Tuesday, 6 March 2012

South Florida: The Great American Sale?

Today I'm gonna mention an emerging neighbourhood that's pretty far afield. In fact, it's not even in Canada. I couldn't sell there myself, but it's certainly worth mentioning.

I just arrived home from Miami and the Florida Keys, home of art deco, Key Lime pie, bikinis and rock bottom real estate. In fact, I had three Canadian friends who were on a spending frenzy buying up Florida real estate.

Canadians probably make up a good chunk of the population of this state in the winter. And this year, they're feeling pretty confident. Why, you ask? Because properties that have plummeted in price over the past 5 or 6 years are starting to turn a corner.

My friends are considering properties less then half of the price of what they were back at the peak of the American market in 2006. And it doesn't hurt that our dollar keeps bumping up above par against the American dollar these days. Before it all sounds too good to be true, I should mention that taxes are high in Florida, and because hurricanes love Florida as much as Canadians, the insurance is pretty expensive. So the extra costs can get pricey fast.

In terms of timing, it's almost the perfect moment for us Northerners looking to invest. The perfect moment to buy may have already passed. Some agents claim the bottom of that market was about 6 months ago. Still, there are  plenty of foreclosures and short sales in South Florida to be explored. Foreclosures can be complicated, however, but plain old mls listings are also quite affordable too.

All in all, if you're an investor or someone looking for a home under the sun in the winter, Florida, especially hard-hit South Florida, is looking like a nice juicy orange ready to be plucked.

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