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Unread 13 Jun 12, 10:20 AM  
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#33
Malcolm
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Location: Chelmsford Essex

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It's great to go over and know you have to redecorate We went last year and spent four days reprinting all the inside of the villa as initial paint they use is soo poor quality so rubs off and shows marks and scuffs badly, first day there I was up at 4am went to walmart to get some bits and dust covers then back to moving furniture and covering everything, think we only stopped to eat and sleep those days. Is cost effective to do it yourself and know its done right as decorators out there I have seen are not that good.
We always pop into furniture shops when passing to see whats about and get add one or replacements fun of owning ...

Don't think owners appreciate when we see the "want cheep villa" threads when you read all the above postings as they are not cheep and we don't appreciate it but do suffer it as part of our business..

If after reading these threads your still thinking of buying then pick an owner who has responded on this thread and call for a chat as we do care about our business and will give you pros and cons and where best to go...

Malcolm
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Unread 13 Jun 12, 10:57 AM  
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#34
speedwayfan
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Just wanted to give an alternative view on the issue of buying and renting.

We bought our villa in 2005 and rented it out for 5 years. During that time we had some lovely guests (mostly Dibbers) who respected our property and luckily we never had issues. However, we made very little, if any, money but just about broke even.

In 2010 we decided to no longer rent it out but keep the villa just for ourselves. It was the best decision we ever made as there are so many savings to be made. For example:

Home insurance is less
Cable and internet turned off when we're not there - which could be nil cost if you didn't want cable for yourself
Less wear and tear
No MC fees
AC - turned off in winter months and set to high temp in summer
All utilities down to around a quarter of cost when renting
No taxes to pay on rental or accountant needed

One cost that has stayed the same is the yearly taxes but as the value of all homes has gone down these are now affordable too. We also have a lawn and pool, but as our community is most residential our neighbours are happy to care for those for us. Our HOA fees are only $99 per quarter, whereas some communities are much more than that, definitely something to check when buying.

I'm sure there are other savings which I haven't thought of too. We are fortunate that we don't have a mortgage but if we had needed to get one I wouldn't have considered buying in the first place.

With hindsight, would I buy in 2005 again? No. However, at the prices they are now I would definitely consider it, although not if I was dependant on rental or needed a mortgage.

We are lucky to use the villa often as I don't have a paid job and I go over 4 or 5 times per year for 2-4 weeks at a time. To the OP, staying over the winter for 3 months is not a problem and you can stay longer as long as you apply for a visa - many retired owners do that.

HTH
Jill

Edited at 11:03 AM.
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Unread 13 Jun 12, 12:49 PM  
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#35
Alyson
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Originally Posted by speedwayfan View Post
Just wanted to give an alternative view on the issue of buying and renting.

We bought our villa in 2005 and rented it out for 5 years. During that time we had some lovely guests (mostly Dibbers) who respected our property and luckily we never had issues. However, we made very little, if any, money but just about broke even.

In 2010 we decided to no longer rent it out but keep the villa just for ourselves. It was the best decision we ever made as there are so many savings to be made. For example:

Home insurance is less
Cable and internet turned off when we're not there - which could be nil cost if you didn't want cable for yourself
Less wear and tear
No MC fees
AC - turned off in winter months and set to high temp in summer
All utilities down to around a quarter of cost when renting
No taxes to pay on rental or accountant needed

One cost that has stayed the same is the yearly taxes but as the value of all homes has gone down these are now affordable too. We also have a lawn and pool, but as our community is most residential our neighbours are happy to care for those for us. Our HOA fees are only $99 per quarter, whereas some communities are much more than that, definitely something to check when buying.

I'm sure there are other savings which I haven't thought of too. We are fortunate that we don't have a mortgage but if we had needed to get one I wouldn't have considered buying in the first place.

With hindsight, would I buy in 2005 again? No. However, at the prices they are now I would definitely consider it, although not if I was dependant on rental or needed a mortgage.

We are lucky to use the villa often as I don't have a paid job and I go over 4 or 5 times per year for 2-4 weeks at a time. To the OP, staying over the winter for 3 months is not a problem and you can stay longer as long as you apply for a visa - many retired owners do that.

HTH
Jill
Hello Jill,

I found your post really interesting, it made me wonder if we just want this property for ourselves, and close family, I should make a cost comparison for rental and non rental options.

We weren't ever planning on advertising the villa and we were only ever going to let family and maybe very close friends stay there, I couldn't bear the thought of strangers ruining stuff, I would want to hunt them down and do bad things to them

Thanks again, your email gave me food for thought

Regards
Aly
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Unread 13 Jun 12, 01:09 PM  
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#36
speedwayfan
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No problem Aly, if you need any help or advice when the time comes, just give me a shout.

Jill
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Unread 13 Jun 12, 01:10 PM  
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#37
Susan Coleman
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Originally Posted by EllenClaire View Post
oh am so jealous we would love to buy a villa out there and eventually move there on a permanant basis - good luck with your purchase
Very little chance to ever live out there...basically you would have to be able to buy a business to run, or invest a lot of money

OP, if you are thinking of using the villa a lot yourself...great
You can visit up to 3 months every year...and up to 6 months if you apply for a special visa

If you want the occasional rental...you will need to register in Florida, buy a license and pay sales tax ...usually about 13 %

You will need a mangement co or good caretaker...and find the villaoutgoings are not much less when you , or any guests are not there !
AC and pool heater need to run to schedule in your absenceto keep the house free from mould in the high humidity and the pool from going green with algae
I find my monthy outgoings around $1000 per month to include all this and garden and poolcare, insurance, HOA fees etc
then add on ... when there are guests in for the cleans and maintainence ,water usage
returning your US fedral tax return is usually a pencil and paper exrcise only...since there is very rarely any profit and any money made can be ploughed back in ...usually by necessity!
And then there is annual real estate tax!

But I expect you know all this!
Good luck in your plans... but beware expense!
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Beautiful Villa Aurora...4bed 3bath...
The Sleeping Beauty Princess on gated Sunset Lakes..
So quiet... and yet sooo..close to Disney!
Relax with drinks on the south facing pool terrace...
All day sun..fabulous lake view...beautiful sunsets...
Disney magic in professionally themed Mickey's room!

http://www.disneyvillaaurora.com
New pool mosaics and lights!
Virtual Tour: http://www.ourvt.com/aurora210
Video Tour: http://www.ourvt.com/aurvid

Edited at 01:14 PM.
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Aurora and then Cape Coral this time!
Unread 13 Jun 12, 01:20 PM  
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#38
Big Dog
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Buying and not renting out or renting to family and close friends only is what appeals to me more, I couldn't find the time and effort it takes to secure rentals and I really do take my hat off to those who do it.

I would definately like my piece of the sun out their but more importantly I would want to be able to afford the cost and secure the annual leave to have multiple visits a year and I dont think I could do that... yet.
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Unread 13 Jun 12, 01:46 PM  
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#39
florida buff
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Remember you do also have to declare it if you rent out to family and friends and you will still need licences and pay taxes etc.

Either way you will have to have someone to look after the property in your absence, utility services can't be turned off, there are still property taxes and insurances and of course the HOA fees. There are a few communities usually much older that don't have them but you are then responsible for the upkeep of your our lawns etc. Costs for HOA Fees can vary enormously from a few hundred to a few thoucand a year depending on community (always something to check)

If you have a pool the pump has to run and the pool has to be cleaned maintained etc, air con units have to be serviced.

We have considered just keeping our home for ourselves but to be honest we wouldn't want a 5 bed with pool for just us. Reality is we couldn't justify the upkeep time and costs for a couple of months vacation a year.

We and family and close friends do visit our home a lot but I wouldn't want to leave it lying empty for months at a time (long term empty property does also have an effect on insurances)

When the time comes we will probably go for a condo up the coast near my hubbys family. We will spend the winter there and they will look after it for us when we are in the UK.

Alison
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Unread 13 Jun 12, 02:07 PM  
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Hudson
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RE: HOA Fees
Any community that is gated is responsible for anything within the perimeter i.e. the roads, street lighting, sidewalks, security, drainage, landscaping, mainenance etc. therefore the costs can be significantly more then non gated.
Our HOA fees are apppriximately $700.00 per quarter (it includes landscaping maintenance to all the homes).
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