Newbie from Canada looking to move to SE Florida

31 Replies

Hi all, I'm very excited to be part of this terrific community! Everyone on the forums are so helpful and friendly and I consider myself so lucky to have found BiggerPockets! 

My name is Katrina Poole, I'm a mom to two kids from Toronto, Canada. I am a clothing designer of kids' clothes and just recently I have found the love of Real Estate investing.  I got to know about the BiggerPockets community by starting to listen to the podcasts and now I'm hooked!! I have a lot of catching up to do (what is it 239 podcasts???). I listen to them daily sometimes 3x day. 

Tired of grey skies and long Canadian winters, my husband and I are looking to move to sunnier climates in Florida (West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale) and ideally purchase an investment property as a Short Term Rental. I have still so much to learn and can't wait to connect with many of you out there. Thanks for your time and have a great day! 

Hi Katrina. Welcome to BP! I live here in sunny Florida. I am an agent and also have investment properties in Fort Lauderdale. Let me know if you need any help.

Hello @Katrina Poole .  Congrats on your decision.

I would highly recommend visiting the area and getting a feel for WPB and FTL.  I would also HIGHLY recommend:

Jupiter/Juno Beach/Palm Beach Gardens

Delray Beach

Parkland/Coral Springs/Sunrise (Parland gets lots of mentions for schools, lack of crime, etc. but it's far from the ocean and you will see lots of gators)


Pompano Beach

Boca Raton


Coconut Creek

Miami Beach (fashion)

That is a good sampling.  

Welcome to paradise,


Beautiful Juno Beach:

Hi Katrina,

I live in Fort Lauderdale currently and am actively investing. 

I would suggest staying north of 595 and look for investment properties between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. 

If you are looking for short term rentals, I would also suggest trying to stay east of I-95 if possible.

Best of luck in your endeavors. 

For short term rentals, I can think of no better place than the Keys. Key Largo is easy to get to and has plenty of diving, boating, fishing, etc.  And there's Key west if you really want to go for it. 

Also "the Keys" are not on "the list". 

And, If your investment doesn't work out, at least you'd have a killer vacation place when it's vacant. But if you buy it right, you'll have a FREE vacation home. :)

P.S. My favorite city on the list is Juno Beach. Just look at that picture. And the weather is great there. Job opportunities are not as good as he bigger cities, but "IF" you can work from home Or in any city, I'd pick Juno. 

I have lived in most cities on the list north of Hollywood. I currently love living in Fort Lauderdale as my favorite "big city" to work/live in. 

@Kevin Koffman , I abdolutely agree.  I am a real estate agent in Key West specializing vacation rentals. For short term rentals you can generally expect between 8-10% return on the gross purchase price.  For month long rentals its about 1/2 and for long term rentals you can definitely live by the 1% rule.  

@Katrina Poole , happy to help if you decide to consider the Southernmost City!  

Hello Katrina,

First off, Toronto is an amazing city, but I understand the gloomy winters.. I'm from New England I know...  I lived in West Palm, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.  All have there good and bad.. Like most cities.  Miami has lots of traffic problems, lol...  It's grown faster than the roads can hold all the people.  Fort Lauderdale north has many nice areas.  Once you come down visit them all.  See what you makes you feel the best...  If you need any info on home values etc in any area's, just let me know I can send you the info.  

Good luck and enjoy!!!

Hi Katrina.  We seem to be in similar situations.  I'm just down the QEW from you and that stretch of weather from January to April is taking a toll on us too, and likewise, we're looking to Florida, but the Orlando area specifically.  We also have 2 young ones and the idea of having all the amusement parks nearby is exciting to us.  And again like you, we're currently looking for a vacation home just to have right now why we look into potentially making a move down there.  If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer.  Conversely, I'd like to hear how your research goes also, being another Canadian looking to invest & potentially live in Florida.  Good luck!

@Katrina Poole  welcome to BP,  before making any decision ,  spend 4 or more months  knowing the cities, every city is different,  i live in Aventura and invest on Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano and some other places,  If you need some help, please fell free to contact  me 

@Katrina Poole , welcome to BP! You're in the right place! Central Florida's (Orlando Metro) population growth rate is among the fastest in Florida, second only to Fort Meyers. I have market reports on the Orlando Metro Area if you're interested.

Hi!! I'm a fellow Canadian AND Florida-Fan. We've been going south every 2nd Christmas for the last few years. I'm a mom too :)

We've toyed around with the idea of buying a place too since it would make sense to rent it out while we aren't using it. I just have to put my CFP hat on and suggest that you discuss your plan with your financial planner or accountant. There are so many CRA rules and obligations when it comes to owning US properties and receiving US based income. So that's one big thing to keep in mind when you are doing your number crunching 

Good luck + keep us posted!!! And if you wanted to ask me any Qs about the finance side of things, I'd be happy to chat :)

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