Buying guides


Here are some of the most common questions we receive:

How easy is it to purchase property for sale in Florida?

Purchasing a property anywhere in the continental USA is in general terms far less complicated than virtually any other country in the world. Florida is very much a “user friendly state” giving the buyer an extremely easy and safe approach to home ownership. The single most important factor is to ensure that you use the services of a fully licensed Real Estate Brokerage. escape2usa only work with fully licensed Real Estate professionals in Florida. We will oversee the complete transaction from the time that you arrive in Florida to when your home is ready for occupation. This includes the following:

  • Helping you to find the most suitable property for sale in florida.
  • Handling the legal aspects of the purchase.
  • Monitoring construction and taking photographs.
  • Liaising with the mortgage broker and ensuring that the final paperwork is in order.
  • Carrying out the pre-occupation inspection, coordinating the delivery of furnishings, organizing the connection of all services and arranging the final occupation licenses.

These services are completely free to all of our customers

I am concerned that when I visit Florida I may not view the best properties for sale that are suitable for my personal requirements. How can I be sure that any decision I take is in my best interest?

This is a concern shared by many prospective purchasers. The best possible assurance you can have is to ensure that you select a company that is totally independent and can therefore offer you impartial and unbiased advice on every aspect of property purchase and management. It is essential that a company is highly knowledgeable and expert in all aspects of purchasing a property, has excellent relationships with all major developers, and can provide a professional and reliable management service with a proven track record of providing high levels of rental income. escape2usa and their associates, have several decades of experience in Florida real estate, and are without doubt the leading company for sales and management of property for sale in Florida.

How much deposit do I require to reserve property for sale in Florida?

In most instances, a “good faith deposit” of just $1000 will be sufficient to reserve a florida property and fix the price. Furthermore, we will guarantee to refund any deposit paid, for whatever reason, at any time up to exchange of contracts.

Is it easy to obtain a mortgage in Florida?

Subject to status, obtaining a mortgage in Florida is relatively straightforward. Loans of up to 70% are available for non-residents, and are secured against property for sale in Florida. Obtaining a US mortgage has become more difficult since the credit crunch in and loans of 80% or even 90% are no longer available. There are several mortgage programs currently available where you can choose a fixed or variable rate mortgage. Repayment terms range from 5 to 30 years with no age restrictions. We can ensure that you obtain the most suitable and competitively priced mortgage relative to your personal requirements.

Are there any other costs that I should be aware of, in addition to the purchase price?

If you intend to let your property in florida when you are not using it, you will need to comply with local legislation. This includes obtaining a hotel/lodging license and ensuring that safety features such as commercial grade fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and emergency lighting are fitted. Wherever possible, we insure that these costs are included in the final price.
For all purchasers using a mortgage, there are closing costs to be paid. These are costs incurred when completing the purchase of a home. At the beginning of the loan process there is a fee for the credit report and appraisal, usually they are approximately $300 to $500. As the loan completes there are other expenses to be paid, such as the mortgage set-up fee, legal costs associated with the purchase and registration of the property, title insurance, and various pre-paid items, such as 12 months household insurance and association fee. As a guide, purchasers should allow around 5%-6% of the florida property’s total purchase price to cover all closing costs. This figure drops to around 1.5% if you buy your property for cash, as most of the costs are associted with the US mortgage.

I understand that there are certain rental restrictions in Florida- is this true?

Yes, due to the fact that Florida attracts so many families from the northern states, Canada and overseas, that spend only part of the year within its borders, there are many restrictions as to where and when short- term rentals are permitted. For instance, the four counties that make up the majority of greater Orlando, each have different rules relating to the letting of homes on a short-term basis. On the Gulf and Atlantic coast the restrictions are extremely complicated and specific. It is therefore essential to obtain correct professional advice and guidance as to the suitability of a particular community. escape2usa associates will ensure that the property for sale that you select is completely free from any such restrictions and is legally zoned.

How many weeks do I need to rent my home to cover all of the running costs?

This is dependent on the type of property chosen, the location and the amount and term of the mortgage. As a general guide, if you secure up to a 70% mortgage you will need to rent out your florida property for about 30 weeks per annum to break even on an average sized four-bedroom villa. If a fairly large home is selected it only takes another two or three weeks to cover the difference in out goings. A normal year of bookings will provide 21K-25K per year in rental income on a 4 to 5 bedroom home.

If I am purchasing a second home or “holiday” home that I intend to rent out, to what standards should I furnish the home?

Most of the builders deliver a complete package including all the furnishings, kitchenware and linens. Very few clients upgrade the standard furniture packages, as they are so comprehensive and attractive. For the builders that do not handle furniture, our interior designers will be pleased to show you several examples of furniture packages that provide excellent value for money.

So how do I know which management company to appoint?

This is not an easy question to answer. Appointing a professional management company to manage and maintain your home in your absence is vital. If you intend to rent out your Florida property, it is also important to use the services of a company that will provide you with high levels of occupancy throughout the year, ensuring that you obtain the best possible returns. We can recommend management companies that have an enviable track record of providing owners with a comprehensive, professional and totally reliable service.

Do I need to use a lawyer for my property purchase?

We strongly recommend that you engage the services of a fully independent lawyer to oversee and advise on your property transaction.

Am I covered by insurance in the event of damage to my Florida property?

We help our clients obtain the most comprehensive policies from several of the nation’s leading underwriters. If you are letting your home, the management company should also make provision to obtain a security deposit from each group of guests on their arrival to cover all accidental breakages.

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

This is dependent on both individual circumstances and whether you intend to rent out the property. We will be pleased to discuss the implications with you prior to you visiting Florida, and can provide advice on the best methods of making your investment tax efficient.

Is purchasing a property in Florida a sound investment?

Providing that you purchase the correct type of property, in a location that is suitable, real estate in Florida can be one of the best investments currently available anywhere.

I would like to book an inspection visit with your company-how much notice do I need to give you?

Simply contact us using the contact page with your preferred dates for travel and we will book flights, car hire and accommodations for you. Depending on the time of year, we can normally make the necessary arrangements with just a few days notice. However, at certain times, particularly Christmas, Easter and all school holidays, we may require longer notice to ensure flights and accommodations are available.

I have booked a fly-drive holiday to Florida but need to arrange accommodations-can you help me?

Yes, we have a wide range of property available within our rental program, and can reserve accommodations for you at discounted prices. Simply telephone one of our offices, give us your travel dates and type of accommodation you would prefer, and we will make all the necessary arrangements for you.

property search

    advanced search »

    Tweets by @escape2usa_couk

    usa property newsletter

    Join our Florida property newsletter to receive our latest discounted properties.

    join »