British Homes Group in Landlord Investor Magazine

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ORLANDO RECORDS FASTEST GROWING POPULATION IN THE US
AS INVESTORS LOOK TO THE SUNSHINE STATE

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Orlando is number one destination for population growth, welcoming over 60,400 new residents in 12 months (US Census Bureau)

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ITS MOST FAMOUS RESIDENT, MICKEY MOUSE, THE US CITY OF ORLANDO IS CONTINUING TO ATTRACT A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF NEW INHABITANTS.

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According to the most recent figures released by the US Census Bureau, Orlando is the number one destination for population growth, adding over 60,400 new residents in just 12 months (July 2014 to July 2015).

This substantial increase accounted for a 2.6% growth in Orlando’s total population during the 12 month period, making it the fastest growing of the US’s 30 largest regions. Orlando’s rising population ensured that it was also named in Forbes.com’s prestigious list of America’s fastest growing cities.

Compiled by ranking the 100 largest metro areas and their surrounding suburbs, they factor in population growth for 2015 and 2016, year-over-year job growth for 2015, the metro’s economic growth rate, unemployment, and median annual pay for college-educated workers in the area.

Currently ranked 7th, with a substantial projected growth rate of 2.03% for 2016, Orlando is definitely a city to watch this year. With a rising population comes growing housing demand, and savvy international investors are increasingly looking to Orlando and the Sunshine State of Florida as a safe and secure destination, with a wealth of opportunities.


In 2015 Orlando greeted over 66 million tourists,  (Florida over 100 Million!) a 5.4% growth in comparison to 2014

As well as experiencing strong population growth, Orlando has also witnessed a surge of tourism in recent years, adding to its already strong position as a hub of real estate investment.

2015 saw Florida become the first state to ever welcome more than 100 million out-of-state and international tourists, with over 105 million people visiting the Sunshine State throughout the year. Will Seccombe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism authority, emphasised Orlando’s part in this record breaking achievement, explaining,

“Orlando is the most visited destination in the United States. It’s the most visited city, and certainly the home of the theme park capital of the world, right? No place else on earth can compare to that.”

The city itself attained a new tourism record in 2015 as ‘The City Beautiful’ welcomed over 66 million tourists. George Aguel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Visit Orlando, the region’s tourism arm, recently revealed 2015’s 5.4% growth, which comes just a year after Orlando became the first US destination to surpass 60 million visitors.

Orlando was America’s number one employment centre for job growth in 2015 (Labour Market Data)

Read the full article on our Buy To Let Homes site.

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With over 20,000 investment homes to choose from, British Homes Group can provide a fully managed leaseback agreement and bonus access to an exclusive rental partnership with Virgin Holidays. The partnership can assist and support investors in finding reliable tenants in order to make the most of the property.

For more information please contact British Homes Group today on +1 407 396 9914 or visit www.britishhomesgroup.com

Orlando Florida, USA

www.BuyToLetHomes.com | www.BritishHomesGroup.com

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Serving UK and International Villa Owners and Property Investors in the Walt Disney Area of Central Florida For Over 30 Years!

BRITISH HOMES GROUP FLORIDA

Orlando Real Estate experts!

Welcome to the British Homes Group Florida, the favourite one-stop shop for international clients buying or selling a Florida Property!Over the last twenty years We have literally helped thousands of British, Canadian and other International clients with their Florida Real Estate needs and we would be delighted to help with your enquiry.Please note, a Real Estate Agent here (called a Realtor) can help you with information on any home in the State, not just the ones they have listed.We specialise in the four county areas of Orange, Lake, Osceola and Polk but have helped clients buy houses throughout the Orlando area.Based in Kissimmee, (just outside Orlando) we have a full compliment of friendly British and American staff fluent in ‘both languages’ waiting to assist with your Orlando area real estate enquiries.Have a question about the process of buying a Florida 2nd Home or Vacation Property?

Source: BRITISH HOMES GROUP FLORIDA

Rules on international driving permits cause unintended consequences for Florida tourism

February 15, 2013 | By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel

Florida’s tourism industry is doing damage control after discovering a new state law that requires international visitors to have a special permit to drive lawfully in Orlando and the rest of the Sunshine State.

The state’s Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said Thursday it will defer enforcement of the International Driving Permit law, which it said may conflict with an international treaty. It has asked local law enforcement agencies to take the same stance, though the agency issued a statement only after international concerns arose about the law.

Visit Orlando, the area’s main tourism-marketing organization, has received dozens of inquiries about the requirement — mostly from concerned Canadians and other “snowbirds” heading to Florida on winter vacations. A spokesman for the visitors bureau said the permit requirement, passed last year as part of a large transportation bill, didn’t appear on his radar until last week, when it started getting mentions on Internet sites and blogs.

“Nobody in the tourism industry was aware of it last year when it went through,” said Brian Martin, the Visit Orlando spokesman.

The requirement that international visitors have the added permit in addition to a driver’s license from their home country was part of a 105-page piece of legislation, introduced last year by state Rep. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, that dealt with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Albritton said the disruption caused by the requirement was “clearly an unintended consequence,” and he was working to address the issue during the Florida Legislature’s upcoming session.

The rule originated as a way to help law enforcement officials who encountered driver’s licenses from other countries with information on them not written in English, Albritton said.

“There is absolutely, positively no intent to harm anybody in Canada or in any other country,” Albritton said. “We want them to come to Florida.”

He said the challenge now is to figure out how to help law enforcement do its job while continuing to welcome international visitors who arrive here in cars or rent a vehicle while here on vacation or business.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said it “understands the concerns of the international community and is working with its partners to ensure that visitors are not inconvenienced.”

“During the 2012 legislative session, the Florida Legislature amended section 322.04, Florida Statutes, to require visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit in order to drive lawfully in Florida. This change took effect Jan. 1, 2013,” the department stated Thursday.

“It has come to the Department’s attention that this requirement may violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949), an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory. Treaties to which the United States is a party preempt state laws in conflict with them.

“Therefore, the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of violations of the amended statutory section until a final determination of the alignment of the amendment with the treaty can be made. Non-resident visitors to Florida who wish to drive while here will be required to have in their immediate possession a valid driver license issued in his or her name from another state or territory of the U.S. or from their country of residence. However, the FHP will not take enforcement action based solely on the lack of an International Driving Permit.”

Visit Orlando said it is working to make sure the department’s written statement reaches those who are affected.

Canadian news media have raised other concerns, including whether the permits are needed to rent cars in Florida and whether the statute would invalidate Candians’ auto-insurance coverage.

The Canadian Automobile Association, while acknowledging things are “moving in the right direction,” is still recommending that Canadians traveling to Florida in the next few days consider obtaining a permit, at a cost of $25.

The association said on its website that the Insurance Bureau of Canada has strongly discouraged any insurer from using the amended Florida statute as a reason to deny coverage to motorists.

Orlando Real Estate Auction Educational Seminars

In the Orlando Florida real estate market there are some of the best bargains to be had in years.  So where should buyers go to find the best possible deals?  To auction!  That’s right, often times auction properties can be half price or less off of current real estate values.  Online real estate auctions can be daunting however – how do you buy safely and how can you be certain that what you are buying really IS a bargain?

The British Homes Group is collaborating with Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty (Florida’s affiliate of Sotheby’s in the UK) to educate British buyers of Florida real estate about the process behind online real estate auctions and answer all the questions potential buyers may have. 

British Homes Group and Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty will be hosting two complementary Internet auction seminars – October 7 and October 21 at 19:00 GMT.

The next auction is to be held on October 25th and will feature a selection of properties developed by Ginn Resorts including: Reunion Resort, Bella Collina Golf Club and Hammock Beach Resort.  All properties are in or near Orlando. 

Please visit the BHG website to find more information about the Florida real estate auction educational seminars.

Call British Homes Group Today for help with purchasing or financing your Orlando area dream home!

Orlando Area MLS Search

Realtors Reach out to British Investors in Florida

Recently four representatives from the Florida Association of Realtors visited London with a message for British second home buyers – the Florida market has some incredible real estate steals.  According to Tallahasse-based Florida Association of Realtors Vice President, John Sebree,

"The British are extremely important to the Florida real estate market.  We’re here to tell people that prices in Florida have never been lower and that there’s a huge inventory to choose from."

Right now Britons have very strong buying power with the offset of the pound to weak dollar.  This is the second British trade mission initiated by Florida Realtors in the last four months.  They are meeting with media outlets to pitch Florida real estate stories as well as trying to forge trade and referral relationships with British real estate companies.  The group is also focused on working with the US government to help loosen visa restrictions prohibiting foreigners from living in Florida second homes for longer than six months of the year.

Some Brits are concerned about the high property taxes in Florida, but as compared to several other US states the taxes are relatively low.  Insurance is also higher than anyone would like, but has stabilized in past years.   

According to the group, "buying in Florida is pretty much a no-brainer"! 

We agree!  The Orlando real estate team at British Homes Group is unique in that they employ British and American professionals who are experts in both UK and US property purchase and financing procedures.  Through co-brokerage arrangements and the availability of the Florida Property Multilist, they have access to one of the largest property databases available in Florida.

The British home loan division can also help the British home buyer with access to fixed and flexible mortgages in a variety of currencies.

Call British Homes Group Today for help with purchasing or financing your Orlando area dream home!

Orlando Area MLS Search 

British Homes Group Helps Hundreds of UK Orlando Real Estate Buyers

While the Florida market teems with an oversupply of homes and the pound remains strong, there has never been a better opportunity for UK real estate buyers to snatch up bargain Orlando dream homes.  Our team at British Homes Group has helped hundreds of British families find vacation homes in Florida over the years.  With the pound at a 26 year high, the Brits have a significant advantage over US buyers who are not only faced with trying to afford a home but also with a difficult mortgage market.  Developers in Florida notoriously over-built, which means that there is a ton of inventory up for grabs.  The economy remains strong with healthy job growth, so this is a great area to invest in as the market will likely level when the inventory wanes.  For now, sellers are highly motivated are bargains are available for the savvy investor. 

If buying real estate overseas seems a daunting process, don’t worry – our team at British Homes Group can help.  We guarantee impartial, professional advice on the current Florida market, on sales and mortgages and much more.  Our goal is to provide the UK real estate buyer with a completely hassle free transaction. 

Our Orlando real estate team is unique in that we have both British and American professionals who are experts in both UK and US property purchase and financing procedures.  Through co-brokerage arrangements and the availability of the Florida Property Multilist, We have access to one of the largest property databases available in Florida.

Our British home loan division can also help the British home buyer with access to fixed and flexible mortgages in a variety of currencies.

Still unconvinced?  To give you an idea of the available Orlando real estate bargains – you could be the new owner of a 5 bedroom, 3 bath fully furnished Clear Creek home with a pool just minutes from Disney for only $225,000.  Now that’s the real deal.

Call British Homes Group Today for help with purchasing or financing your Orlando area dream home!

Orlando Area MLS Search 

Assessing Your Ability to Keep Your Orlando Home in Foreclosure

If you are like most Orlando homeowners facing foreclosure, you want to keep your home. Perhaps you raised your family in this home and have fond memories of the good times you’ve had. Maybe you have school-aged children, and you don’t want to move them out of the neighborhood or school district and away from their friends. Or, maybe you just dread the thought of packing up and moving.

Unfortunately, for about 90 percent of Orlando homeowners facing foreclosure, selling the home and moving to more affordable accommodations is usually the best option. If you were unable to make the monthly mortgage payments before, making the payments in the future while trying to catch up on missed payments can be quite a challenge.

Can you keep your Orlando home? That depends on several factors, which this article explores.

Is This a Temporary or Permanent Financial Setback?

If you are facing foreclosure because of a temporary financial setback, such as a short-term layoff or a large, unexpected medical bill, then you have a much better chance of keeping the home. As long as you can afford the monthly mortgage payments going forward, you should be able to work out a payment plan with the bank to catch up on missed payments.

Is Bankruptcy an Option?

If you’re behind on your house payments primarily because you’re buried in credit card debt and other debts not secured by your home, you may be able to file for bankruptcy and keep your home. Consult with a reputable bankruptcy attorney in your area to find out whether bankruptcy is a viable option for you and which assets you would get to keep.

Don’t dismiss the bankruptcy option before exploring it fully. A bankruptcy attorney may charge you $350 to $400 for the initial consultation, but it is usually worth the cost.

Do You Have Mortgage Insurance?

If you have been paying mortgage insurance, that insurance could offset what the bank stands to lose from your inability to pay and may make it more appealing to work out a deal with you or negotiate a short sale (accepting less than full payment of the loan), so you can sell the home and at least break even.

Is Your Bank Willing to Cut You a Deal?

The mortgage crisis has weakened the bank’s ability and willingness to foreclose, because they simply cannot handle the vast number of foreclosures. They may be more inclined to cut you a deal that allows you to keep making payments rather than foreclose on you. Foreclosure sticks them with a property they must rehab and sell, and your property’s value may not be sufficient to cover what you owe on your mortgage. Foreclosure usually costs the bank a lot of money.

Contact your bank and see what kind of deal they can offer you. They may forgive part of your debt, modify your mortgage to make your monthly payments more affordable, or work out a payment plan with you to catch up on missed payments over time or add them to the end of your mortgage.

Can You Borrow Money to Reinstate?

Prior to foreclosure, you can reinstate the mortgage by catching up on missed payments and penalties. If you have family members or friends who are in a position in which they can help you out, consider asking them for a loan to reinstate the mortgage.

Caution: Don’t reinstate unless you can start making your regular mortgage payments and have enough money to start paying back the loan from your relatives or friends.

Can You Tighten Your Belt?

If you are earning sufficient income to pay your bills but simply overspent your way into foreclosure, can you tighten your belt enough to get back on track? Be realistic. If keeping the home is going to place a significant strain on the family finances, moving into something more affordable may be your best option.

For information on how to obtain free or low-cost assistance from a HUD-approved credit counselor, call 1.888.995.HOPE or visit HOPE NOW.

Don’t Borrow Trouble

Freddie Mac’s Don’t Borrow Trouble website advises against borrowing trouble. Under duress, many homeowners panic and seek ways to borrow the money they need to bring their mortgage loan current. This can lead to high-interest loans and the possibility of signing over rights to your home to a con artist who offers what seems to be an easy solution.

Work with your lender and reputable professionals (an attorney, credit counselor, mortgage broker, your lender, and/or a Realtor) to determine your best course of action. The person who shows up at your door uninvited and offers to help is usually the wrong choice.

Ralph R. Roberts, GRI, CRS and his team of foreclosure experts regularly assist families facing foreclosure and have authored Foreclosure Self-Defense For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons).

Contact British Homes Group today for information about multi-currency mortgages or for more information about Orlando Real Estate.

Orlando Area MLS Search