You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Vacation Homes’ tag.

Young family arriving at their holiday beach house

By the Experts at Hippo

You’ve just returned from a trip to the beach. You ask yourself: Why should I continue to pay rental fees when I could own a vacation home and rent it out? Unless you’re fairly wealthy, you’ll need to make sure you can commit to buying a seasonal home before you start shopping around. Here are five indications that you’re ready to take the plunge:

1. You can afford one

Can you afford to own a vacation home? If the answer to that question is yes, that’s probably the most obvious sign that buying a seasonal home is something you should consider. You never want to buy a home that will leave you drowning in debt.

Remember, the purchase price is only part of the cost of owning a vacation home. You’ll have to pay utility bills, maintenance fees and insurance premiums. And depending on where your home is located, you could also be responsible for paying homeowners association fees.

To decide whether you have enough money in the bank for a vacation home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have emergency savings (at least three to six months’ worth of take-home pay)?
  • Can you make a 20 percent down payment?
  • If you have kids, have you already put aside enough money for a college fund?
  • Can you still put away enough money for retirement?
  • Have you paid off your existing home?
  • Have you calculated the potential return on your investment?
  • Does it fit in with your long-term investment strategy and financial goals?

Everyone’s situation is different. If you can answer yes to most of these questions, there’s a good chance that there’s room in your budget for a vacation home.

2. You’ve done your research

If you’ve done your homework, that’s another good sign that you’re prepared to purchase a vacation home. When you’re visiting an area that might become the location of your future home, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself; however, doing your research and taking the time to understand what the surrounding area has to offer is important. You’ll also want to make sure you visit during different parts of the year. That way, you can get a feel for what it’s like to live there during different seasons.

Think about the short- and long-term implications of buying a seasonal home, especially if you plan to spend plenty of time there. When you retire, for example, the amenities included in a vacation home may take a backseat. Having access to a hospital and activities that improve your overall health and well-being may be critical.

3. You know what’s happening in the market

If you can keep up with what’s going on in the housing market, buying a vacation home might make sense. If you analyze changes in sales prices, you’ll be able to time your home purchase carefully, and you’ll be able to make the most appropriate decision based on seasonal demand, which drives home prices.

In 2016, new, single-family home sales reached their highest level in a decade, although there was a decline in home-buying activity among vacation home buyers, according to a survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). A rising demand for housing and a shrinking supply of options has pushed up prices, making it more difficult for many people to purchase a vacation home. In 2016, the median vacation-home sales price was $200,000, up from $192,000 the previous year.

4. You have a plan

Buying a seasonal home could be worth considering if you know how you’re going to use it. Maybe you view the home as an investment property that can serve as an additional source of income. Maybe you’ve decided that you’re going to find guests online through a website like Airbnb or Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO).

Keep in mind that if you intend to rent out a vacation home, you’ll need to think about advertising and logistics. You’ll need photos of your rental property and a detailed description of its amenities. You’ll also need a rental agreement and a plan for how you’re going to accept payments. Will you use a service like Venmo or PayPal, or ask guests to mail you a check?

You’ll probably need to hire someone to clean your home and check for signs of damage and theft before new guests arrive. Hiring a property management company might make your life easier, but agencies often charge between 25 and 50 percent of your rental income.

5. You’re prepared to pay taxes

Rental income must be included on both state and federal tax returns. If you are renting out your vacation home or even a portion of your vacation home (e.g., a bedroom), you might be considered an innkeeper. That means you might be expected to collect the same lodging taxes that hotels collect and make payments to your county, city and/or state. In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for example, among tourists who pay for lodging, a 12 percent tax is due.

For many people, the decision to purchase a vacation home is serious. If you decide to take that leap of faith and you already have homeowners insurance, make sure you find out whether your current policy will cover a second home. Also, if you intend to rent out the property, consider purchasing rent loss insurance. It covers the loss of rental income following natural disasters and catastrophic incidents.

Hippo is an InsureTech company that’s reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners, building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today’s consumers. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the U.S. and will be available to more than 60 percent of the nation’s homeowners by the end of 2018.

http://blog.rismedia.com/2018/5-signs-youre-ready-buy-vacation-home/

72% of vacation property owners and 71% of investment property owners believe now is a good time to buy. 33% bought their property in a beach area. Location, location, location!! We have some of the best beaches!! Plus we have music venues, a multitude of sports options, first rate museums, art venues, waterfront festivals, brew-pubs, incredible restaurants and much more!

Think St Petersburg, Florida; Clearwater Beach and the Tampa Bay Area!!

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See what’s happening in St Petersburg, Florida’s Old Northeast neighborhood and downtown St Pete by checking out the latest issues of the St. Petersburg’s Northeast Journal . There are articles on local events, people, history, real estate, the arts, restaurants and much more. The journal is bi-monthly and has been published since 2004.

http://northeastjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/NEJ-Jan-Feb-2016-WEB.pdf

http://northeastjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/NEJ-Nov-Dec-2015-WEB.pdf

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.

 

Years ago I lived in St Thomas and St John, in the US Virgin Islands. Believe me, there was nothing like this home on the island then. What a beautiful area of the world! Sometimes I wonder why I ever left. Anyway, excuse me while I reminisce but I came across this article that I thought I’d share. Ahhhhh, the Caribbean Islands.

St. Thomas Mansion Sells for Record $8.9 Million Via Remote Auction

 

Platinum Luxury Auctions announced this week the closing of Villa Whydah, a four acre pirate-themed property sitting on the westernmost tip of St. Thomas.  The final sales price was $8.9 million, which is a new record for residential properties on the island of St. Thomas.

Residential News » Saint Thomas Edition | By Michael Gerrity | January 8, 2015 – See more at: http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/us-virgin-islands/saint-thomas
3_PLA_NML-Arial-Imaging.pngAlthough Platinum planned for the auction to be held at the property, all of the bidders elected to participate in the auction remotely. “Given the nature of the bidding audience, we created a virtual auction environment, with a live bidding room digitally streaming an audio/video feed to each bidder,” stated Bradley Pruitt, Platinum’s director of sales. The buyer purchased the property site-unseen, a scenario that the firm says is exceptionally rare, especially for a record sale.

Trayor Lesnock, Platinum’s president and founder added, “This is an exceptional testament to the potency of the luxury auction process, and to the power of the purchase motivation it produces for even the most unique real estate assets.”

Villa Whydah received more than 105,000 website visitors and 141 bona fide buyer inquiries during the auction’s marketing period. The virtual bidding process lasted only 15-20 minutes, and included 4 bidders who were scattered throughout the United States.

“This is a huge sale for both St. Thomas and the broader USVI market,” stated Lee Steiner, cooperating listing broker and principal of USVI Sotheby’s International Realty. “Along with a number of other high-priced transactions this year, this auction sale demonstrates the strengthening luxury market in the USVIs. We’re already looking forward to the next auction with Platinum’s team.”

1_PLA_NML-Arial-Imaging.pngLesnock credited the sale’s success to his project management team, led by Pruitt and associate David Ashcroft, as well as to the owner’s faith in the auction process that allowed them to use enticing terms to sell the property. The firm also employed a unique marketing strategy, which included mailing a custom-designed scroll that displayed a property treasure map, nodding to Villa Whydah’s pirate decor.

Considered one of the finest Caribbean properties on the market, Villa Whydah consists of seven structures spanning more than 15,000 interior, and 4,000 exterior square feet. The structures include a main residence with an in-law suite, an outdoor entertainment complex, a stone gazebo, two guest cottages, a stone tower, and caretaker’s quarters with a 4-car garage. There are a total of 8 bedrooms, 9 full and 2 half bathrooms, in addition to 3 outdoor showers. Decor and furnishings offer pirate-themed accents throughout the home, including an office meant to resemble a captain’s chambers on a ship, and a “dungeon,” serving as storage space or a playroom. – See more at: http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/us-virgin-islands/saint-thomas/villa

 

Costa Rica Punta Loros

Punta Loros, a planned luxury resort and development property that spans 800 acres in the Central Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, recently tendered its environmental impact study to the Technical and Environmental Secretariat (Spanish acronym: SETENA). The study is an important part of the compliance process required to make this ambitious project a reality.

Jaime Lopez  http://news.co.cr/planned-luxury-resort-costa-rica-moves-ahead/35476

According to a news report by Spanish tourism trade publication Expreso, Punta Loros will require a $400 million investment and will consist of three hotels, 34 multifamily residential buildings, an 18-hole golf course, and plenty of luxury amenities to deliver a lifestyle reminiscent of upscale resorts in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Punta Loros is located in Tarcoles, a touristic coastal area of the Garabito canton of Puntarenas. This beach community is just a 45 minute drive from San Jose, and it is part of the Orotina and Jaco Beach region where a future International Airport will be developed to accommodate the growing tourism and retirement industry in Costa Rica. In other words, Punta Loros is prime real estate. Here’s a description from the developers:

Nestled along the coastline on the Central Pacific province of Puntarenas in stunning Costa Rica you will find Punta Loros, an 800-acre, luxury resort and development property.

An easy 10-minute drive off of the main highway near Orotina, this development parcel or large private estate offers investors enormous potential on a unique and perfectly located property. Real estate is and always has been about value, and location, location, location, and Punta Loros absolutely delivers both.

Punta Loros has a gently sloping topography with ocean views from almost ninety-five percent of the titled and deeded property. There is one-mile of Pacific beachfront with several distinctive bluffs with spectacular vantage points for optimal placement of hotel sites, an old world waterfront village, meandering golf course, world class spa, beach club as well as multi-use residential sites.

Although the building permits in Punta Loros will allow for different architectural styles, the resort facilities will feature the elegant Spanish Colonial design. Up to 5,000 residential units will be constructed in Punta Loros over a four-phase period.

Jaime Lopez  http://news.co.cr/planned-luxury-resort-costa-rica-moves-ahead/35476

PRO-International-Council-logo-2-300x115 Don’t forget to register today & attend the Pinellas International Council’s

International Marketing Session

this Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Marketing properties outside the country is significantly more challenging since they cannot be put into the MLS. Word of mouth and personal connections play a much bigger role when it comes to international properties. The Pinellas International Council (PIC) will give you a chance to share your properties with agents involved in international real estate transactions.

Belize flag

This month’s speaker is Yvette Dalton – she’ll be joining us from Belize! Belize has been chosen as a top destination for 2nd homes and retirement by US citizens. Due to Belize being a 2 hour flight from Florida and they are English speaking as the 1st language- Retirees and Expats from the USA account for 85 % of the Buyers in Belize.

Reserve your seat for our international marketing session and network with those who view the world as their market.

Although this opportunity is FREE for you, you must reserve your seat, as they are very limited.

REGISTRATION:
PRO Members (FREE):

Contact: Martha Vasquez
Email: martha@marthavasquez.com

Location Details
 Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

 

 

A retirement home on the water can be affordable if you are willing to move overseas.

Kathleen Peddicord Oct. 20, 2014 from  http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/10/20/affordable-retirement-in-the-caribbean

Northern Belize is a remote region of tropical rivers, hardwood forests, traditional farms, sleepy rural villages and breezy Caribbean seashores. This is a refreshingly off-the-radar place where residents embrace a simple, friendly, by-the-sea lifestyle. It is also the best value destination in Belize and one of the most affordable options for retirement in the Caribbean.

Northern Belize is an area of about 2,500 square miles and the point where the Caribbean and Central America meet. As that geographic juxtaposition suggests, the population is diverse, and it is becoming more so as North American retirees are beginning to recognize what this overlooked part of Belize has to offer and settling here in growing numbers.

Northern Belize’s remoteness is part of its appeal, but remote living has its disadvantages, especially in retirement. This is why the proximity of this part of Belize to Chetumal, Mexico, just across the border, is so important. The town of Corozal in Northern Belize is a gateway town to Chetumal and from there to Merida and Cancun beyond. In Northern Belize, you could enjoy a bargain Caribbean lifestyle with easy access to shopping, city distractions and medical care in Chetumal.

Belizeans are known for their hospitality. Plus, they all speak English, so new friendships are quickly and easily made. Corozal is home to an established and growing expat community, but this group is well integrated with the local Belizean community. Living here, you could fill your days sailing around Sarteneja, horseback riding at Chan Chich, kayaking at Orchid Bay, fishing at Bacalar Chico or bird watching at Crooked Tree Lodge. And you wouldn’t ever lack for company, Belizean or expat, if you wanted it.

While some expat retirees are prepared to be pioneers and carve a homestead out of the jungle or maybe plant a farm, most prefer to settle in a town. The three most appealing places for expat retirees are Sarteneja, Corozal and Orange Walk. There are also expat pockets developing in places like Four Mile Lagoon and Gringo Lane. In recent years, planned communities have developed specifically with foreign retirees in mind.

Property taxes are minuscule in Belize. This is a plus for those looking to save money on taxes, but it also means that municipal services are thin on the ground because there aren’t funds to support them. So, organized and private communities typically appeal to foreigners. These are places where you can enjoy a laid-back, bargain Caribbean lifestyle in Northern Belize while maintaining a North American standard of living.

Retirees settling in this part of Belize are launching businesses ranging from restaurants, bars and bed and breakfasts to construction services and farming. Others expats are truly retired, choosing to spend their days deciding which book to read next or which restaurant to boat over to for lunch.

Corozal, which is both a town and a district, maintains a friendship list so expats can stay in touch and know what’s going on. Every Wednesday, foreign retirees and residents meet at Jam Rock Restaurant for darts. One Thursday per month is the Corozal Women’s Forum. Fridays are for happy hour and potluck dinners in expats’ homes. The third Saturday of each month is Art in the Park, when local artists set up tables to display and sell their work. There’s a local chapter of the Rotary Club, a sailing club and full moon concerts in front of the Corozal House of Culture.

Despite the growing expat influence and excluding most waterfront property, real estate in this part of the country is still priced for the Belizean market. This is unusual and likely won’t continue much longer. The presence of foreign buyers eventually translates to pricing for foreign buyers. This hasn’t happened yet, which means there’s a window of opportunity.

As anywhere in the world, waterfront land is the highest priced and much more expensive than inland property. Inland you can find larger properties suitable for farming. If this idea interests you and you’re willing to dig deep and talk to the locals, you can find land for as little as $1,000 per acre.

Still, the cost of waterfront property in Northern Belize is a bargain compared with prices out on Ambergris and Belize’s other cayes, and an even greater bargain compared with values elsewhere in the Caribbean. It’s possible to buy a sea-view lot for as little as $30,000 or a small but turn-key casita in some of the development communities in the region for less than $200,000. And a seafront house in Sarteneja built to U.S. standards on 1 acre of land was recently on the market and listed for just $299,000.

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/10/20/affordable-retirement-in-the-Caribbean

If you are interested in purchasing property in Belize, please feel free to contact me. AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

 

02 Porte Cochere

 

 

 

 

This is Florida Coastal Living…

Overlooking a nature preserve offering unsurpassed tranquility, this spectacular custom-built Key West style home, located on prestigious Oceanview Drive in Tierra Verde’s exclusive West Shore community exudes coastal Florida living at its very finest. 23 Pool

 

Superb open floor plan offers total comfort, spacious living and attention to detail at every turn. Whether you are hosting an intimate dinner party or a large gathering, this home is an entertaining masterpiece, both indoors and out. Breathtaking living room with 2 story high coffered ceilings and gas fireplace.

Perfectly chilled custom wine room for up to 2,000 bottles with beautifully made bar area.

 

06 Wine CellarInviting gourmet kitchen with generous island, gas range, built-in refrigerator, eat in area, plus breakfast bar.

08 Kitchen

Large formal dining room. First floor spacious master suite with reading nook, his and hers walk in closets, master bath with walk in shower and exquisite bath tub with marble surround, private office with custom-built in furniture, 2 half baths and laundry room.

Second floor quiet sitting area overlooking the living room, plus 3 more spacious bedrooms and 2 full baths. Elevator serving all 3 floors. Ground floor 3 car garage, plus over 3,500 sf of indoor space with potential to finish.

 

Spend hours outside, year round, in this wonderful oasis retreat with expansive first floor covered balcony and outdoor kitchen. Kayak and fish in the lake right from your backyard, exercise in the lap pool or simply relax in the heated jacuzzi, enjoying the serenity of the tropical landscaping and surrounding natural habitat.

Minutes from world renowned Ft. DeSoto Park, first class beaches, shops and restaurants, Tierra Verde is a fantastic waterfront community in which to live, play and relax, and while you will feel you are a world away, you are just a short commute to downtown St. Petersburg and Tampa International Airport. This magnificent property has it all. Contact me today to schedule your private showing.

Oceanview Drive, Tierra Verde, Florida presented by Coastal Properties Group International-Christie’s International Real Estate, 238 Beach Drive NE, St Petersburg, Florida

04 Great Room

Unit2Backyard1

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 1-4pm

DIRECTLY FACING GULF OF MEXICO, ON THE DUNES OF

PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH

IN THE HISTORIC BUTLERHOUSE CONDOMINIUM

 

 

Rainbow

Unit #2 is one of only 9 residences in a unique boutique condominium called  Butlerhouse.  This lovely 3 story historic building is listed  on the State Inventory and Local Register of Historic Landmark Sites, and was built entirely of heart of pine a hundred years ago, stationed where it  still  graces the  awesome natural dunes on the Gulf of Mexico in Pass-a-Grille.  It is located  within a rare 10 block stretch of relatively  private beachfront and among alleyways with no public parking.  This building was once the guest and staff quarters for the original Pass-a-Grille Hotel which fronted the dunes to the south, and once upon a time a man named Butler owned it. The name has stuck, and rarely is anyone ready to leave.

Price:  $499,000

107 26th Avenue, #2

Pass-a-Grille, Florida

  • West corner 1 Bedroom/1.1 Bath
  • Fine nautical theme
  • Updated, custom built-ins/granite
  • Furnished as needed
  • Beautiful storm resistant windows and doors
  • Wrap around decks

Unit2Kitchen looking west

 

 

 

 

 

Unit2Deck1

Listing & Information provided by Joan H. Walker, Frank T. Hurley Associates, Inc., Realtors

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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