Buying Vacation Homes in Clearwater Florida or Miami Beach

Clearwater Beach Florida  Looking for a Clearwater Beach or Miami Beach Vacation Home?  Of course these destinations would be popular! We have gorgeous beaches and beautiful weather!  Anyone would be lucky to vacation here on a regular basis.  

But what do you need to know if you are thinking of buying a vacation home in either of these locations?  First, you need to identify your vacation ownership goals and communicate these to your REALTOR.

  • Are you buying just as a vacation home to occupy several times per year or will you be renting the property as well.  If you will be renting, make sure rentals are allowed in building complex and think about who will rent and manage the place in your absence.
  • Will this also be an investment and expect a certain return on your investment after a few years? Do your homework and find out rental rates and do financial projections BEFORE you buy. 
  • Will this become a permanent residence after a few years?  Make sure you are comfortable with the location, to live in.  Some complexes are great for transient living, but not so great if you are looking for permanence.
  •  If you are financing, you need to let the lender know before you buy that this will be a second home.  Loan terms will change drastically and some banks will not lend for second home purposes.

3 Common Questions when buying a vacation property

1.  Is there a special or additional real estate tax for non-florida residents, or for foreign nationals?

The answer is NO.  You will not be able to claim the property as your primary residence, and will not be able to homestead the property, but you will not have any additional real estate tax either.

2.  Should I buy the property in my own name or under a corporation?

This depends totally on your buying goals and individual financial situation.  Always consult with your accountant in order to make an educated decision, especially when it comes to tax time!  Also keep in mind that certain condo associations do not allow for corporate ownership of their residences – so if that’s the way you want to structure your purchase, make sure you find out restrictions early in the process.

3.  What if a Hurricane hits?

Hurricanes in Florida should not be ignored and you HAVE to be prepared.  Some condos and homes will have “impact resistant” windows and doors which will protect your property against hurricane-like winds without the need for additional shutters.  If the property has hurricane shutters, make sure you arrange with someone in advance, to close/install shutters in your absence.  

If the property does not have impact resistant windows nor shutters, my advice is to get them installed!  It’s better to be safe than sorry and you don’t want to be miles away worrying at the very last minute.

So there you have it – buying a vacation home 101 for Clearwater Beach or Miami Beach.  And the most important factor to keep in mind is that you will have a gorgeous place in paradise that you can call home as often as you wish.

This article was from Ines Hegedus-Garcia, a Miami Beach Realtor and publisher of the hyper-local site Miamism – sharing some great tips on things to consider when buying a vacation condo. – Thank you Ines for sharing your expertise with our readers this week.   

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7 Comments

  1. Cyndee posted a beautiful picture of a condo for sale in Clearwater a few weeks ago and all you could see from the deck was sand and ocean. That would be my ideal vacation spot.

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