What Intelligent Investors Should Know When Buying Property in Florida

Many smart Australian investors are focusing on Florida property in the USA as a hot spot to find properties at bargain basement prices. Why Florida? Of course, the great weather, the magnificent beaches, non-stop night life, and all the theme parks are definite attractions. When you add that housing prices in Florida hit their lowest average in 33 yearsrecently along with the fact that the sunshine state ranks fourth for population increases and seventh for employment growth rate, who wouldn’t want to invest there?

In November, Property Women offered their second USA tour for investors who wanted to see for themselves why Florida real estate presents potentially the opportunity of a lifetime. In just five days, adventurous participants visited five different cities – Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Fort Myers. The tour allowed potential investors to get a taste of what each location had to offer while experts guided them through all the intricacies of investing in foreign property.

“It was amazing how different the areas were and the variety of properties we saw,” says Property Women’s Rachel Barnes, who has purchased five properties in the US along with her partner, John Fowler. “We found some amazingly low priced, yet decent properties in the short time we were there.”

Since purchasing US property is a big step that should not be taken lightly, the tour answered questions and provided an introduction to a range of contacts to help educate potential investors. The following is a small sample of what they learnt on the tour:

  • Three bedroom, two bath homes in high-rent or highly populated areas are ideal investments and in demand by good tenants.
  • Renters gravitate to safe neighborhoods, so it’s also important to learn where not to buy. The housing bust has created declining neighborhoods with falling housing prices, declining populations, rising vacancies, and increased crime rates in some areas so it’s imperative buyers are aware of theplaces to avoid so they can invest wisely.
  • Since the US is a litigious country, many Australians choose to invest using a Limited Liability Company (LLC) instead of buying properties under their personal name. However, they should be aware of the difference this makes when it comes to attaining insurance.For example, when using an LLC to purchase property, liability insurance is not included and an extra policy is needed to protect an investment.
  • Participants saw firsthand why it’s so important to have someone trustworthy on the ground to check out properties. A good agent can catch potential pitfalls that can’t be seen on Google, such as uneven floors, and bad odours.
  • Participants learnt from a Title Company to be careful when purchasing a condominium. For instance, special condominium “endorsements” are often attached to the title insurance policy.These condominium documents must be read vigilantly, as they set forth all the rights, duties, and obligations of the unit owners.

About half the people on the tour made offers on property with the others expecting to follow suit now that they have some trusted contacts in the US. In addition, the participants were assisted in setting up specific banking products to get them on their way to building a good credit rating in America which will help them finance properties down the track.

Property Women is an independent company that does not sell property. As a result, there is no pressure to buy, although the opportunity and assistance is available for those who wish to invest.

Participants raved that the tour was a priceless experience where they were able to network, make new friends, learn invaluable lessons about buying in Florida and the US generally, and have fun at the same time. They unanimously advised anyone interested in investing in American property to join the next Property Women’s USA Tour.

Join the YIP Property Investor of the Year and meet some of the Property Women team on the next USA adventure starting (in Florida) on 30th April 2012!  Email:usa2012@propertywomen.com.au to register your interest today!
 

The above information is supplied by Property Women.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by sponsors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.

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