How to invest in Florida?

How to invest in Florida?

5 easy steps to get you started in the process of acquiring a property under the Floridian sun

1) You may have heard and read a variety of things about investing and/or living in Florida, some may be true and others just urban legends. The first thing to consider is to really know where you are standing financially speaking and what you are looking to achieve in the long run. Your options may totally be different whether you are looking to relocate with your family, be on your own, live part time of full time, or simply seeking an investment. For each scenario, there is a precise answer. Most importantly, you need to know who will be owning the property as it will have impacts on the right of survivorship and entitlement in case of incapacity or death:

  • Yourself alone
  • Yourself and your spouse
  • Yourself and your life partner (not married)
  • Yourself, your spouse (or life partner) and your children (adult or not)
  • A combination of different friends or partners
  • A separate legal entity such as an LLC or C corp.
  • A trust fund or any other legal entity

2) Being willing is very different from actually being administratively and financially ready in an approved sense of the matter. In today’s economy, many great bargains can be made especially through foreclosures and short sales but are you really ready to acquire a property abroad as soon as you see it?

Chances are more likely NO then YES. Sometimes, you might not have all the required funds available on the spot, as they may be contingent to an inheritance, the sale of your current home, a credit approval, a specific wealth management issue, etc. 

Foreign buyers or out of State investors may have little to no credit history. This reinforces their need to have a team of experts helping them open bank accounts and establishing their credibility. We can manage that for you without having you physically in the State of Florida.

Seasoning of the funds is a mandatory step by various US legal entities to ensure the origin of foreign funds. This procedure can take up to 31 days to clear and is pretty much standardized in most Western countries worldwide.

Furthermore, during the preliminary transaction phase, most lenders will require that the funds equivalent to the closing costs plus 6 to 12 months of PITI payments (Principle Interest Taxes and Insurance) be placed in a Florida State bank account. The lender will require deposit’s verification for loan approval. The same is applicable for investors who are looking to rent out their properties where banks may require tenants to deposit directly rent income to ensure repayment of the loans and PITI.

We can implement fast and secure solutions thanks to our long-term relationship with renowned partners you can choose from. We give you a service that few other real estate agencies can provide as they are dealing solely with domestic buyers whose profiles require different parameters.

Our global team of experts can help you find the right buyers for your current home or assist you acquire your dream home.

3) You are finally ready, let’s get it started! We would advise you to take an appointment with your notary or estate lawyer in your home country as you and your family need to have the following documents updated and translated in English or simply drafted if nonexistent:

  • Last will and testament
  • Birth certificate, ID card & passport, civil status certificate
  • Marriage certificate or prenuptial agreement
  • Any other relevant contracts depending on your unique profile such as revocable living trust

This procedure will enable you to shield yourself, your properties and your beneficiaries/heirs against a Florida Probate Court and any other unforeseen situations.

A Probate simply means the process by which your last will is determined to be your final dispositive statement and which confirms the appointment of the person or institution you have named to administer your estate. The term probate is also used in the larger sense of probating your estate which means the process by which assets are gathered and applied to pay debts, taxes and other administrative expenses as well as distributed to those designated as beneficiaries in the will. Probate laws are different in each State and we strongly advise you to get the assistance of an estate lawyer.

4) The State of Florida has specific regulations and rules. This is the case of many other countries that aim at protecting consumers. The process can be speedy, stress free and enjoyable if you have the right team to assist you. Save yourself a legal nightmare by working with licensed professionals such as ourselves and get the process right from the beginning.

i) You may have seen properties for sale online through our regular email listing alerts or while driving around in your area of interest. We understand that you want to see them in person before taking the plunge.

In the United States, however, and more specifically in Florida with foreclosures and short sales, you will rarely be able to visit a property and obtain jointly the specific information relevant to your decision-making process (such as taxes, market reports, financial data, etc.) without being properly pre-approved. It is crucial for us to show prospective sellers and financial institutions that you are the best candidate possible to purchase their property. Of course, you can always make an offer but chances are that the banks may take a long time to respond. Indeed, there might be many owners involved in the process and your offer might just simply be crossed out for insufficient assurance vs. another pre-approved and qualified offer.

Keep in mind that once you make an offer, it is binding until a counteroffer, refusal or acceptance is made by the other party. Thus, limiting your choice in the number of offers you can make is advised since the seller/bank may sue you for breach of contract if you were to cancel your offer for unforeseen reasons.

Know your rights and get the help you need beforehand!

ii) You need a licensed real estate professional – whereas in many countries anyone can sell and purchase on behalf of clients with more or less knowledgeable skills – in Florida it’s the law.

You would certainly not let a brain surgeon operate on you if he/she was not board certified and highly experienced – same applies for the person who will handle probably one of your biggest investments. Please make sure your professional is licensed and up to date with his/her legal obligations.

Please visit (the home page of the Florida State Department of the Business Professional Regulation) to ensure that both the broker and your Realtor® are really what they say they are.

We can provide you with the guarantee of the National Association of Realtors®, the Florida Realtors® and the Miami Association of Realtors® seals of professionalism as well as the highest level of education.

We have to forgo continuous education due to both State regulations and real estate practices to ensure our clients the utmost level of service.

The other designations are additional proofs of excellence by the industry leaders and our peers. Ultimately our best testimony is the long term recognition provided by our past and recurring clients.

Please contact us and we will gladly provide you with our references and licensing details.

iii) The State of Florida protects prospective buyers and sellers with an array of disclosure documents that have to be presented to you so you can be fully informed before engaging yourself in a contractual relationship with a real estate professional. We recommend you to familiarize yourself with those documents created by the Florida Realtors®. Each real estate agent has to disclose this information as part of their due diligence and each brokerage firm may have their own policies in addition to review.

Establishing the right brokerage relationship, understanding your project, overseeing your financial needs and letting you know about your rights and obligations are crucial steps to ensure a successful transaction.

iv) By signing an exclusive buyer brokerage agreement (either broker or sales associate) not only will you know your rights and duties but also have full access to the MLS system and our unique "off market" listings, and thus to all the properties available in the market. This simplifies the entire purchasing process as you will be dealing with only one person who not only knows exactly who you are and what you are looking for but also who represents you with tailored solutions in mind that match your unique needs.

Please note that in the United States all real estate agents, with no exception, have the same access to the available properties in the market with the exact same conditions; this is imposed by the law, both at the Federal and at the State of Florida levels, whether you are a US citizen or a foreign buyer.

5) We have a team of independent experts to choose from to test your business plan or leverage your ideas from:

  • Fiscal and tax matters to
  • Accounting and company structuring
  • Immigration and all kind of practice law
  • Insurance brokerage
  • International foreign funds transfer
  • Currency Exchange with locked rates
  • Local and international banking
  • European wealth management
  • Translation, consulting and much more…

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – truly encompasses the synergy and tremendous value that we can provide you for all your real estate needs. 


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Contact Information

Marc-Henri J. Kijner, LLC, Laura Kijner, LLC & Daniel Kijner P.A.
Fortune International Realty
2666 Brickell Avenue Miami FL 33129

Office: +1 (305) 856 2600
Cell: +1 (941) 544 3052
Daniel Cell: +1 (941) 928 20 84
Fax: +1 (314) 237 7526

Marc-Henri J. Kijner, LLC, Laura Kijner, LLC & Daniel Kijner P.A.
Fortune International Realty
2666 Brickell Avenue Miami FL 33129

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