Q&A With Gordon Pape: Is There Money to be Made in Florida Rentals?

Miami Florida skyline.

Photo: Mustang Joe/Pixabay

Q – Just wondering if I can make any money by buying a rental property in Florida. – Gojko B.

A – Many people do it but there are a lot of considerations for a Canadian.

Among them:

Can you get a mortgage? U.S. Mortgage lending requirements are very strict, and some financial institutions will not lend to non-residents. Before you make an offer on any property, make sure you can arrange financing.

Are you prepared to file U.S. tax returns? Renting a Florida property means you’ll have to collect state sales tax and file a federal tax return, which for non-resident can be a hassle. My advice is to get an accountant who can handle all this for you — although of course that will add to the expense.

Who will manage the property? Also, can you can find a 12-month renter, or someone will need to take care of the property while it is vacant (usually during the summer, which is hurricane season).

Can you make a profit? Check out the rental rates on comparable units in the area you are considering. Do the math to determine if you can make a few dollars after all the expenses have been figured in. – G.P.

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