Frequently asked questions

1. Is it smart to invest in Florida at the current time?

Yes! Property values are as low as 10 years ago. In addition Europeans still enjoy the benefit of the currency exchange rate and it is very rare that low market values correspondent with a low dollar.

2. Why is South West Florida and Naples in particular interesting?

Naples and Marco Island belong to the fastest growing and most attractive cities in the US and location is key when it comes to investing in Real Estate. Currently the inventory of properties is the lowest in 3 years and when supply decreases and demand increases prices will increase as well.

3. Why is this website so important?

This website is directly connected to the largest Florida Property Search Engine and includes over 150,000 properties from Southwest Florida, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral, Sarasota and the East Coast, Miami, Ft.Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm Beach. This search engine is by far the best way to find your dream home and the search criteria and possibilities are unparallel in the industry. Find the best deals, heavily reduced or bank owned properties.

The website was mainly designed for European Investors in German and in English.

With European exposure sellers increase the likelihood to sell faster and better. This website increases our seller's exposure to more than 350,000,000 Europeans.

4. I am interested in purchasing a property in Florida. How should I prepare myself?

  1. Enter your search criteria to find your dream home at Florida-Immobilien-kaufen.de.
  2. Click on the properties of your choice to obtain detailed information.
  3. Contact us by e-mail at info@naplesrealtynetwork.com or by phone directly in Florida at +1 239-285-1332.
  4. Check your financials. Approx. 30% downpayment id needed to finance a property in the US at low rates. Cash buyers should ask their bank for a verification of funds to demonstrate credibility and for more effective negotiations.
  5. Plan a trip to Florida. Upon request we would refer a travel agency.
  6. Tell us about your plan. When do you want to visit Florida? We would need to make showing appointments to see the homes of your choice. Stay informed about the market and visit our property search engine frequently. The best deals go fast and we don't want you to pass out on them.
  7. Be prepared for an intial deposit to purchase a property. Any purchase requires a good faith deposit just to indicate the seriousness of an offer. The amount varies from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the house value. We must deposit this amount in our attorneys escrow account and it will be applied towards the purchase price at closing or fully refunded if the buyer rejects the offer.

5. How to obtain more details about a property?

Click on “more information” and we will contact you asap.

6. Some properties are described as “Short Sales”. What does it mean?

Short Sales are deals, where the purchase price is not sufficient to meet the mortgage amount. Short Sales require lenders approval and are time consuming to deal with. Everything starts with an offer and sellers acceptance contingent upon bank approval. Some banks are still overwhelmed with their bad debts and the approval process takes very long or lenders entertain multiple offers and choose the highest bidder to purchase the property. This procedure could be time consuming and frustrating if your offer will not be approved. “Approved Short Sales” are in a advances stage of approval and sellers already know how much the lender accepts to make this deal. “Bank Owned Properties” are repossed homes that the lender took back in lieu of foreclosure or purchased back at auction. These are mostly the best available deals, since banks are not in the business to deal with real estate and like to liquidate this asset. To assist you in the best way, we would need to carefully check the invidual properties and sales histories to protect you and your investment.

7. How can I see a property?

Please contact us by e-mail at info@naplesrealtynetwork.com or phone at +1-239-285-1332 to schedule a showing.

8. How do I travel to Naples or Marco Island?

The nearest Airport is Southwest Florida International Airport, with direct International flights from Duesseldorf and Frankfurt, Air Berlin and domestic flights from most metropolitan areas in the US.

9. Do I need a Realtor to purchase a property in the US?

You don't need a Realtor by law to purchase a property, but it is highly recommended to use a Professional of your choice to buy a home. Choose a Realtor for representation. Only Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors. They are committed to the Code of Ethics and maintain a high level of knowledge to represent you in a transaction. A Realtor must be licensed with the State and must fullfill continuing education. Only Realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). In Florida commsisions are paid by sellers and split between listing and selling agent. Foreign buyers should consult with a Realtor, who speaks their language and understands their culture. Besides English we speak German, Polish, Spanish, Russian and French.

10. Is the real estate commission always paid by the seller?

Normally real estate commissions are paid by the seller. Listing and selling agent split the overall commission of 6%. A buyer can use the services of a Realtor usually without any further compensation. A buyer broker fee may apply if the property value is below $75,000 and the transaction commission is not sufficient to cover the brokers workload or the work involved in a complicated short sale scenario with uncertain closing. This is a good investment, since Realtors saved their clients top dollars by purchasing the right property.

11. Is it necessary to use multiple Realtors?

No. The Real Estate Market in the US is very transparent and all Realtors have access to all properties actively listed on the market trough the MLS. It creates conflicts between Realtors if clients use multiple Professionals and we highly recommend to carefully choose your Realtor.

12. Is the use of Florida-Immobilien-kaufen.de and consultation free of charge?

Yes. The use of this Search Engine and Consultation is free of charge to you.

13. How much are related costs to purchase a property in Florida?

In addition to the purchase price the following related costs apply for the buyer:

  1. Appraisal (necessary if purchase price is financed)
  2. “Title Insurance” approx. 0,5% of purchase price. (Sellers expense in some countys)
  3. Title Company or Attorney Costs approx $200 - $1,000
  4. Recording Fees approx. $100 - $300
  5. Survey approx. $250

The Seller is responsible for State State Documentary Tax ($0,70 per $100 Purchase Price) and Intangible Tax on the Mortgage if financed.

14. The legal purchase procedure in Real Estate.

The Buyer submits a legally binding offer through his Realtor in form of a written purchase contract. Realtors must use a Standard Contract that was provided by their local Board of Realtors in conjunction with Real Estate Attorneys. The offer includes details about the purchase price, deposits, cash or financing terms, closing dates and inclusion of furniture and personal property.

Verification of funds or financing pre-approvals are mostly attached to the offer with an initial downpayment to demonstrate the seriousness of an offer. The seller can reject, accept or counter an offer with a higher price or modified terms. After acceptance a legally binding purchase contract is executed and the Realtor delivers the sale and purchase contract to a Title Company or Attorney for execution. A title search will be performed to convey title free and clear of encumbrances and to ensure title.

At Closing the parties exchange the property for money.

15. Can foreigners own and finance properties in Florida?

Yes. Anyone can own property in the Sunshine State. Foreigners need approx. 35% Downpayment of appraised value to finance properties. In our boom time between 2003 and 2006 it was relatively easy for foreigners to finance just with recommendation letters and verification of downpayment. Now banking regulations have made it more difficult to obtain financing and tax returns are necessary to verify income. The prerequisites to finance are basically the same except for the higher downpayment for foreigners. Please contact Kirsten Paul at info@paul-finance.com or visit www.paul-finance.com for further finance information.

16. How much carrying cost do I have to calculate for my property?

The most important costs are:

Property Tax

Property Tax is a yearly advalorem tax that is paid in arrears. The tax bill will arrive in Nov for the current year and must be paid until April 1 next year. There is a discount for early payment and it is smart to pay right away in Nov. Property Tax is based on the appraised value that will be determined new every year depending on average sales in the neighborhood.

The amount of Property Tax is also dependant on the millage rate that applies to the area and varies from county to county. Collier County, Naples has a tax rate of approx. 1.25%. Here is an example for a home appraised at $500,000: Purchase price: $700,000 in 2009, appraised value: $500,000 x 1.25% = $6,250 per year. Please note that the displayed Property Tax is the current tax and will change after purchase next Nov.

There is no State Income Tax in Florida just Federal Income Tax (what attracts Millionaires relocating here) and the Sales Tax is relatively modest at 6%. The Property Tax therefore finances most of the public costs such as schools, streets, hospitals, etc.

HOA, Home Owners Association Fee

Every Gated Community is organized as a Home Owners Association and the amount of monthly fee depents largely on amenities offered. Golfing, Fitness, Pools, Saunas and Restaurants are costly.

Insurance

Most homeowners sign for windstorm, hazard and in coastal areas for floor insurance. A rule of thumb for premium calculation is about $500 per $100,000 purchase price.

“House-Keeping”

Most homes in Florida have absentee owners and a house keeping service charges around $200 per month to watch the property once a week.

Lawn Service

Lawn Service only applies at single family homes, condos usually take care of the community lawn and charge owner fees. A landscaping service charges about $200 a month for complete lawn service for a standard 80′ x 110′ property.

Additional Cost

Electricity, Water, Cable or Dish TV and Telefon depend largely on usage, but there are service fees even if you don't use utilities.

17. Is the information displayed at Florida-Immobilien-Kaufen.de legally binding?

The search engine received information from local MLS systems and depends largely on the listing agents, who entered the information. Realtors are obligated to check information before publication in the MLS, but it is human nature to make mistakes. This website is not responsible and liable for any errors.