The Perfect U.S. Getaways For Canadian Snowbirds

A Guide To Second Homes

Ah, the allure of escaping those frigid Ontario winters for the sun-drenched shores of the United States…or other destinations! Many Canadian snowbirds, especially those from our beautiful province of Ontario, have found solace from the cold by migrating south during the chillier months. If you’re in the 50-plus age group and considering purchasing a second home in the U.S., you’re in good company. Let’s dive into the top three spots that Ontario homeowners are flocking to, along with some tips for making the most of your American haven.

Florida: The Sunshine State

When it comes to winter getaways, Florida’s reputation precedes it. With its serene beaches, balmy weather, and many recreational activities, it’s no wonder Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota are fan favourites. Picture yourself waking up to the sound of waves on the Atlantic Coast or teeing off at one of the many golf courses along the Gulf Coast. Beyond the sun and sand, Florida boasts rich cultural events, shopping districts, and a welcoming community of fellow Canadian snowbirds.

Taxes, Fees and Hidden Costs: As a Canadian, buying property in Florida is relatively straightforward. However, be prepared for foreigner-specific closing costs, such as the FIRPTA withholding tax. It is best to engage a local realtor familiar with the needs and concerns of Canadian buyers to navigate the process smoothly.

Arizona: Desert Dreams

Trade snowy streets for sun-soaked deserts in Arizona. Cities like Phoenix, Tucson, and Scottsdale serve as the perfect winter refuge, offering warm climates and picturesque landscapes. Think about enjoying a morning hike in the Sonoran Desert, followed by an afternoon round of golf, and ending the day with a sunset view that takes your breath away.

International Borrowing for Canadians: Again, while purchasing here is quite direct for Canadians, it’s beneficial to work with a local mortgage broker who understands the ins and outs of financing for international buyers.

Short-Term Rental Opportunities: A second home doesn’t have to sit idle when you’re not soaking up the sun. Many snowbirds are making their American homes work for them by delving into the world of short-term rentals. Platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo allow homeowners to rent out their properties, offsetting costs and even generating income. However, always ensure you’re aware of local rental regulations and consider hiring a property management company for hassle-free operations.

California: Coastal Charm & Desert Delights

California is a mosaic of delightful winter retreats, from the sandy beaches to the desert oases. Places like Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are increasingly on the radar for Canadians. Explore the enchanting landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park, enjoy spa resorts, or indulge in vibrant arts and culture scenes.

Finding an Expert: California’s real estate market can be competitive, especially in sought-after snowbird locations. Enlisting the help of a seasoned real estate agent can be invaluable in securing your dream property.

Purchasing a second home in the U.S. can be an exciting venture for Canadian snowbirds from Ontario. While Florida, Arizona, and California are top picks, it’s essential to research and visit multiple locations to find the perfect fit. Engaging local professionals and understanding the market can make your snowbird dream a warm reality. Safe travels and happy house hunting!

Looking to downsize or purchase a second property down south?  Let’s chat about your dreams.  

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