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Should I buy property in Florida?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions |

From warm weather and sunshine to tax benefits and quality of life, these are just a few common reasons people consider making the move to Florida. Those who are thinking of this move are not alone. According to the most recent data, over 318,000 people relocated to Florida in 2022. This made Florida the most popular state in the nation for those looking to make a move by a sizable portion. Texas, the second highest, reported almost 100,000 less newcomers.

Whether moving across the country or down the road, moves are never easy. Packing everything up and finding the right property is difficult. Add in the high likelihood that those moving from a high tax state, like New York, to a low or no tax state, like Florida, could face a residency audit. State taxing authorities use these audits to determine if the taxpayer actually moved or used it as a front to avoid tax obligations.

These realities, combined with the explosion of online technology offering the ability to buy property with the click of a button, make it more important than ever for homebuyers to act with caution when buying property in the Sunshine State.

What could go wrong?

When it comes to online transactions you could find yourself the victim of fraud. Instead of buying a property, a bad actor could steal your money.

The tax audits noted above are also becoming more common. New York is notorious for coming after those who try to relocate to Florida. If the state agency is successful, you could find yourself facing an unexpected tax bill from a state you no longer call home.

How can I protect myself?

First, make sure a proposed real estate transaction is legit. Check the parties involved and only use reputable sellers, banks, and mortgage providers as well as title and closing service providers. When making the move, it helps to spend the majority of time in your new home state and also move important items, like vehicles, family pets, and heirlooms. This can serve as evidence to support that the new state is your domicile if you are ever the subject of a residency audit.