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Please join us for our first CIPS course this year on April 3rd. Register now before it’s too late. It’s just next week! 

Florida accounted for the largest share at 22 percent of total U.S. residential home sales to international clients, which the National Association of REALTORS® estimated at $102.6 Billion. Florida attracted buyers from Latin America, Europe, and Canada who tend to purchase properties in warm climates for vacation purposes. St Petersburg-Tampa-Clearwater is in the top 10 markets in the USA for International BUYERS.

Consider these facts:

  • $19.4 Billion in sales to international buyers for the year ending 6/16
  • 19% of Florida’s market (volume) was to international buyers
    • 47,000 residential properties
    • 12% of Florida’s market (units)
    • 72% made an all-cash purchase

Note: The facts above were provided as part of the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida study.

 

CIPS

 

Pinellas International Council 6th Annual Global Symposium-Thank you to David Bennett CEO of PRO, John-Paul Mario Chair of the PRO Business Affiliates, Susan Inez-Poskus CPA from Roberge Poskus, Maria Grulich from Florida Realtors, Bill Risser, VP of Digital Strategy from Fidelity National Title, Don Gonzalez Attorney, Carlos Fuentes NAR instructor, the nearly 100 attendees and all of the PRO Affiliates who sponsored this informative event. Thank you all for making this such great day!!

Certified International Property  Specialist courses help Realtors to become more knowledgeable when conducting business with International buyers and sellers, understand the cultures, make worldwide connections, obtain the designation, and ultimately make more money.These 5 National Association of Realtors courses are to be offered at Pinellas Realtors Organization over the next few months. They include Transactions Tools, Asia/Pacific, Europe and the Americas. In addition, At Home with Diversity will be offered. Please register at PRO’s website soon as the first course begins on MAY 19th.  http://pinellasrealtor.org/education-and-events-calendar/

Hope to see you there!!

PIC-Capture

Below is a brief overview of what you might find if you decide to own a vacation or primary home in Costa Rica. The original article is quite long so I’m going to break it up into several distinctive subject posts. Just a taste so you will want more & more…

International Living

 

Costa Rica Beach

 

Join the 20,000 American expats already living
“la pura vida” in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s fame as a retiree destination is richly deserved. You’ll find the tropics along the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts, while most of the Central Valley is cool and breezy. If you find it difficult to choose which climate you prefer, you will be glad to know that the mild temperatures of the Central Valley are just two hours by car from the tropical beaches of the Pacific Coast.

Expats are attracted to Costa Rica for numerous reasons, which include the low cost of living, excellent health care, modern telecommunications structure, beautiful beaches, rainforests, lush valleys, and cool mountains…not to mention the theaters, art galleries, and fine dining. There are more than 20,000 expats living in Costa Rica and many well-established expat communities.

Tucked between Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica may truly have it all: a year-round tropical climate, modern cities, Caribbean beaches, Pacific coastline, rainforests, lush valleys, and mountains.

In March 1997 we took Costa Rica off our recommended list. Twelve years later, in 2009, Costa Rica was back on our list of Top Retirement Havens and remains there still. Yes, after 12 years off our list of affordable opportunities for profit, IL has discovered that there is an unknown—and still affordable—side to one of the world’s most coveted overseas retirement destinations.

Long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls…mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…all these things, and much more, are drawing people back to Costa Rica.

Whether expats live in this beautiful country full- or part-time, they relish the climate, neighborly atmosphere, low cost of living, excellent health care, stable democracy, and countless ways to have fun. This is a middle-income, developing economy, with a tradition of democracy. The life expectancy at birth here is one of the highest in the world—outstripping both the U.S. and the UK. Tourist facilities are extensive, and because English is a second language for many Costa Ricans, the country feels very visitor-friendly.

In Costa Rica, the good life is called “pura vida.” For those who retire in Costa Rica, pura vida is a daily fact of life in this beautiful, exotic, and surprisingly affordable country.

There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership as such, although no one can own property within 50 meters of the ocean, and for the next 150 meters real estate comes under Maritime Zone laws. These laws permit development only under government “concession.” This means that anyone shopping for property should be doubly cautious about buying oceanfront real estate, including condos. Before entering into a transaction, insist that your attorney verify that the title is legally consistent with Maritime Zone regulations.

This is a great article to read if you are thinking about purchasing a second home, an investment property or a retirement home in another country.

 

House with an ocean view in the Dominican Republic

iStock Photo

David McKeegan, co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, weighs in on the issues U.S. expats should consider when buying and selling foreign property.

Whether American expats are looking to buy overseas property as an investment, vacation home, rental or residence, taxes should always be top of mind.  Regardless of the potential return on investment, beauty, or the property’s fit into your expat lifestyle dream, consider these tax do’s & don’ts to ensure your purchase is one you don’t regret.

Do consider setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to purchase the property
As a U.S. expat, if you are purchasing a foreign property primarily for investment purposes (either in your expat country or elsewhere outside of the U.S.), doing so as an individual may be the easiest but not the most advantageous decision. While tax time will be less complex (simply reporting rental income/expenses on your 1040), individual ownership offers you no liability protection. For LLCs with only one owner, the LLC is considered a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes, and all of the activity will be reported on the individual’s personal U.S. tax return.  This eliminates the burden of filing separate business tax returns and avoids the increased accounting fees associated with a business tax return.

Don’t ignore foreign-exchange rates
When you purchase a foreign property, you will likely transfer a large sum of money into your foreign bank account for the initial down payment.  Before you do, find out the foreign-exchange rates and fees associated with the transfer and even seek a professional broker who can ensure you obtain the most beneficial exchange rate possible—this could save you thousands of dollars when you buy and can impact your profit when you sell.

Remember that the U.S. may tax you on any resulting gains when you sell your property. The exchange rate gain from paying off a mortgage is calculated by converting the amount of the loan to USD using the exchange rate at the time the loan was originated and the exchange rate at the time the loan was paid off. The resulting gain is taxable as ordinary income using your marginal U.S. tax rate. If you have held the property for more than a year, however, you’ll be taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of 0%, 10% or 20%, depending on your marginal U.S. tax bracket.

Do deduct your mortgage interest and points from your U.S. Federal Tax Return filing
Mortgage interest and points are deductible on your U.S. expat tax return, even though the property is in a foreign country.  But the deduction can only be taken against income that has not been excluded by the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. So if you exclude all your foreign income, you’ll need to have U.S.-sourced income or non-excluded foreign income to use this deduction.

Don’t forget to reduce gains taxes with the Foreign Tax Credit
The gain on your foreign property sale may be taxed by the country in which the property is located, as well as the U.S. For U.S. tax purposes, this gain is considered foreign-sourced income, so you may be able to use the Foreign Tax Credit to reduce your resulting U.S. tax liability. However, the gain isn’t considered foreign earned income, so it cannot be excluded using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

Do try to keep the home for 2-5 years
As a U.S. expat living the life of a digital nomad or bouncing around for your career, planning to live in a residence for 2 or more years may not be possible. But regardless, try not to sell for at least two years.  The reason is that when you live in the home for 2-5 years, you will be eligible to exclude a gain of up to $250,000 (or $500,000 for those filing married jointly) from U.S. taxation. If not, the full gain will be taxed at the applicable capital gains rates.

 

David McKeegan is Co-Founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, which specializes in the expert preparation of U.S. federal tax returns for Americans living abroad.

Email us at expat@wsj.com. Follow us @WSJexpat. Join our Facebook group.

Please join us for the 4th Annual Global Real Estate Symposium! Register NOW before it’s too late.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:00am – 4:30pm
The Pinellas International Council presents the 4th Annual Global Symposium. Engage with fellow REALTORS® and learn from our expert speakers working with the global market. Plus register & attend the afternoon session for CE credits.
2015 Global Real Estate Symposium Flyer

Door prizes will be raffled off! You must be present to win, but won’t want to miss out!

YOU’LL HEAR FROM:
1. Susan Inez-Poskus, International CPA with Roberge Poskus International
“International Tax Items for Non-Residents – Changes and Concerns”


2. Joe Schneider, Manager of Global Business Development & Outreach at NAR
“The Impact of Globalization on Your Local Market: Working Profitably with Foreign Buyers”

3. Paula Smith, CCIM, Broker Associate | Robert Barber, CCIM, Residential and Commercial Specialist (both with Coastal Properties Group International)
Commercial Outlook 2015″

PLUS – 3 HOUR CE CREDIT COURSE:
“Marketing to International Clients”
taught by Pablo Wong, Senior VP for Market Development for Fidelity National Financial
NOTE: This class will run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you just want to attend the class you may, but you still need to register.

SCHEDULE:
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, continental breakfast
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Symposium
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Networking, appetizers and drinks
There will be a lunch break and lunch will be provided for you! All other food and drink is included in the registration fee, and is provided by our Affiliate Business Partners. Please visit them during the networking periods!

Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004

Location Details
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

(727) 804-6566
AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

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