties to rent out for at least a part of the year, Florida really is a fantastic choice as it is one of those places in the world that sells itself, as it is home to some of the world’s most popular attractions, boasting the Everglades, Universal Studios and of course, the world’s family favorite, Disney World.

Florida is also a place of many restaurants, great bars and nightlife, with stunning beaches that lend themselves to an enviable way of life for locals. Tourism is the largest sector of the state economy and the sunshine state attracts more than 60 million tourists every year, many from the USA’s own shores, from all over the world also. Along with Florida’s incredible climate, which usually extends through most of the year, snow being a rarity here, there are many types of wildlife. One can take coastal tours and see Bottlenose Dolphins, West Indian Manatee, North Atlantic Right Whale’s and Short Finned Pilot Whales. There are also the famous American Alligators and Crocodiles, notably the Eastern Diamond Back. There are Rattle Snakes, Gopher Tortoise and Leather Back Sea Turtles. There is also an abundant mammal population, including Wild Boar, Key dDear and White Tailed Dear. As for the bird population, the famous Bald Eagle, Osprey and Brown Pelicans can be found amongst many others.

Florida is a large area, more than sixty five thousand square miles and is the fourth most populated state in the USA, with just around about nineteen million people. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico and to it’s north, by Georgia and Alabama, on it’s east coast, the expansive Atlantic ocean. The major population centers that attract tourists and property buyers are Miami, Tampa, St Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale and the centrally located Orlando with it’s family orientated attractions.

If looking for the fast, glitzy city, with a skyline that lights up in the night with a buzz of neon, then Miami is the place to be. With it’s Hispanic influences and Deco inspired architecture, this city carries it’s own particular personality and is both a place to soak up a very relaxed and chilled out way of life, whilst also in contradiction, being the spring break capital for America’s youth and is known throughout the states as being a great place to party and have fun.

Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of Fort’s built by the United States during the second Seminole war, otherwise known as the Florida war, a conflict that went between 1835 and 1842 between various groups of Native Americans and the United States colonists. Over the last few hundred years it has slowly developed into one of Americas most enjoyed coastal areas. Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination with more than ten million visits per year and is the USA’s main yachting center with a staggering forty two thousand resident yachts moored in over a hundred marina’s. This is the place to come for boat enthusiasts.

Orlando is the natural choice for families seeking to relocate or find a second home or holiday property with rental potential. With over fifty million visitors a year, tourism is at the heart of it’s economy and here we find tourist attractions on an epic scale, Disney World, Univeral Studios (now with the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is sure to be favorite for many years to come) and the ever popular Sea World. It is worth noting that in around about August 2005 at it’s housing peak, the average property was selling for approximately $255,000 in Orlando. However, after the recent economic meltdown, the average house can now be found for approximately $95,000 (as of the beginning of 2011), which is just over €66,000. This is a sure fire place to attain a bargain for a large family property, enabling cheap holidays for years to come, whilst at the same time paying for itself or possibly even making a profit from it’s rental potential.

Obviously, and as mentioned before, if this is something of interest, ensure to research different areas well, whilst also ensuring to choose a property within easy distance of the cities main attractions.

Throughout the whole of the United States, it is really hard for anywhere else to compare to Florida in terms of value, lifestyle and rental potential. It is true to say that in these somewhat leaner times, cash is king and for those who have saved up, there is real leverage to be had for cash buyers.

Lets look at some of the main points to consider when taking those steps to buying a property in the sunshine state.
1. Pick a location wisely. This is the most important first step.
2. Enlist the help of a reputable realtor (property agent) that will guide you through the process.
3. It is prudent to allow for approximately 5% of the property value to cover costs such as notary fees, title insurer and any other various legal costs.
4. Once the ideal property has been found and price negotiated, it is usual for the purchaser to put down a deposit. It is at this point followed by a formal offer, accompanied with a purchase contract. Once this is signed, the sale is binding.
5. One of the most important criteria when purchasing property in the USA is timing. Contracts are usually date specific and should be adhered to, or risk losing your deposit.
6. It is possible to find finance in the USA as a foreign buyer and US mortgages are available from 70% - 80% loan to value.
7. Obviously it is up to the individual to fully understand all visa requirements, which will be needed for various durations of stay in the country.

By (July 15, 2011)
Florida Property sales | Florida vacation rentals | Florida Monthly lettings



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