Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Do you know the most affordable tax states in United States?

Everybody wants to save and that applies especially when it comes to taxes. In this field we are all the same and want to keep as much as possible in our own pockets. Everybody is working hard for their meat on the table  and the prices for the groceries, gas, restaurant and health are constantly rising while the wages do not increase at the same rate.

When you have job from 9 to 5 at a specific location, then you are bound to that working space. Also when you have your own business or tight family connection your living spot is defined by that circumstances with its state tax rates.

In case you are free to decide where to live and you are not tight to the job location, then you have the opportunity to reside in states where the tax rates are more favorable for you and your lifestyle.

In a study the states have been examined where the tax burden is the lowest and Florida was ranked on spot number 7 behind states like Alaska, Nevada and Tennessee to name only the top three.
Here is a little inside into the Florida tax rates. A Floridian pays
3.14 % of the income for sales taxes (this tax is calculated on all goods except food)
2.40 % of the income for property tax (only paid by home owners, tenant do not have this expense)
0.02 % of the income for income tax (this tax is the Federal income tax, Florida has no State income tax)
The total tax percentage is 5.56 % of your total income. That is a great number in comparison to many other countries in the world. 

Please keep in mind this is a statistic calculation to give you a hint about the taxes situation in Florida and it is not a tax advice.

For further questions you can contact us at info@florida-informations.com   


Friday, March 27, 2015

The life begins beyond 50

In the first half of life the focus is often on having a family and providing for spouse and children. Looking for the better job and earning a good income so that everyone in the family is happy. That is the normal life in many countries but as soon as you enter the second half of your life your daily life is different when you live in Germany or in the United States.

In Germany the people start their working life circle when they left school and got their education. They often stick to their profession for decades and they are not very interested to look for different alternatives in life. The life besides the work is mostly based on hobbies, sports, vacation and a little bit community involvement. They work until they can retire with the age of 65+ and they dream from their retirement and what they would do when they get there. When they get there they are often to exhausted to try new things and stick to what they already know. That is the normal German culture of life.

In the United States the people have a different expectancy of life. In their first part of life they are already very active in their jobs and additional education is big part of their life. They are always looking for better opportunities to make a little bit additional money for retirement. Their most important interest besides the work is their home, their neighborhood and their community where they often do volunteer work. But the most important difference in this way of life is that American people are more sliding into their retirement. They have already plans and they often start the realization for their retirement dreams beyond 50 or 55.

Based on a market study the plans of the retirees in the United States include for example to sell their homes but not for downsizing purposes. They often buy a bigger home so that their family – their children and grandchildren – can come for a visit and live with them during the holidays and vacation time. They slowdown in their work life und enjoy more the life balance. Friends and community work takes over the most important interest. They offer their live experience and knowledge often to community work and projects where they meet will many other folks from different ages and different cultures.

In Fort Lauderdale for example many elderly persons are spent their time as tour guides at historical side and explain the history of the city to tourists. Such services are very much appreciated by the municipalities and they add value not only to their lives of the retirees but also to the lives of others.

You want to know more about different cultures please ask us at

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What are Closing Cost?

This is a very important question for a home buyer because these costs are related to your home purchase and they are additional to the purchase price. The closing costs are expenses that are often ignored and not clearly explain to the buyer. The amount of these costs can easily add up to 2 to 5 % of the purchase price.

When you as the buyer make your probably biggest live time investment you are certainly interested to get your new home without any strings attached. To accomplish this goal you have to know that there are some service expenses involved. However, not all closings costs are paid by you as the buyer.

Parts of the closing expenses are paid by the seller but you are the beneficiary. The seller paid costs are the title and lien search to make sure that your title is clean and marketable. The seller also pays his/her part of the service costs of the title company and the documentary stamps for the transfer of the real estate property.

Your buyer part of the closing expenses are the title insurance, the title service fees, the recording fees at the court for your deed and the mortgage. The title insurance covers you as the buyer in case an unrecorded lien is put on your property but the seller or another former owner of your property is the debtor. Such a title insurance is a must have so that you will have a good night sleep in your new home. The title service fees and the court recording fees are mandatory to make sure that you are correctly noted on all legally relevant public records and documents.

Besides these direct related closing costs there are also the expenses for a home inspection, the survey and the lender’s appraisal cost in case you take out a loan on the property. Not every home buyer want these expenses and try to avoid them but that can be a big mistake in the future.

This is only a short summary and focused on a Florida real estate transaction. For more details you can reach us at andrea@florida-informations.com or find information at this link:  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Solar Panels for lease

Like every other country the US citizens have rising utility bills too and they are looking how to keep a part of this utility money in their pocket. One solution to this matter is to mount solar panels on their roofs and power their homes with the produced energy.

The installation of such solar panels are not cheap and as a homeowner you have to put some thoughts into this matter. You can either buy the solar panels and install them as a part of your property or you can lease the panels and make monthly rent payments.   

When you buy the solar panel, you have a bigger investment at the purchase but the solar panels are a part of your home. In case you decide to sell your home, these panels will stay and they are a desirable feature for the next home owner. They also will add value to your home. As many market studies show the today’s buyer are looking for energy-efficient add-ons when they go on their house hunt and these panels are definitely such an add-on.

The lease option for the solar panels which might be more affordable to you and easy to get, can be an obstacle when you sell your home. When you sign the lease contract for the panels you normally have to stay in this contract for a long period of time because of the purchase prices of the solar panels. The owner of the panels try to make a profit on their investment and you will not have the option to terminate the lease contract because you have a change of mind. You might be reliable for the lease payments until the end of the lease contract and that amount can easily be a five digit figure.

The only option in your home sale is to get the potential new home owner into your lease contract for the solar panels. To do this in the correct and protected manner for you, you should contact your panel leasing company as soon as you have decided to sell.

To get more details you can contact us at andrea@florida-informations.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Commercial investors are coming mostly from Asia

The newest studies in the commercial real estate market show that international investors discovered the US market as a good investment option and their number is still growing. Over 40 % of the 13 Billion sold commercial real estate properties were sold in the second half of 2014 to Asian investors. This number puts them on the top of the international investors list.

Second on the international investors list for commercial properties are the European investors with more than 22 %. Closely followed on the third and fourth place by Latin America and the Middle East with 21 % and 20 %.

These numbers are based on nationwide data and there are certain hotspots for these investors. The Asian investors are concentrating their efforts in the last few months in the Mid-West while Florida traditionally is more in the focus of Latin America investors.

The investors are often interested in flexible open office space where the personal work space can be reduced for the benefit of bigger common room to intensify communication.

For more information and where to go for an investment you can contact us at

Sunday, March 15, 2015

High End Foreclosures

You think that is not possible? Such people have tons of money and can sit out the market downturn and financial crisis? That would be nice but these individuals have also their financial troubles. The only difference is that their foreclosure drama often starts later then that one of you and me.

The housing crisis and the stock market crash in 2008 affected the wealthier people with home values of $750,000 and more in the same way but they could survive the meltdown and avoid foreclosure longer than the ordinary middle class. The ordinary housing market had its highest foreclosure level in October 2011 while the high priced luxury market had its highest numbers in May 2012 and it is not yet over.

The states with the largest number of high end luxury mansions in the foreclosure process are New Jersey, New York and Florida. These states belong also to the states where many rich people own their primary or secondary residence.

We are here for you to present you the most elegant, luxury mansions, andrea@florida-informations.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Buy or rent – that is the question

Are you ask yourself that question? Then you need to decide first what your intention with the property is. Do you want to buy the house for yourself and your family and you find your dream home, then you should buy it now. In case you would like to buy it as a flipping object to make big money of it, then you may be too late. The best flipping deals are already gone and this kind of investors are retreating from the market in Florida.

To make the right decision for your individual case, you have also to consider the location. Not every market is the right market for a purchase. In some areas the housing market is still in buying territory because there are properties available that are affordable and you will get a payable mortgage on. These markets are not in Florida anymore because our market has low inventory and the best deals are already gone.

In the Florida market and especially in the southeast region the monthly rental costs and the monthly mortgage payments are side by side. It depends on your personal situation, if you should better rent and save money for your downpayment or if you are financially fit enough to buy a home.

You need help to make the right decision? You can contact us at andrea@florida-informations.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Investment money transfer for Foreign Buyers

The investment in real estate properties is always a good idea. Especially when you buy your property in a moderate prices market and in a favorable location. To do so you have to have enough money to pay for it. This requirement apply for domestic buyers as well as foreign national buyers. However, there is a difference to consider between the two buyer segments and this is important to know.

When a domestic buyer buys a property it is much easier to verify his/her financial resources based on the paystubs, background checks and tax returns, that have been filed with the tax authorities. But when it comes to foreign buyers there is not such an option. Foreign national not always work in the US and earn no income that has to be filed as income. When they have an account in a US-bank and use a US credit card they may have a credit history but the background checks are hardly possible.

To get to best possible information about a potential foreign buyer it is common in the real estate business that the foreign buyers have to wire their purchase funds to an American bank account timely enough before the transaction closing and every amount above $10,000 will be reported to government authorities. These requirements are a precaution against possible money laundry activities and they are standards in many countries worldwide not only in United States.

Therefore foreign buyers should remember that the times with a briefcase full of cash are over and no serious professional and no serious business will accept such a payment method.

For assistance to get your purchase money from your home country to the United States you can reach us at info@florida-informations.com  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Are you looking for adventures abroad?

Sometimes everybody has the dream to get on the next plane and seek a new live far away from home. Before you make this huge decision you should dig a little bit deeper into your mind and make a plan. Not every country is a good choice for such an adventure.

When you still have to work for your living, you need to find out where your specific work skill and work experience is in demand. You also have to find out what requirements apply for your dream country: do you need a visa, a health insurance, a work permit. Will you get a health insurance there or do you need to speak to an insurance person and much more.

In case that you are already in retirement, you do not need to worry about creating income and all the work related requirements. Your most important objective should be where you can live on your retirement income and where the necessary health care system is available for you. Please keep also in mind you are a guest in that foreign country and should adapt yourself to the country culture.

Based on a study about common expenses like grocery, utility, transportation and entertainment abroad, the most affordable places for retirees are countries like Nepal, India and Tunisia. These countries might not be your first choice. Countries that are often selected as abroad residence are countries like the United Kingdom and France, but these countries have much higher living expenses. The most expensive retirement locations are Switzerland and Norway.

In case you are looking for more details to this topic please contact us at info@florida-informations.com    

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Always check the license of a real estate professional

Every real estate professional in the United States must be licensed and each state has its own business license authority. In Florida the DBPR – Department of Business and Professional Regulations – has the authority to issue real estate licenses after the applicant has successful completed his/her education and passed the state exam. This license is only issued for two years and needs to be renewed at the end of every two years.

A properly licensed real estate agent has his/her state license always in the wallet because the license has only the size of a check or credit card. When the license is expired the real estate is no longer allowed to practice the real estate profession. The expiration date is stated on the license and easy to check.

Buying and selling of a property is for the most people a big deal and therefore you have to be careful with whom you are dealing. Unlicensed individuals do not know the proper procedure how to perform a real estate transaction correctly. They often try to scam you and sell or rent you poorly maintained properties with cloudy and dirty titles. When you realize this issues later on they have already disappeared and you have lost your invested money. I do not think that you want to make that experience – right?

In case you need more information to this topic please contact us at andrea@florida-informations.com or find details in this book:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Energy efficiency is trump

Over the last two years the utility bills have constantly increased and every home owner or tenant is interested to safe money in living energy efficient. Based on this many buyers are looking for energy efficient items in their home when they are on the house hunt. Even the former top wish - updated kitchen - is less important than energy efficient items. You as a home seller can win when you have prepared your house for these new buyer requirements.

The most important features buyers are looking for are energy saving light bulbs in the house. When you have already sealed your air leaks from house to the outside, that will be a great plus too and this upgrade doesn’t cost much. New and energy efficient appliances are the next item on the wish list of potential buyers and the programmable thermostat for the A/C system.

Many of these things can be done quickly with little costs and personal effort. With all these little changes it will be easy to achieve the most important goal of the energy saving: the change of your own energy use habits.

With this in mind you will make your home buyer happy and you will save much money on your power bill in your new home too when you keep these habits.

The exchange of my old A/C system with a new one put $200.00 into my pocket.

You want to know more, please contact us at info@florida-informations.com