Purchasing South Florida Property

Q: I live outside of the United States, can I purchase properties in South Florida?
A: Yes, the South Florida real estate market is extremely friendly and open to international buyers. In fact, Miami is the No.1 destination in U.S. for international property buyers and investors due to its unique location, limited landmass, market transparency and capital appreciation. According to the Miami Association of Realtors, an estimated 60 percent of home sales in South Florida involve a foreign buyer. International buyers from Canada, Latin America and Europe make up a large percentage in Miami real estate market. However, Chinese buyers have become a major force that drives up the traffic of international buyers.

Q: What are the U.S. requirements or restrictions for an international buyer?
A: The United States has very few restrictions on international real estate buyers and investors. As an international Buyer purchasing property in the United States, you can acquire, transfer, or be involved in a real estate transaction without the permission or approval from any federal, state, or local governmental entity. As an international Buyer you may take title to your property in various legal formats such as your own name, a U.S. domestic or a non-U.S. foreign corporation, a limited liability company (“LLC”) or partnership. We have a best-in-class network of legal and tax advisors to structure the legal holding format that best fits your needs.

Q: What is the best way to search property in the South Florida real estate market?
A: In the U.S., property listings are available to all real estate agents. As member of the Miami Association of Realtors and the Florida Realtors Association, Florida Brokers has access to all properties in the Miami marketplace as well as all the properties available for sale in Florida. We show our clients every available Miami or Florida property tailored to their needs. We can assist you with professional property search in Miami and provide with the most updated property information.

Q: To buy a real estate property in South Florida should I use a real estate agent?
A: Yes. The process of buying a property in South Florida involves an understanding of the neighborhoods, a thorough knowledge of the Condo buildings, performing property research and analysis, contract negotiation and preparation, selection of lawyers, insurance providers, mortgage brokers, etc. It is suggested that international buyers should use professional Buyer’s Agent services rather than trying to purchase a property on their own. We have the expertise and years of experience to provide professional, unbiased and personalized consulting service to our international clients. In Miami and the whole Florida, the Seller instead of the Buyer pays all transaction commissions. Therefore, our clients with the need of property purchase will receive our service at no cost!

Q: In purchasing a South Florida property, is there any closing cost to expect?
A: Yes. Both Buyers and sellers need to pay closing costs on a real estate transaction. For the Buyer, this expense is approximately 1.5% to 2.0% of the purchase price if paid in cash. If the Buyer uses bank financing, then the expense is approximately 3.5 to 5.0% of the purchase price.

Q: As a foreigner, can I purchase a South Florida property with bank financing?
A: Yes. For a portion of the property purchase price, there are bank-financing options available for international Buyers. Each bank has its own credit and lending amount guidelines. We have a best-in-class network of bank or mortgage broker to obtain the best financing that fits your needs.

Q: How can I be sure that the property that I am purchasing has free and clear title?
A: The title company is going to issue you a Warranty Deed and provide you a Title Insurance. A deed is a written instrument that transfers the title of property from one person to another. Although many types of deeds exist, title is usually transferred by a warranty deed. A warranty deed provides the greatest protection to the purchaser because the grantor (seller) pledges or warrants that he legally owns the property and that there are no outstanding liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances against it. A warranty deed is also a guarantee of title, which means that the seller may be held liable for damages if the grantee (buyer) discovers the title is defective.

Q: Does the International Buyer have to be present to close the deal?
A: No. At the closing of the transaction, the Buyer, or the new owner, is not required to be present. If the new owner is out of the Unites State, he/she needs to appoint a representative with a simple legal document named “Power of Attorney”. The appointed representative will have the right to close the deal on behalf of the new owner. This is the most common and convenient way to do the closing for international Buyers.

Q: What will be the on-going associated expenses after my purchase of South Florida property?
A: There are two primary expenses to consider for owning a South Florida property. 1) Monthly association or maintenance fees. This is paid to the condo association that covers your share of the operating costs for the property and its common areas, including property and casualty insurance. The association or maintenance cost usually is $5.50 to $7.00 per square meter, but also depends on the age of the condo building as well as the amenities available to the owners. 2) Annual real estate tax.

Q: As a South Florida property owner, do I pay income taxes to the U.S. government?
A: If you own your property in South Florida as a second home or vacation home you will not be required to pay any income tax related to the property. If the property is purchased for investment, then you must file a U.S. tax form declaring the rental income less the operating expenses including the association or maintenance fees, real estate taxes, property management fees and depreciation. Generally, at least within the first five to seven years of ownership, you will not pay any U.S. tax. We have the best-in-class network of qualified accountant or tax lawyer to better fit your need.

Q: What services does Florida Brokers provide and why should I choose Florida Brokers?
A: Florida Brokers is the premier real estate company in South Florida, boasting expertise and full service for all of your real estate needs. Whether you require assistance in sales or purchases or property management, your one stop real estate shop is right here.

Q: After I purchase an investment property, will you help me find a tenant?
A: In addition to servicing the property owner, Florida Brokers realizes that without qualified tenants, properties would generate no income. Florida Brokers has developed an extensive marketing plan, including web presence of over 30 web sites, on-site signage, newspaper advertisements, rental brochures, and most importantly, referral programs. Our average time frame for acquiring the right tenant for your property is 27 days. Our policies have been developed through years of experience. They are fair to tenants yet formulated for the protection of the property owner. For more detailed information of our services, please click Property Management.

Q: What is the commission that you charge for purchasing a property?
A: To be honest with you…0%. The seller is responsible for the transaction commission.

Q: If I would like a permanent residence for my family, would you help me with that?
A: Florida Brokers is more than happy to assist you in finding and purchasing your dream home. We have a professional and experienced team who can answer any questions you have regarding location, school systems, and community news.