Buying/Investing in Property or Retiring to Florida

Beautiful property in the town of Celebration
Beautiful property in the town of Celebration

Florida is becoming increasingly popular as a place to retire to, as a place in which to buy a holiday home often with a view to renting/letting it out or as a place to invest in a timeshare or vacation club.

Note that at present non-US citizens cannot retire and live in Florida all year round; currently you can only stay up to 6 months in any one year on a visitors visa.

With fantastic year round weather and low property prices, Florida is a perfect location for a holiday or retirement home

Different rules apply if you are working in Florida or running your own business.

If you are thinking of investing in property in Florida, then there are several different options open to you:

  • Buying a holiday villa outright to live in yourself, either permanently or as a second holiday home - costs are typically from $250,000 upwards
  • Buying a holiday villa outright with a view to letting it out to vacationers, either all year round or simply when you do not need it yourself. Note that the buying and renting of property is different in Florida compared to Europe. For example some parts of the Greater Orlando area are zoned and not all zones are eligible for either long term or short terms rents
  • Buying a condominium hotel property where you own a whole unit but with the ability to rent it out when not needed - costs from $250,000 to $1,000,000
  • Investing in a timeshare property or a vacation club such as the Disney Vacation Club or the Marriot Vacation Club International, typically for one week per year - costs for one week per year are usually in the $10-15,000 range. There are a number of pros and cons to timeshare vacation ownership
  • Investing in fractional ownership (often called Residence Clubs) where you may buy anything from one to three months per year - can cost anything from $50,000 to $1,000,000 depending on length of stay
  • Joining a Destination Club which gives you unlimited access to private luxury residences - costs can be anything from $150,000 to $1,000,000
  • Joining a Private Membership Club like Global Resorts Network where you pay a one-off membership fee and then a reduced amount for each vacation that you take - costs around $2,000 to $4,000 to join

With any financial commitment like this, you really need to read up and research the subject as much as possible before committing yourself to such a venture.

Several books have been written specially about buying a property in Florida which you can find in our Florida book directory (see top right panel).

If you don't want to make the financial commitment then as well as staying in hotels, motels or a private villa, there are also straight forward house swap programs where you can simply swap houses with another family, anywhere in the world.

Other pages of interest