GETTING STARTED

Establishment of a company

From a fiscal and legal point of view, it is often more convenient to purchase real estate through U.S. companies established specifically for the purpose.

Transfer of funds

Depending on the circumstances it may be useful, though not indispensable, to open a current account in the U.S. There are in fact various ways of managing the transfer of capital necessary for purchasing real estate in Florida.

Fiscal aspects, tax return

Making an investment abroad can be confusing for anyone unfamiliar with the local laws and tax regulations. For this reason it is indispensable to obtain the assistance of a local legal expert and, if necessary, of a tax advisor. Each State within the U.S. has different regulations. Florida is favourable to investors from the point of view of taxes. However, to avoid unpleasant surprises we advise against a DIY approach. First as investors, then as consultants, we have selected a team of professionals capable of assisting every investor. These partners are able to perform a comparative evaluation of the situation in the U.S. and in that of the investor’s country of origin.


 

Introduction to market dynamics

In order to avoid the most common mistakes, investors must become fully aware of differences and similarities between the real estate market in Florida and that of their country of origin.

Step-by-step assistance

Local procedures may differ from those of the clients’s country of origin, or be totally unknown to anyone lacking expertise in the foreign real-estate market. Receiving step-by-step assistance can simplify matters and contribute to a more serene approach.


READY TO BUY PROPERTY?

Market analysis

This is the most sensitive phase of a real-estate operation: making a sound purchase is the one and only key to an optimal result of the real-estate operation.
Therefore it is of paramount importance to understand the milestones of real estate, i.e. factors that have the greatest influence on increasing the commercial appeal of an estate and its resale potential.

Conditions of the property

It is fundamental for investors to verify the conditions of the property they intend to buy, and this can only be achieved through an on-the-spot inspection. Note that American building materials and methods are very different from the European standard. Because of this, faster deterioration requires more maintenance. Even though restructuring works in U.S. are very different from those performed in Europe (their timing and bureaucracy being drastically reduced), it is always advisable to avoid unexpected costs and delays.

Feasibility study

The competitiveness of investing in U.S. real estate lies in the speed of operations. Therefore a suitable strategy must be adopted, ranging from “cosmetic rehab”, i.e. a coat of paint, in some cases, to a radical restructuring, depending on needs and objectives established in advance. Criteria governing aesthetic taste in Florida must be borne in mind, and property for rental must have certain specific characteristics. FHI supports investors throughout each step of the restructuring operations, ensuring that properties are handed over in a turnkey condition.

Works management

The planning and management of the restructuring works are fundamental in determining the successful outcome of these restructuring operations: this is our point of strength in Florida, acquired through years on hands-on experience, with the know-how and expert eye of investors who can tailor the works to suit the intended use of the property: resale or rental.

Purchasing channels

Auctions, foreclosures, short sales, multiple listing systems, private owners: these are merely some of the purchasing channels on offer, depending on the investor’s objectives, requirements and interests.


THE RENOVATION PROCESS

Restructuring

This is the second most important factor in the successful outcome of a real-estate operation; a factor that must be borne in mind in the purchase phase, when it is vital to have a clear and precise idea of the works to be carried out and of the maximum budget available, and taking into account that restructuring works in America are far more diversified than they are in Europe. In the case of single families, materials used locally – particularly for the redistribution of internal spaces – enable ultra-fast instalment; the cost of plant engineering is far more affordable than that of traditional architecture. This means that a medium-sized house can be totally restored in 2-3 months. While for “cosmetic rehab” – little more than a coat of paint – all you need is a small firm. The role of a licensed contractor is indispensable in the case of a radical restoration. Criteria governing aesthetic taste in Florida must be considered, and property for rental must have certain specific characteristics. FHI supports investors throughout each step of the restructuring operations, identifying the most cost-effective strategy, with a view to delivering turnkey solutions without problems of any sort.


THE LEASE

The PM (property manager)

For those wishing to purchase, restore and rent a property, a qualified PM is indispensable: a professional who deals with the selection of a suitable tenant; administers the property and ensures that everything runs smoothly; reports any damages to the estate; and collects both the rent and any reimbursements. His collaboration is essential if you wish to rent a property and live serenely. Rental real-estate income in the U.S. is a unique opportunity in this socio-economic context. Correct property management (i.e. the management of rented property), ensures peace of mind to investors who acquire rental property abroad and have it managed from a distance in a safe and professional manner. In the U.S. the rights of a landlord are far more protected than they are in Italy, where there is no guarantee of actually collecting a secure income from the rented property. The PM conducts a careful selection of tenants, verifying their past and current financial position, criminal record, and current income, through official data banks. In case of rental default, the PM immediately procures eviction. The PM also oversees any (minor or major) maintenance operations on the rented property. Relieved of any other worry, the investor receives a monthly report of payments.


SALE OF THE PROPERTY

The seller-broker

Only if the phases of purchase and restructuring – and the rental, if applicable – are carried out in the best possible manner, returns on investment can be very interesting. Correctly evaluated real estate can be sold in 30-60 days. Note, however, that again in this case the role of the broker is fundamental and can make a significant difference in terms of marketing, negotiation and market strategies.