The property prices were at their low in Florida, 2008-2010. Since then they have “recovered” quite a lot but they still are at a favorable level. So, how much would my own spot in the sun cost me?
That of course is impossible to answer; it all depends on the level you are prepared to invest. But, if we start to put together something at the lower end of the market, you can upgrade as far as you like. So let us assume you decide to try something out for a couple of years to find out if this part of Florida is your thing. What we are suggesting is forget about a sea-side house, let´s go for something which is a lot more simple to administrate. Let´s have a look at a condo with one, perhaps two bedrooms. Let us start with the numbers.
You have found a unit which seems to be a nice property in a good location:
The price for this unit is USD 150.000. Even if you can finance it with a loan from a US bank, it is usually a lot easier to finance it from your native country, meaning you intend to pay cash. So we are leaving that issue out of our calculations. And please remember, the price for a condo can also vary a lot, depending on a number of things. But in the beginning of 2019 this is (was…) a realistic suggestion.
So what we are coming down to is how to finance the annual running costs for the property. You intend to spend, at the most, 6 months a calendar year in your spot in the sun. This is because that is the longest time you are allowed to stay in the US on a tourist VISA. Any shorter time is a bonus because it will facilitate the financing of the running costs through even higher additional income opportunity.
Most likely, you will live in an area with a common community, which means you have an association which takes care of a number of the services for all the owners – from gardening to building insurances. This is a HOA (a Home Owners Association). A typical cost for this size of unit and a not too flashy community is USD 350,00 a month. To that you have property tax and electric power and you may even have management costs, if that is not included in the HOA fee.
You intend to rent out the unit during (at least) 6 months. This means that you only pay electric power yourself during 6 months, the tenant pays for the contracted months himself.
1 bedroom condo $150.000, 00
Inventory: furniture, kitchen equipment, linen (to the discretion of the owner )
- HOA fees, $350,00 a month $ 4.200,00
- Property tax: $ 1.000,00
- Power, 6 months, $ 450, 00
- TOTAL: $ 5.650,00
- $1.100,00 x 6 month $ 6.600,00
- Balance: +$ 950,00
Please note, these numbers are not exact, they just serve as a rough example. The point is to display to you that this type of investment can finance its own costs. And on top of that – the day you prefer to sell again – you will cash in the market value appreciation on top of the initial investment cost and you still haven´t had any maintenance costs during the time you have owned it.