Question -   How do I know my purchase is ‘safe’ ?
Answer -   Your Homes of America Licensed Real Estate Broker is there for your ‘representation’. He will guide you through the process with a view to a smooth and safe transaction.

Question -   How much are the taxes ?
Answer -   Property taxes are sometimes referred to as real estate taxes. They are one and the same thing and are generally 1¼% – 1½% of the assessed value of the property.

Question -   What is a Short Sale ?
Answer -   When an owner defaults on his mortgage, he can ask his bank / lender if they will accept a lower capital payback than he borrowed. They may agree in order to speed up the selling process using a lower marketed price.

Question -   How do I know that I am dealing with a Licensed Realtor ?
Answer -   Ask to see their license. Check its expiry date. Do not assume that every sales person who talks to you about Real Estate is licensed. It is an offence in Florida to do anything for anyone in Real Estate if they are not licensed. The DBPR will be pleased to hear about anyone who is misleading the public.

Question -   How do I get a mortgage in Florida ?
Answer -   You can approach any bank in Florida or alternatively your Homes of America Realtor will assist by offering you a fully Licensed Mortgage Broker to work with.

Question -   What are Homeowners’ Association fees ?
Answer -   These are fees paid to the community to take care of roads, gates, street lights etc. They sometimes include lawncare and cable. They will vary greatly from community to community.

Question -   How much is Capital Gains ?
Answer -   If you sell your home within 12 months you would be looking at 30% capital gains tax. After 12 months that would be reduced to 15%.

Question -   How do I know that I will own the land my home is built on ?
Answer -   Property is usually freehold in Florida but always check with your Broker. Your Homes of America Broker will work with his Title company. The Title company will carry out a search on your property before closing and ensure that you get ‘clear title’ to that land. You will receive ‘Title insurance’. However in the case of a condominium, you would be likely to own the property but only have an undivided interest in the land it is built on.

Question -   If I see two different properties, do I have to work with both Real Estate companies ?
Answer -   No, a Realtor will have a list of all the properties for sale in the area via the MLS (multi listing service) and will ‘co-broke’ with the other company. He will help you with any properties irrelevant of who has it listed. You just need to choose a Realtor that you are comfortable with and stay with him/her.

Question -   Do I need a bank account in Florida ?
Answer -   Yes, you will need a bank account in Florida. Homes of America will help you open that on your next visit or alternatively will help you do that free of charge from overseas.

Question -   Who will take care of my home when I am not there ?
Answer -   Homes of America Property Management Company will take care of your property just as you would. To ensure that personal attention you would have your own property manager who would take care of just 30 homes.

Question -   How will I obtain bookings for my home ?
Answer -   Homes of America will help you. You will automatically receive a free place on their rental site This is a FREE service to you. Some owners prefer to put some / all of their own bookings in and so you will receive help on how to market your home if you wish.

Question -   How many weeks can I expect ?
Answer -   That will depend on how many weeks you want. Some owners will just want enough to cover outgoings and other will want more depending on whether it is sheer investment or whether you are intending this to be family vacation home.

Question -   Do I have to pay Inheritance Tax ?
Answer -   This is pertinent to the Buyer. Please check with your Homes of America Broker when purchasing.

Question -   How do I know that my Realtor is working for me ?
Answer -   A Realtor is duty bound by Florida Real Estate law to work fairly and honestly for you. However if he is also the ‘selling agent’ for a property that you are purchasing, by Florida Real Estate law he should disclose that fact because he is then also duty bound to work fairly and honestly for them too. This also applies to a salesperson / Realtor working for a builder on a new community. His duty is to the seller (builder) and not to you.

Question -   Will I need insurance on my home ?
Answer -   Yes, you will need building and contents insurance much the same as you have on your current residential home plus it is advisable to have liability insurance. All three are usually wrapped up in one package and called ‘hazard’ insurance. Ask your Homes of America Realtor to assist you on this matter.

Question -   How long can I stay in Florida ?
Answer -   If you do not have a permanent residents’ visa, there is a visa waiver programme allowing a 90 day stay. Should you wish to stay for longer you can apply for a B2 visa from the American Embassy allowing you to stay in Florida for 180 days (6 months). This allows you to spend your vacation here in Florida but it does not allow you to work.

Question -   When can I use my own villa ?
Answer -   It is your home. You can use it whenever you wish. Homes of America will work around you when placing bookings.

Question -   How can I be sure that I will not inherit any debts from the previous owner ?
Answer -   Title company will check liens, debts and any encumbrances on the property before closing day.

Question -   Do I need a will ?
Answer -   It is prudent to consider a simple US will to run concurrently with your UK will. Homes of America will help you with this.

Question -   I am thinking of emigrating to Florida what should I do first ?
Answer -   Homes of America alongside their immigration ATTORNEY will help you clarify which visa route you should take. Beware of immigration ‘consultants’ / ‘specialists’. If you are advised to take the E2 visa route your Homes of America Broker will source a qualified business to support and will guide you safely through the process.

Question -   What happens if I need to sell my home ?
Answer -   Your Homes of America Realtor will list it for you.

Question -   What is a CMA ?
Answer -   If you wish to sell your home a ‘comparative market analysis’ is where your Homes of America Realtor will draw up a document to give you an indication of the current value of your home.

      Contact Details

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From US Telephone: 1 863 420 7775

From outside US Tel: 001 863 420 7775

(out of office hours please leave a message and we'll call you right back).

Address: 17445 US Highway 192, Clermont, Florida, 34714

We are primarily located in the US with our head office being in Orlando Florida on the US192, but we are regularly back over in the UK should you wish to arrange a meeting.