Please Advise on my Florida Real Estate Plans

10 Replies

Hi Everyone!

I'm personally from Canada, but a dual US/Canadian citizen. I'm 28 years old, own and operate a Tech Recruitment Firm, and as an entrepreneur, my net income is solid. I'm currently living in Vancouver, Canada, and the real estate prices here are out of control, and the weather isn't great either. My plan is to move to Florida!

So, I've been put together my plans combining what I've learned from David Greene, Graham Stephan, and Grant Cardone (among many others).

So here is a high-level overview of my plan. I'd love some advice, feedback, and also connections (ie Property Managers, Realtors, Lenders) to make this happen. I would like to move to Florida, by latest September. My plan is to purchase a Multi-family home, ideally 4 units+. The extent to which I would have to rehab the property will depend on the conditions at hand. I would like to in total, use $75k USD of my own capital to make this happen (includes down payment, fees, rehab, etc..). Again, I make money from my recruitment company, and will continue to invest more as necessary. The regions I'm looking at are Cape Coral, Palm Coast, Winter Haven, Fort Meyers, or even Tampa or Orlando (open to other suggestions). Once I find the ideal 4plex (or bigger), I would need to get a bank loan, or use a hard money lender (need advice, ie Visio maybe?) to finance the rest of the deal. My plan is to rent out 3 units as soon as possible, live in 1 for a period of about 3-6 months. Then I would like to refinance the house, take out my capital, and invest it into a 4+ bedroom, 2500+ square foot house that I can live in and call HOME. Ideally, I will be using my rental income from the multi-family units to pay the mortgage.

The plan is to live in the large home, refinance it eventually, then invest in more multi-family homes. Some of the dilemnas I currently have is that I'm having a tough time finding the RIGHT property/deals (ie foreclosure, discounted properties etc..), and also, I really don't know how financing will go given that I've built my credit history in Canada only, and the fact that I'm an entrepreneur. Some good things I have going is that we've been in business for over 6 years here, and have the bank statements, tax filing to back it all up.

I'm looking for advice on how I can make my dreams into a reality, and ideally, looking for Property Managers, Realtors, and/or lenders to help make this happen. Oh btw, I am willing to come down to Florida for 2 weeks so this all goes through.

Thanks Bigger Pockets fam, and looking forward to your advice, connections, referrals, or general comments :)

@Ali Taghikhani

If you have a pro account, you may be able to request connecting with lenders, agents, and property managers in the marketplace.

When you visit the Florida region for the 2 weeks, make sure you attend some real estate networking events and connect with the locals.

$75,000 budget should be able to get you a house in the $300,000 range.
$5,000 is estimated as a closing costs
$10,000 is estimated as an emergency budget
$60,000 remaining will will be used for the 20% downpayment.

This also assumes the house doesn't need major repairs. if it does, you should notch down how much house you can buy.

Good plan, but a couple of issues...

Yes, you would have to find a distressed/really food deal to refi out most of your capital since your refi will be at a 75%.

It is not realistic to expect the real cash flow from 4 units, financed at 76% ltv, to cover even the PITI on a 2,500 sf house.

The one-stop-shop for REI
Find Local Home Improvement Pros!
Check out our network of trusted, local contractors for all of your home improvement projects.
Find a Contractor

I would start looking at your financing side of things now since I think that may be your biggest sticking point. No Credit in US(not certain how that would work) and no W2 income make it more difficult so you will need to look for a company that does manual underwriting. 

@Ali Taghikhani Also since you seem to be looking at Florida almost in general and you want to move here, What are you looking for?

Activities vary greatly.


Most areas you mentioned are very different if they are any distance from each other. Cape Coral and Fort Myers are much warmer and more humid most the year, Tampa is a little bit cooler at least in the winter, Winter Haven and Orlando are cooler still in the winter typically. I have no experience with Palm Coast however.

Also I know I say cooler to the guy moving down from Canada but give it a year and you will notice.

Any questions about the areas and activities let me know I have lived in/near all but Palm Coast.

Nice goals at being only 28 !!! Good for you!!! I am a local realtor and investor from Cape Coral to Naples Market, so I can only speak about these areas. Yes, it is hot and humid in the summer but at least our area is surrounded by water and we get very nice breeze unlike Orlando area. Finding great deals with potential equity is tough right now but once in a while properties that fit your criteria appear on the market. As far as single family home, I would personally build. I work with some reasonable builders and you can potentially build a brand new house with some equity in it. Depends on location of course and some other factors like options you pick. Otherwise, it makes more sense than buying resale. 

Living in Palm Coast and being a Realtor in this area I can tell you first hand we have no 4 unit homes.   Duplex property have been in the area awhile.  There has been a recent up swing in duplex builds and some even are dual deeds.  Which is common in most of the county.  But I sold the first one in Palm Coast last month to two brothers,  each bought a side.  As for life style and living, Palm Coast is slow moving community in growth mainly because for so many years the city leaders were very unwilling to promote growth.  They ran a lot of good business out when they inquired about moving here. But that seem to change a little in the past 2 years.  I won't say its exploding in job growth, but people are moving here because our taxes are low, crime is low, we have a sweet little beach community called Flagler Beach.  We are 30 Minutes to St Augustine or Daytona Beach.  If  you need  a SAM's club or a Best Buy for the lates Apple product you're going to have to travel 30 mins.  Most people I think are okay with that because other then our price of gas its pretty  much the cheapest place to live on the east cost of FL.   We got homes from the 160K to the Millions. Something for everyone.  Just no 4 units!

Hi Ali,

Welcome to Bigger Pockets. You and I have a lot in common. I am a Canadian citizen living and working in Florida. I am also a recruiter in the banking business and a real estate investor on the side. I live in Cape Coral and invest in Lee County. You are in great shape and have a lot of advantages. You are young, you have the right to live in two great countries. Credit is easy to establish in the US. Move here, buy a car on credit apply for credit cards use them and pay them off regularily. Call your creditors and ask them to increase your dredit limits and continue to apy them off. You will be bankable in no time. Connect with locals here on Bigger Pockets. You will be off to the races.

Hi Ali.  I moved down from Canada last year with my family to the Orlando area to invest in real estate full time.  I had the same dilemma regarding how I was going to find deals, fund them, etc., so I simply purchased a HomeVestors franchise which kind of got me going right away.  Anything I can do to help, let me know.  Best of luck with your plans, sounds exciting!