How to Buy a House in Florida from the UK? [2023]

How to Buy a House in Florida from UK
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Michele Lawrie, CREO - HomeAbroad  by Michele Lawrie

16 min read

Are you a UK citizen interested in purchasing a home in the sunshine state of Florida? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re seeking a primary residence, an investment property, or a vacation home, we have you covered.

Discover valuable insights into Florida’s dynamic real estate market and explore various mortgage options for properties in this vibrant state. This article is your ultimate resource to help turn your dream home aspirations into a reality.

Requirements for Buying a House in Florida from the UK

If you want to buy Property in Florida, remember several essential requirements and steps to ensure a smooth and successful purchase. Here are the key requirements to consider:

  1. A valid passport
  2. Proof of funds (bank statements or financial documents )
  3. US credit history
  4. Proof of Income
  5. Certified Check or Wire Transfer
  6. Visa or Visa Waiver
  7. Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  8. Power of Attorney

How to Buy a House in Florida from the UK?

So, if you’re looking to buy Property in Florida from the UK, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. It’s important to be well-informed and prepared along the way. Here’s a general outline of what you can expect:

Step 1: Research and Planning

  • Research Florida’s real estate market, property prices, and desirable locations.
  • Determine your budget and financing options, including mortgage pre-approval.
  • Decide on the type of Property you want to buy, such as a single-family home, condo, or townhouse.
Top foreign buyer destinations

Step 2: Get a CIPS Real Estate Agent

  • CIPS(Certified International Property Specialist) agents are real estate agents with specialized training to work with international clients. They understand your unique needs, help you find the perfect property, and hand-hold you through the entire buying process.
  • Fortunately, sellers pay buyer’s agent commission in the US, so it’s free for you. So, why not get a professional to help you through?
  • HomeAbroad has a network of CIPS agents, and we can connect you with the best one.

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation

Step 3: Property Selection and Viewing

  • Review property listings your real estate agent provided and shortlist the potential properties.
  • Schedule property viewings, either in person or virtually

Step 4: Buying Property

  • Once you find a property you like, work with your real estate agent to make a competitive offer to the seller.
  • Your agent will handle negotiations and help you reach a mutually agreeable price.

Step 5: Conduct Due Diligence

  • After accepting your offer, inspect the property thoroughly to identify any issues or repairs needed.
  • Review the legal documents to ensure there are no encumbrances or liens.

Step 6: Secure Financing

  • Work with a mortgage lender to finalize your financing and obtain a mortgage, if needed.
  • Provide the necessary documents to the lender, including proof of income, bank statements, and credit history.

Step 7: Closing Process

  • The closing process begins once all due diligence is completed and financing is secured.
  • Closing is typically conducted by a title company or an attorney who ensures all legal documents are correctly executed, and funds are transferred.
  • You may attend the closing in person or appoint a power of attorney to handle the transaction.

Step 8: Transfer of Ownership

  • At the closing, the ownership of the Property is transferred to you, and you receive the keys to your new home.
  • Be prepared to pay closing costs, which include fees for the title search, appraisal, attorney, and other related expenses.

Step 9: Property Management (if applicable)

  • If you’re interested in property investment or vacation homes, consider hiring a property management company to handle rentals or maintenance.

Following these steps and utilizing available resources can make the home-buying process easier. Investing in real estate abroad requires careful handling to mitigate risks. It is advisable to seek guidance from a seasoned CIPS agent or legal professional experienced in this domain for a seamless transaction.

Mortgage Options for UK Citizens Buying Florida Property

UK investors interested in purchasing Property in Florida have different mortgage options based on the following:

Mortgages with an Established US Credit History

For foreign buyers seeking mortgages in Florida, securing one involves establishing a US-based bank account and building a credit history there. While building US credit requires time and responsible financial management, it opens up exciting financing opportunities in the vibrant Florida real estate market.

1. Conventional Mortgage

UK investors with established US credit can consider conventional mortgages. These mortgages offer favorable financing terms based on the borrower’s US creditworthiness. You need a stable income, assets, a good credit history, and a down payment to qualify. Banks and mortgage lenders commonly offer conventional mortgages.


  1. A minimum down payment of 20% is necessary
  2. A credit score of 620 or higher
  3. Two years of tax returns
  4. Social Security Number
  5. Proof of stable job history of at least two years

2. Federal Housing Administration Loan

FHA loans offer flexible credit requirements, making them accessible to UK investors. You need to pay mortgage insurance premiums. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and are designed for borrowers who cannot make a significant down payment. These loans can be used to purchase or refinance a primary residence in the US.


  1. 3.5% down payment
  2. A credit score of 580 or higher
  3. A valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  4. A stable job or employment history in the U.S. of at least two years.
  5. A lower debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 43%
US Mortgages with no US credit history

Find the Best US Lender for UK Citizens

Get pre-qualified for a traditional US mortgage.

Mortgages with No/Thin US Credit History

UK investors without US credit can opt for cash investments, avoiding the complexities of mortgage approval and benefiting from a quicker transaction process. However, if funds are limited, mortgage options, considering your unique circumstances, are available, providing an opportunity to secure financing and buy a home.

1. Foreign National Mortgage

This is a great option for UK citizens to get a US mortgage with no US credit. Foreign national mortgages are customized for non-US citizens, taking into account their US creditworthiness. Although they may have slightly higher interest rates than conventional mortgages, they provide a path to homeownership for UK investors without US citizenship. These lenders may consider international credit history or employment verification to determine mortgage eligibility.


  1. A down payment of 20% or higher
  2. A Debt-to-Income ratio of 43% or lower
  3. Two years of employment history
  4. Cash reserves or liquid assets
  5. Credit reports from home country
US Mortgages with no US credit history

Find the Best US Lender for Foreigners

Get pre-qualified for an US Mortgage with No US credit

2. Debt-Service Coverage Ratio Mortgage

UK investors seeking income-generating real estate in Florida can consider DSCR loans. These loans assess the Property’s cash flow and ability to cover mortgage payments with rental income. They prioritize potential revenue over the borrower’s credit history, making them popular for real estate investments like rentals or businesses.


  1. A DSCR ratio of 1 or higher
  2. Credit Score of 620 or Higher
  3. Down Payment of 20-25%
  4. Property appraisal and 1007 Rent Schedule
  5. An LTV ratio below 75% is preferred
US Mortgages with no US credit history

Connect with the Best DSCR Lenders

Get quotes from multiple lenders to compare and pick the best one!

  • Foreign buyers are attracted to Florida from across the globe. One of the reasons for this is the lower property prices. For instance, the price per square meter of a property in London is $26,262, whereas in Florida, it’s $3,590. This is why European buyers bought 18% of residential real estate in Florida in 2022.
Purchase by UK Buyers

Source: miamirealtors

  • Purchases by UK buyers in 2022 were heavily concentrated in South Florida, with 23% of assets in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach MSA.
Where do british buyers purchase property in Florida?

Source: miamirealtors

  • In 2023, the Florida housing market saw a slight 0.5% dip in home prices compared to the previous year. However, the median price of homes remained strong at $407,900.
Average buying cost


  • The number of homes sold declined significantly by 10.5% year over year, with only 37,829 finding new owners in June. This marked a substantial decrease from the 42,245 homes sold in the same month last year.
  • Interestingly, the median days on the market increased to 41 days, a 17-day jump from the previous year.
  • Following are the trends for all types of housing options in Florida for the last three years.
Florida Single family homes data
Florida Townhouses data
Florida Condo data

Data Source: RedFin

Is Investing in the Florida Property Market a Wise Decision?

Absolutely! Investing in Florida real estate is a great decision. Why?

1. Favorable GBP to USD Exchange Rate

Florida is a popular destination for tourists and home buyers. The GBP to USD exchange rate is favorable, and property prices in the state are generally more affordable compared to the UK.

In December 2022, the purchase price of an average home in Orlando was under $376,000, while in London, UK, the average purchase price was £666,507 (over $821,400 at the time of writing).

Lower price points in communities like Reunion in Kissimmee offer incredible value, with 4 to 5-bedroom houses available for around £230,000.

2. Greater Property Appreciation

Over the years, Florida has experienced substantial appreciation in property values. While past performance does not guarantee future results, the state’s historical trend of property appreciation is attractive to investors.

Some have witnessed returns of 8 percent, occasionally reaching as high as 10 percent, resulting in a significant £23,000 gain.

3. Vacation Rental Opportunities

Florida’s popularity as a vacation destination creates opportunities for short-term rentals. Many investors buy properties to rent to tourists, offering a potential source of passive income.

With many annual tourists, vacation rentals in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and surrounding areas, including golf resorts and leisure parks, have great potential for a high return on investment. These homes can be rented to visitors throughout the summer months.

4. Tax Benefits

Investing in Florida property offers tax benefits like depreciation and property tax deductions. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, making it more attractive for UK investors. UK citizens can freely buy US real estate for vacation, property investment, or primary residence.

Non-resident UK investors in US real estate aren’t subject to extra US government taxes and only need to pay taxes on net income, not property value growth. Though UK and US citizens must pay property taxes on US real estate, UK home buyers may have additional tax obligations when renting or selling US property for profit.

5. Favorable Mortgage Rates and Processing

With historically low mortgage rates, borrowing costs in Florida are now more affordable. This has opened up real estate investment opportunities for many buyers.

In contrast to the UK, where the average buyer faces a wait of over five months to complete a property purchase, Florida offers a much faster closing process of 30-45 days once a buyer is under contract, according to Zillow.

Additionally, foreign nationals can purchase Property in Florida without needing any particular visa, making the process smoother and more affordable than in other territories.

Investing in Florida real estate is an attractive opportunity for domestic and international buyers. With 400,000 Britons residing and 76 million tourists annually, it’s a popular vacation destination with suitable beaches, low taxes, and rising property values. The warm climate and relaxed lifestyle make it perfect for retirement or a holiday retreat.

What are the Rules and Regulations UK Citizens Need to Know When Buying a House in Florida?

Embarking on real estate transactions is an intriguing journey influenced by location, property type, and personal circumstances. As a UK citizen buying a house in Florida, it’s crucial to consider critical factors: taxes, regulations, legalities, fees, and insurance. By familiarizing yourself with these, you’ll be well-prepared for a smooth transaction.

  • Ensure clear property ownership by verifying the property title and thoroughly checking for legal disputes.
  • Seek the assistance of a real estate agent or attorney to carefully review the purchase agreement and its compliance with Florida’s real estate laws.

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation

  • In Florida, the purchasing process follows an escrow-based approach, wherein a neutral third party holds funds and necessary documents until all conditions are satisfied.

2. Fees and Costs

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the property tax rates applicable in the specific Florida county where the Property is situated.
  • Be prepared for closing costs, including title search, insurance, attorney fees, property ownership transfer, and recording fees.
  • Many communities in Florida have homeowners associations that impose maintenance, amenities, and service fees.
Home Expenses


3. Insurance Requirements

  • Lenders typically require homeowners insurance to safeguard against property damage and liability.
  • Depending on the property’s location, the acquisition of flood insurance may be mandatory, especially in flood-prone areas.
  • Title insurance provides protection against any unforeseen issues related to the property’s title history.

4. Financing Considerations

  • While it is possible for UK citizens to obtain a mortgage, it is essential to work with a lender specializing in this process and familiarize oneself with the required documentation and credit prerequisites.
Home Price with Down Payments


  • Efficiently arrange international money transfers for down payments and closing costs.
  • Fluctuations in exchange rates can impact the overall cost of the property during international payments.

5. Property Inspection

  • Engage the services of a licensed home inspector to assess the property’s condition and identify any potential issues before proceeding with the closing.
  • Ensure the property complies with all local building codes and regulations.

6. Local Zoning Regulations and Residency

  • Thoroughly research and understand the local zoning regulations so that the intended use of the property aligns with the applicable zoning laws in the area.
  • Purchasing property in the USA does not automatically grant you residency or a visa.
  • For individuals planning to stay in the US for extended periods, consultation with immigration experts is recommended.

Tax Implications of Buying a Property in Florida as a UK Citizen

If you’re thinking about owning affordable housing in the Sunshine State, there are a few important things to keep in mind. You’ll need to understand the tax considerations, regulations, and financial responsibilities that come with it. Let’s dive into some tax implications to consider when you own American property.

1. Property Taxes

Property taxes play a pivotal role in Florida real estate acquisitions. They fluctuate depending on property value, location, and local tax rates. UK citizens should anticipate annual property tax payments to contribute to local services and infrastructure.

2. Income Tax

As a UK citizen, it is crucial to carefully consider the tax implications associated with rental income from your Florida property. Rental income is typically subject to both US federal and state income taxes. Seeking guidance from tax professionals who are well-versed in both US and UK tax regulations is necessary to ensure accurate reporting and compliance.

3. Capital Gains Tax

When selling a property in Florida, it is important to consider the potential capital gains tax on the profit. The tax rate may vary depending on many factors, such as the duration of ownership and the overall tax situation.

4. Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA)

FIRPTA requires the withholding of taxes on sales of US real property by non-citizen individuals, including UK citizens. However, there are exemptions and reduced rates that may be applicable. Collaborating with professionals in international real estate transactions can assist in navigating the requirements of FIRPTA.

5. Tax Treaties

The UK-US tax treaty has a significant impact on the taxation of specific income types, providing provisions for credits or deductions to prevent double taxation. It is also worth noting that UK-US tax treaties can impact the taxation of capital gains for UK citizens. Thus, thoroughly comprehending the provisions and their practical implementation is most important.

Transferring Money from the UK to the US

As a UK citizen planning to buy property in the USA, transferring money is a crucial step in home-buying. Transferring funds across borders encompasses various factors that influence efficiency, cost, and timing, including:

  • Exchange Rates
  • Transfer Fees
  • Transfer Method
  • Timing
  • Security

A Step-by-Step Guide to Transfer Money from the UK

1. Choose a Transfer Method: Take some time to research and select a transfer method that suits your preferences and requirements. Think about factors like speed, fees, and exchange rates offered.

2. Compare Rates and Fees: To find the most cost-effective option, compare the exchange rates and fees of different providers. Online comparison tools can make this process easier.

3. Register and Verify: Sign up with your chosen transfer provider and complete the necessary verification steps. This usually involves submitting identification documents to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

4. Provide Transfer Details: Enter the accurate bank account information of the recipient in the US. Ensure to include important details like their name, bank name, account number, and routing number.

5. Initiate Transfer: Confirm the amount you want to transfer and start the transaction. Some platforms allow you to set a specific exchange rate and automatically process the transfer when that rate is reached.

6. Pay for Transfer: Transfer the required amount from your UK bank account to the designated account provided by the transfer service.

7. Track Transfer: Many transfer services offer tracking features that let you keep an eye on the progress of your transfer. You can receive notifications when the funds are sent and received.

8. Confirm Receipt: Once the transfer is complete, reach out to the recipient in the US and ensure the funds have been successfully deposited into their bank account.

From exchange rates to transfer methods, having a comprehensive understanding of how to transfer money effectively is crucial when purchasing a Florida home. It is important to explore considerations and options for transferring money from the UK to the US and navigating international payments.

Who Can Help You Find the Right Florida Home in the USA?

When searching for your ideal home in Florida as a UK citizen, it’s invaluable to enlist the expertise of professionals. You can enhance your chances of finding the perfect property in Florida while ensuring a seamless and secure buying process by leveraging the expertise of CIPS agents.

CIPS agents, the masters of assisting international buyers, are equipped with specialized training for cross-border transactions. HomeAbroad can help you connect with these special real estate agents for foreign nationals.

These professionals serve as your trusted advisors and skillfully guide you through sales prices, negotiations, contracts, and due diligence. They aim to make your property search stress-free and incredibly efficient while safeguarding your best interests.

The best thing about this is you don’t have to pay them; the seller will pay your agent.

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation

What should You Look for in a Holiday Home?

If you are looking for a vacation home in the vacation state of Florida, there are certain factors that you should take note of. From the property’s location to the amenities provided, you must get familiar with every aspect when choosing your perfect holiday retreat.

1. Location and Property Type

The very first thing you need to learn about holiday homes is ‘Location is Key’. Choose what you love the most – the beach, theme parks, or cultural sites. For beach lovers, aim for a spot close to the beach for:

  • Better occupancy rates
  • Value appreciation
  • Vacation lifestyle

If you prefer inland resort towns, go for a location near major attractions and with proven rental demand. And don’t forget to consider the type of property – whether it’s a single-family home, condominium, townhouse, or villa – concerning maintenance, space, and amenities.

2. Rental Potential and Property Management

If you want to generate rental income from your property, choose a location and property type that renters find appealing. Properties near popular attractions often have higher demand. Moreover, you need to decide if you’ll manage the property or hire a management company for maintenance, bookings, and guest interactions

3. Amenities and Resale Value

When considering a rental property, you must consider amenities that matter to you and potential renters. Moreover, amenities can also potentially increase the resale value. So you should opt for locations and property types that have a history of appreciating in value with:

  • Swimming pool
  • Outdoor space
  • Proximity to recreational activities

4. Local Regulations and Future Plans

When buying a vacation home, make sure to think about future plans. Like, what are you buying the property for? – vacations, future retirement, or to generate income as an investment property. Moreover, local regulations can highly impact your ability to use and rent property in Florida. Thus, research:

  • Local zoning regulations
  • Homeowner association rules
  • Restrictions on short-term rentals

5. Visit in Person and Engage Professionals

If possible, consider visiting Florida to explore different neighborhoods and properties. This will give you firsthand experience and help you feel the area’s atmosphere. When dealing with international real estate, it’s crucial to collaborate with an experienced real estate agent who:

  • Specialize in international transactions
  • Provide local insight
  • Guide you through the process
  • Assist with negotiations

The best part is that buyers don’t pay for agents as they’re compensated by the seller. Trust is vital, and HomeAbroad connects you with trusted realtors and CIPS experts who can help you find your perfect property in Florida.

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation


UK citizens buy a vacation home in Florida to enjoy the pleasant climate and attractions. These homes can be single-family properties, condos, or townhouses in popular vacation spots like Orlando, Miami, or the Gulf Coast. Owners can also use them as investment property or rent out these properties to tourists for extra income.

Understanding the legal and financial aspects is essential for British citizens, and seeking advice from real estate agents, attorneys, and mortgage lenders can assist in making informed decisions. HomeAbroad can help you connect with CIPS agents and mortgage lenders, who can help you secure financing and make the process more easily.

Find the best real estate agent and mortgage lender with international expertise.

Connect with a local international real estate agent and mortgage lender


  1. Can UK citizens buy a house in Florida?

    Yes, UK citizens can buy a house in Florida. Foreign nationals, including UK citizens, are generally allowed to purchase residential properties in the US, and there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of residential real estate in Florida.

  2. Is buying a house in the UK cheaper than buying a house in the US?

    The cost of buying a house in the UK and the US can vary significantly based on factors like location, property type, market conditions, and currency exchange rates. Certain regions in the US may offer more affordable housing options than some areas in the UK, and vice versa. So, thoroughly research and compare costs in specific regions to make an informed decision.

  3. How much does it cost to buy a property in Florida?

    As of April 2023, the median home price in Florida was $410,000, according to Florida Realtors. This is notably higher than the nationwide median of $388,800. For a median-priced $410,000 home with a 20 percent down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage at 6.5 percent interest, the monthly interest and principal payments would be $2,073.

  4. How much US real estate is purchased by UK citizens every year?

    According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the UK ranked among the top five foreign buyers of US real estate, representing 4% of foreign buyers (around $2.7B) from April 2020 to March 2021. In the past 12 years (2010-2021), UK buyers purchased an average of $6 billion worth of US real estate (existing home sales), with an average of 10,500 units purchased annually.

  5. Do UK citizens pay property taxes?

    Yes, like all US property owners, UK citizens with property in Florida must pay property taxes. These taxes are determined by local governments and are based on the property’s assessed value and its specific location within a county or city.

  6. How long can you stay in Florida if you own a property?

    Owning a property in Florida doesn’t automatically grant a green card or specific visa status. UK citizens can generally stay in the USA for up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as tourists. If you want to stay longer, you need to obtain an appropriate visa, like a B-2 tourist visa, or explore other visa options for longer stays.

  7. Can a UK citizen obtain a mortgage home loan in the USA?

    UK citizens can get a mortgage in the USA. US banks and financial institutions offer loans to foreign nationals, including UK citizens, for buying properties in Florida. Mortgage terms and requirements may vary, so it’s important for you to research lenders and explore options.

  8. How do UK Citizens intend to use their US property?

    UK citizens have a range of exciting opportunities regarding their US property: a delightful vacation home, a profitable rental, or a savvy investment. The selected purpose can have a substantial impact on the available mortgage loan options and tax considerations they will need to take into account.

  9. Does buying property in Florida give you residency?

    No, buying property in Florida doesn’t automatically give you residency. Owning property as a foreigner allows you to have a place in the country, but it doesn’t grant legal residency status. To obtain US residency, you must explore specific visa options or immigration pathways that allow you to live in the country.

Michele Lawrie, CREO - HomeAbroad
About the author:

Michele Lawrie is the Chief Real Estate Officer at HomeAbroad and has worked as a real estate professional for the past 14 years,
helping domestic and foreign national clients navigate the home buying and selling process.

She is passionate about real estate and strives to educate
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