It seems that a lot of Canadians who are retired or retiring are considering buying or have already bought US real estate for their winter getaway. Phoenix, St. Petersburg and Palm Springs are 3 main areas that attract Canadian snowbirds interested in buying in the US. The main reasons are threefold:
- The weather forecasts in these areas in the winter months seldom if ever contain the dreaded word "snow."
- The Canadian dollar is now worth more than the US $, currently 6% more.
- US house prices in states such as Florida, Arizona and parts of California are quite attractive compared to Canadian house prices which are still on the rise.
While Canadians can't live in the US without a visa, they can visit and/or live there for a total of up to 6 months every year with just a Canadian passport. There are several implications however that Canadians must consider when traveling or living for periods of time in the US including health insurance, opening bank accounts, and perhaps paying US income tax if they own property there. The Financial Post has drawn attention to the latter in this cautionary article which is must reading for every Canadian who either owns or is considering owning US property.