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Where Canadians Are Buying Homes

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It may be hard to get Canadians to Ajijic and area with these prices in the southern US.

http://www.walletpop.ca/2011/03/15/canadians-pick-us-south-for-property-investment/?icid=main%7Ccanada%7Cdl3%7Csec1_lnk3%7C206122

For many who want to retain home ownership vs rent home prices dictate a lot when deciding where to live. Plus, mortgage availability for some is a factor.

On a plus side visitors from Canada to Mexico is up significantly, just not home buyers.

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It would be so nice to have house prices return to sane levels, like those mentioned in the article.

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One thing not mentioned in the article was taxes, in many, if not most, cases they do not follow the sale price. Just because you bought it for $81K does not mean the tax appraiser doesn't still think it's worth $200K and will tax you at that rate. In fact, the mayor of Miami or a suburb was just recalled for raising taxes on already struggling owners. NOB I paid $6K the last year in taxes, I rent a like valued house here with taxes I'm told are under $200.

In Texas, your school tax (the largest part) flattens at age 65, my neighbor across the streets portion was something like $300, mine was $4k. As long as she lives there it will be $300, but if she were to buy my old house it would jump and flatten at $4k, so be very wary of the twists and turns desperate cities and states are employing to try to balance their budgets, all that shines is not gold.

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We are Canadians and we bought in Chapala last June. As we all know, many Canadians are looking at deals in Florida with prices being extremely attractive. However, once you dig deeper the reality is that as Canadians buying in Florida we're faced with two factors. A non resident property assesment levy is applied and we are not able to will the ownership of properties to our children. Big problem. I'm not sure if Canada even has a tax treaty with the US??

I believe this will attract many more Canadians to the Mexican housing market over the next few years. As more and more of us Canuks relocate to the area, more will follow!

Kind of like the "monarch butterflies!"

Cheers,

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We are Canadians and we bought in Chapala last June. As we all know, many Canadians are looking at deals in Florida with prices being extremely attractive. However, once you dig deeper the reality is that as Canadians buying in Florida we're faced with two factors. A non resident property assesment levy is applied and we are not able to will the ownership of properties to our children. Big problem. I'm not sure if Canada even has a tax treaty with the US??

I believe this will attract many more Canadians to the Mexican housing market over the next few years. As more and more of us Canuks relocate to the area, more will follow!

Kind of like the "monarch butterflies!"

Cheers,

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/canada.pdf

Can you prove your claim that Canadians cannot will their US property to their children? I have never seen any evidence of that. There are, however, many considerations of inheritance tax plus income tax if living for 183 days in the US. Those should definitely be looked into. I think the main obstacle for Canadians buying property in the US in the lack of a long term residency option.

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"the lack of a long term residency option"...

Wonder why the American Government can't see that gift horse. Wonder how much money they'd rake in if they applied the same system that Mexico does for foreigners?...just thinkin' out loud.

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I don't know about the legal issues - I'm not Canadian so I've never looked into it

BUT, I am in Florida right now (cape coral - fort myers are for a three month home exchange) and my own home is in Arizona (Mesa - Phoenix area).

My impressions (based on local chatter and local news reports and conversations with realtors, usually during happy hour) are that the canadians ARE in the market and buying in Florida and Arizona.

We've met several canadians (and Americans) that were considering purchasing in Mexico, but are looking at Florida instead. Reasons varied from narco activity to concerns about the Mexican government to concerns about owning thru a trust if one wants to purchase waterfront property in Mexico. Availabilty of mortgages was another factor, but not mentioned as often (possibly because of a natural reluctance to discuss money with strangers?)

we've met quite a few snowbirds who are doing winter in fl or AZ this year instead of Mexico. Narco and crime activity was cited as the reason in all cases.

We are also noticing Quute a few Europeans looking at property or have recently purchased in both fl and AZ (more in fl), Germans, French, British, Romania.

While property taxes in Florida our high (to us), Arizona remains a low RE state (by comparison to most other large city and suburban areas of the US).

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LAKE CHAPALA

* Better year round weather than Florida, Arizona and Nevada

* Lower cost of living on most (not all) goods and services

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I am from the Cape Coral/ Ft. Myers area in Florida before moving here 7 years ago. There are advantages to both areas.

Here, it is the weather and the low taxes. Other than that, the cost of nearly everything else, except domestic help, is the same or higher.

We have three friends that were lucky enough to sell their houses here. One couple sold their home for $140,000 and bought a beautiful 2 bedroom condo in Ft. Lauderdale, that originally sold for $110,000, for $32,000. Another couple sold here for $235,000 and bought a really nice home in Ocala, in a community with 3 pools, 3 clubhouses, a theater, and all kinds of planned activities, for $140,000. Their friends sold here for $150,000 and bought a really nice home with a tree shaded lot in the same community for $125,000. All three couples are in their 70's. If they put the difference in the sales price of their homes here, and the ones they bought back in Florida, in the bank, they would each have to live well into their 100's before the difference in taxes were made up.

In the same respect, utilities are mostly lower than here and that is with heat and air. They also have the luxury of great grocery stores and other conveniences that are sorely missing in Mexico and none of the corruption, etc. All three have told me that they are glad they got to live in Mexico but are much happier back in the US.

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I am from the Cape Coral/ Ft. Myers area in Florida before moving here 7 years ago. There are advantages to both areas.

Here, it is the weather and the low taxes. Other than that, the cost of nearly everything else, except domestic help, is the same or higher.

we've noticed the prices for food in the grocery stores to be 25-35% higher in Fl than what we pay in AZ. I know that Phoenix is one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country, and I see little competition to Publix here in cape coral - fort myers. I'm guessing that explains a lot. Retail Wine is about 10-15% higher in Fl, probably due to taxes.

Dining out? About the same for fl and AZ - but way more expensive than lakeside.

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One thing not mentioned in the article was taxes, in many, if not most, cases they do not follow the sale price. Just because you bought it for $81K does not mean the tax appraiser doesn't still think it's worth $200K and will tax you at that rate. In fact, the mayor of Miami or a suburb was just recalled for raising taxes on already struggling owners. NOB I paid $6K the last year in taxes, I rent a like valued house here with taxes I'm told are under $200.

In Texas, your school tax (the largest part) flattens at age 65, my neighbor across the streets portion was something like $300, mine was $4k. As long as she lives there it will be $300, but if she were to buy my old house it would jump and flatten at $4k, so be very wary of the twists and turns desperate cities and states are employing to try to balance their budgets, all that shines is not gold.

The issue on Taxes also apply to any Lakeside/Mexico purchase...if you buy an older property that was not "fairly" appraised, the new tax priced will more closely reflect the actual purchase value

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we've noticed the prices for food in the grocery stores to be 25-35% higher in Fl than what we pay in AZ. I know that Phoenix is one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country, and I see little competition to Publix here in cape coral - fort myers. I'm guessing that explains a lot. Retail Wine is about 10-15% higher in Fl, probably due to taxes.

Dining out? About the same for fl and AZ - but way more expensive than lakeside.

With regard's to eating...it depends if you are a person who lives to eat, or eat to live..the Fl early bird specials beat out what is available at Lakeside...

Also where can you buy a single 1bed, 1bath condo for less than 25,000usd with 350usd monthly fee for a tremendous amount of actives on site..

Many of the supermarkets have weekly specials and given the amount of food you buy for a single or 2 person, the differential cost is pea nuts

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Toby I agree totally.

Friend in Ft Myers and based on reduced value of home his property taxes went from 1800 to 450. Not saying FL is better and as at least one mentioned we Canadians can not live in the US all year. I do know that once you are in the US if you never left no one would know. I have lived in all 3 countries in North America and each has pros and cons. My first choice would be NM if feasible, having lived there and feeling at home.

But as Peter noted, you buy a house for say 100,000 less in FL and you have a nice chunk of cash to pay the differences.

Also, I suspect a large number of retirees in northern states when they can sell will definitely go to southern US.

To sell locally, homeowners have to be realistic and as one seller did last month, consider taking back a mortgage.

One with patience can build in Mexico and also save quite a bit.

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One thing not mentioned in the article was taxes, in many, if not most, cases they do not follow the sale price. Just because you bought it for $81K does not mean the tax appraiser doesn't still think it's worth $200K and will tax you at that rate. In fact, the mayor of Miami or a suburb was just recalled for raising taxes on already struggling owners. NOB I paid $6K the last year in taxes, I rent a like valued house here with taxes I'm told are under $200.

In Texas, your school tax (the largest part) flattens at age 65, my neighbor across the streets portion was something like $300, mine was $4k. As long as she lives there it will be $300, but if she were to buy my old house it would jump and flatten at $4k, so be very wary of the twists and turns desperate cities and states are employing to try to balance their budgets, all that shines is not gold.

A thoughtful post! My taxes on a 2400 sq. ft. lakeview. masonry house, high on a hill in Vista del Lago are $115 USD/ equivalent. In the USA. my reposessed condo which I bought from HUD for $44,444.00, the taxes are over $800 USD per year.

For zero taxes and no building permits required, move out farther east to San Juan Tecomatlan, Tlachichilco, las Lajas, etc. in the municipality of Poncitlan.

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we've noticed the prices for food in the grocery stores to be 25-35% higher in Fl than what we pay in AZ. I know that Phoenix is one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country, and I see little competition to Publix here in cape coral - fort myers. I'm guessing that explains a lot. Retail Wine is about 10-15% higher in Fl, probably due to taxes.

Dining out? About the same for fl and AZ - but way more expensive than lakeside.

First of all, one cannot beat a Publix when it comes to grocery stores in Florida. They are a little higher than some for certain things and the same or lower on others. But the freshness, the variety of items, their meats, their bakery, and deli, etc. make it a no-brainer when comparing shopping there to any grocery store here in Mexico. And, prices have gone up here on nealy everything. I will bet that shopping there is not a lot cheaper, if any, for identical items here in Mexico.

And, as for restaurants, prices here have also escalated over the years. Sure, you can still get tacos, tamales, etc. at great prices but one will pay as much, if not more, for a good meal at a really nice place. One poster recently talked about a meal he had in Guad. He and his wife spent $1000 pesos for dinner for two. Dinner at Four is no big bargain. Simply Thai is more expensive than most good Thai restaurants in the US. Mediocre Chinese food here is far more expensive than a good Chinese restaurant in the US.

It all depends where one wants to eat. As someone pointed out, senior specials at many restaurants are a bargain and lower priced than an equivalent meal here. Since you are in Cape Coral/Ft. Myers, try the International Buffet on College Parkway. Really good Chinese food for $5.95 for lunch and $9.95 for dinner, with seafood and crab legs. Huge variety of food. Try Moretti's, in Matlache, for lunch. Really good blackened fish, schnitzel, and other lunch specials for $8.95 and they are right on the water with a terrific view. A really large burger with fries can be had at Ruby Tuesdays for about the same money as you pay here at 60's in Paradise. The KFC on Del Prado, if they still have it, has a buffet with all you can eat for $7.95. I am also a big fan of Long John Silver's and can get fish and/or chicken planks for about $6.00 with fries and cole slaw. Arby's has specials and you can get a good roast beef sandwich for about the price of two tacos here and the roast beef has a lot more meat. Sure, there are a lot of pricey restaurants in Florida and Arizona but, for for those that just like to go out and eat good food, one can get away in both areas at the same or lower costs as here.

Two examples I gave recently were in neither state. We went to a place called Thai Dee in San Antonio. A cup of soup, a spring roll, and a huge plate of Pad Thai that was far superior to anything we have had in Mexico was $6.95. That is way less than Simply Thai and they do not include the soup or egg roll and much better food. We went to a Dim Sum restaurant in Austin where we had 8 different dishes, mostly with shrimp, and got out of there for $24 with beverages, tax, and tip. About the same money we spend at Min Wah for two dinners and not much more than two lunch specials and an order of egg rolls. Both these restaurants are in shopping centers so you know their rent and wages far exceed those of any place in Ajijic. Yet, their meals are higher quality and more food than one can get here.

The three couples that moved back to Florida all say they are iving there for the same, or less, than what they spent here. Except for not having a maid and better weather, they are all happy to be back in the good old USA.

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First of all, one cannot beat a Publix when it comes to grocery stores in Florida. They are a little higher than some for certain things and the same or lower on others. But the freshness, the variety of items, their meats, their bakery, and deli, etc. make it a no-brainer when comparing shopping there to any grocery store here in Mexico. And, prices have gone up here on nealy everything. I will bet that shopping there is not a lot cheaper, if any, for identical items here in Mexico.

And, as for restaurants, prices here have also escalated over the years. Sure, you can still get tacos, tamales, etc. at great prices but one will pay as much, if not more, for a good meal at a really nice place. One poster recently talked about a meal he had in Guad. He and his wife spent $1000 pesos for dinner for two. Dinner at Four is no big bargain. Simply Thai is more expensive than most good Thai restaurants in the US. Mediocre Chinese food here is far more expensive than a good Chinese restaurant in the US.

It all depends where one wants to eat. As someone pointed out, senior specials at many restaurants are a bargain and lower priced than an equivalent meal here. Since you are in Cape Coral/Ft. Myers, try the International Buffet on College Parkway. Really good Chinese food for $5.95 for lunch and $9.95 for dinner, with seafood and crab legs. Huge variety of food. Try Moretti's, in Matlache, for lunch. Really good blackened fish, schnitzel, and other lunch specials for $8.95 and they are right on the water with a terrific view. A really large burger with fries can be had at Ruby Tuesdays for about the same money as you pay here at 60's in Paradise. The KFC on Del Prado, if they still have it, has a buffet with all you can eat for $7.95. I am also a big fan of Long John Silver's and can get fish and/or chicken planks for about $6.00 with fries and cole slaw. Arby's has specials and you can get a good roast beef sandwich for about the price of two tacos here and the roast beef has a lot more meat. Sure, there are a lot of pricey restaurants in Florida and Arizona but, for for those that just like to go out and eat good food, one can get away in both areas at the same or lower costs as here.

Actually, Peter, we've found the quality and prices to be better at SweetBay. And steak at Costco is far better, and similarly priced, to any of the grocery stores we've found in Florida. I'm more surprised by the difference in prices between Florida and AZ:

Whole chicken - 67 cents/lb in AZ, 98 cents/lb in Fl

Pork ribs (not baby backs) - 99 cents to $1.99/lb in AZ, $2.29 to $3.99 in Florida

Bone in rib eye steak - $3.99 - $4.99/lb in AZ, $5.99 to $6.99+ in Florida

(All of the above are sale prices and not from any specialty meat stores - just regular grocery stores, especially Kroger/Fry's in Arizona.)

Thanks for the suggestions, Peter. We've discovered and enjoyed the Cuban and Peruvian restaurants (lots of food and reasonably priced), as well as some good pizza places. In fact, the Peruvian place had a great grouper sandwich for about $6 with fries or cole slaw - beats hell out of Long John Silvers. (But I admit, I've never been a chain restaurant or fast food fan, except for breakfast, which I rarely eat.) And trust me, I'm not going to find a good steak like you get at Tango for $100 pesos around here, nor the delicious and cheap street tacos.

And - there are a helluva lot of closed restaurants and shops around here - almost as many as Phoenix. I suspect the reason for more closures in Phoenix is not a result of the economy so much as the result of more competition.

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we've noticed the prices for food in the grocery stores to be 25-35% higher in Fl than what we pay in AZ. I know that Phoenix is one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country, and I see little competition to Publix here in cape coral - fort myers. I'm guessing that explains a lot. Retail Wine is about 10-15% higher in Fl, probably due to taxes.

Dining out? About the same for fl and AZ - but way more expensive than lakeside.

Phoenix is beautiful, but it would be difficult to take the heat in the summer. Just got back from there a week ago, it was beautiful weather in March, but 110+ in the summer, no way!

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Are there any insurance carriers in Florida today that provide Hurricane coverage with a reasonable deductible?

If so, how much does that cost nowadays after the 2004 season when something like 5 hurricanes crisscrossed the state?

I'm not interested in living there, just curious that's all. I lived there once and my experience was that most of my expenses in Florida were greater than in Mexico including taxes, food, utilities. Maybe things have changed a lot since I left in '05.

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