On the face of it, Florida seems like a great place in which to invest in real estate. Earning the well-deserved nickname of the Sunshine State, Florida, with its miles of perfect beaches, its vibrant metropolises with their iconic seafront boulevards, and its outstanding areas of natural beauty located inland, is one of the best-loved vacation spots in the mainland United States.
With so much on offer, it should come as little surprise that Florida is one of the most sought-after locations in the country for real estate. High demand, however, has not translated into extortionately high property prices, with many native Floridians still choosing the rent instead of buy. The cost of buying in Florida remains comparatively low compared to in other states, and there are still some real bargains to be had if you are prepared to shop around. Anyone looking to invest in their own slice of the Floridian sun should first consider a few key factors before they decide to take the plunge.
1. Location Is Everything
Florida is a bigger state than most people realize. Not all of it is as busy as the tourist hotspots of Orlando, Miami and the surrounding beach resorts. The north-western part of the state around Tallahassee further up the coast to Pensacola is much quieter and makes a more suitable buying location for those looking to avoid the Spring Break crowds. Other places that offer the chance for a quieter retreat include inland areas of the main peninsula, such as the tranquil Fort Meade or the picturesque northern town of Live Oak. If you are looking to enjoy the many benefits of a seafront property near a prime beach resort, you are looking at paying significantly more, although it may be worth your while if you are buying a holiday home.
2. Vacation Rental Market
The boom in online rental marketplaces like Airbnb has increased the viability of buying vacation homes in places like Florida. By renting your property out to tourists during most of the year when you’re not there, it’s possible to gradually recoup much of what you paid for it with a minimum of effort on your part. Indeed, the potential for income derived from the vacation rental market to cover mortgage payments is one of the reasons why buying in a location attractive to tourists makes good financial sense.
3. Robust Property Market
Real estate investment in Florida is relatively risk-free as far as buying property can be. House prices in Florida have shown steady growth since the financial crisis of 2008. Florida is booming economically and has a growing population, both of which are factors that are likely to support the housing market in the coming year as more business moves into the state and property demand goes up. Doing your research into potentially up-and-coming areas could yield large dividends in the next few years if you are buying with a view to selling on for a profit in a few years.
4. Easy Access
A great benefit of buying a vacation home in Florida is its fantastic transport links. The state is home to an incredible 13 international airport, making it the perfect location for buyers from across the States and abroad. Note that for European investors, you can travel and stay in the US for up to three months via an ESTA visa exemption (see an official ESTA guide here although it’s a good idea to keep up to date with any specific US regulations since for example, at the time of writing this article, the coronavirus has placed restrictions on these: see more at the official government site here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/).
All in all, Florida is a fantastic place to invest in retail, whether you are looking to move down permanently or become the owner of a property to escape to during vacations. The benefits far outweigh the costs for the majority of buyers. However, the same rules apply as when choosing a location to buy any new property – you should only buy if you feel totally comfortable that the property meets all of your specifications.
But if Florida isn’t tempting enough, Spain is a very popular choice in Europe for real estate investments since the weather year-round is extremely good and therefore popular with Europeans and international travellers alike. And there is a wide choice of property types from condos/apartments to luxury villas so Spain is an excellent choice for almost any budget. Plus it can be very profitable if you choose to rent your property via sites like Airbnb. Just like for Europeans travelling to the US, for Americans travelling to Europe, a visa exemption is allowed for a maximum of 3 months, but starting in January 2021, you’ll have to apply online for an ETIAS visa exemption.