Frequently Asked Questions

How easy is it to purchase a home in Florida?

Purchasing a home in America in general is much simpler than most countries. Due to the large number of overseas investors, this is even more so in Florida, which gives the buyer an easy and safe approach to home ownership.

How can I be sure that any decision I make is in my best interest?

Every prospective buyer should be concerned about this question. It is important to select a business as your Buying Broker which is independent of builders and developments, and so able to offer unbiased, impartial advice which is most likely to benefit you.

It is also a good idea when selecting a Real Estate Agent as your Buying Broker, to choose one like American Homes who also maintain a management company. Our relationship doesn't end when we give you the house keys, its just beginning, as such you can be assured we won't be feeding you false information. We are with you for the long term.

How much of a deposit is required to reserve a property?

Most of the time, a "good faith" deposit of around $1,000/$5,000 would be sufficient to secure the price and take the property off the market.

Is it easy to obtain a mortgage in Florida?

This is fairly straight forward in Florida. Loans of up to 90% of the purchase price of a property in Florida are available for both residents and non-residents of Florida. However, resident loans are usually around 80% of the property value, while non-resident loans are usually around 70%.

Are there any costs above and beyond the purchase price?

The extra costs will contribute to around a further 4% of the property price. These costs will include the closing cost when obtaining a mortgage, the credit report fee when taking out any loans. There will also be legal fees associated with the purchase of the property, title insurance, 12 months household insurance and the homeowners' association fee on the villa's subdivision.

What standard of furnishing should I select if I am going to rent out my villa on a short term basis?

Many off-plan villas will have inclusive furniture packages which are ideal for short term rentals. These packages include the furnishings, as well as the kitchenware and linens. Upgrades to these packages are available, though the quality of the furniture means that few people feel the need to spend the extra. If a furniture package is not included in the price, then it is possible to buy similar packages, allowing you to furnish the villa at a relatively low cost.

Are there rental restrictions in Florida?

Restrictions do apply in certain areas, but the rules vary radically between different areas, and American Homes can advise you on the suitability of the area in which the villa is situated, and how this relates to your needs before you invest.

How many weeks do I need to rent my villa out for to cover the running costs?

This is dependent upon the size and location of the property, as well as the size and time span of the mortgage. Though, on average, 30 to 34 weeks per year will generally be adequate.

What if guests damage my home during their rental period?

A security deposit is obtained from the guest prior to their arrival. After their stay in the villa there will be an inspection of the property before the deposit is returned to the guest. Any damage though will be deducted from the deposit prior to its return. If there is any damage which would cost in excess of the security deposit, then the difference would be claimed from the guest.

What are the tax implications of owning a villa in Florida?

This is entirely dependent upon your individual income and whether the purpose of the villa is to be rented out or not. American Homes can advise you on your specific circumstances.

Is purchasing a property in Florida a sound investment?

Providing the correct type of property is bought, and in a suitable location, then property investment in Florida is one of the best investments currently available worldwide.

Can I arrange to stay in one of your rental homes?

We would be happy to accommodate you, please visit our American Homes Villa Rentals web site for more information on the variety of villas we manage and offer for rent:

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Do you do subsidised inspection visits?

Yes if you wish to spend time in Florida exploring the possibility of buying your own "Piece of the Magic" please contact us for details of our inspection visit plan.