You wouldn't believe how many questions I receive from Canadian residents interested in purchasing properties in Florida and other parts of the United States. There are certain things to consider as a Canadian resident interested in purchasing property in the US, but they aren't anything that can't be overcome without some help from your realtor.
- One of the questions that frequently comes up is simply "Can a Canadian resident like myself purchase a house in the US?" Yes. You pay for the house and receive a title, just like with any local purchase. Residents of Canada interested in financing a home in the United States as opposed to paying cash, should look towards Canadian banks that have branches in the United States.
- Another concern many Canadian residents have when looking at properties in the US is regarding property taxes. Now, this varies state-by-state, but typically residents of Canada can expect to pay higher property taxes than other homeowners in the area because they fall under 'non-resident' status, just like any US citizen looking to buy property in another state than they live in. This is true for Florida and many other states, however there are some states where non-residents can get the same property tax rate as residents of the area.
- Duration of stay is another topic that is often brought up by prospective homeowners that are residents of Canada. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you may stay up to a maximum of six months or 183 days out of any calendar year. When crossing the border, make sure any property ownership information you produce does not indicate that you live there other than on a vacation or temporary basis.
- Canadian residents planning on renting out property in the US require two filings for taxes. Income and expenses must be claimed in both countries, the applicable taxes must be paid, and you will receive a credit for your Canadian taxes. There is a 30% withholding tax for owners of US real estate who are not US residents.
All in all, the process of purchasing a vacation property in Florida is very similar for residents of Canada as it is for citizens of the United States looking to purchase property in a state other than where they permanently reside. Your realtor will have all of the information you need to find the southern vacation home of your dreams.