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Old 05-22-2007, 12:57 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,248 times
Reputation: 10

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Good that i found this forum, as i am thinking about moving from Germany to Orlando. Maybe you can help me with some questions that i have about the area. I have been to the US many times, and about 5 times to Florida. Last visit to Orlando was in 2004.

My main concern is the crime situation as this scares me a bit, comming from small town Germany where there is a very low crime rate. Murder rate in all of Germany is about 790 per year on a 82.000.000 pop. That's a 0,96 rate per 100.000. I have read that in the Orlando metro area it's about 11 times higher. I guess all the other crimes like rape/assault/break-in are also comparativly the same factor 11 higher ?

I know that in the US it's very common to have really good and really bad neighbourhoods so the crime rate can vary in the extreme by place where you live.

What can i expect do i have to :

- Lock down the house / have a gun ?
- Armor plate my car ?
- Shop only in malls ?
- Evade certain neighbourhoods ?
- Live in a gated community ?
- only go out at pleasure island / universal ?

I was planning on moving to a not too crowded area like Saint Cloud and buying a $250-350k house, post-crash.

What's it like to live with the crimes on a day to day basis and what, if any, precautions does one make ? Or is it not that bad as the stats make it seem. On all my visits to FL i did not really get a feel for the situation as i mostly stayed 30-50 days and my last visit was in feb-2004. I was never affected by any crime during all my US visits, i liked most of the very friendly and open people ! I did notice all the reports on murders on the tv though.


Edit -- forgot a side question : i guess that the US taxes all your global income. FL has no state tax i know that, but the IRS still takes a cut i guess. Can you estimate how much taxes i would have to pay on my pension of about 80.000 us ? By the way, i am not an old age pensioner i have a "Arbeitsunfaehigkeitsrente" that roughly translates to a "UnableToWorkPension" because i am disabled.

Thanks !

Last edited by germike; 05-22-2007 at 01:22 AM..
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:24 AM
 
1,418 posts, read 8,867,221 times
Reputation: 899
Quote:
What can i expect do i have to :

- Lock down the house / have a gun ?
- Armor plate my car ?
- Shop only in malls ?
- Evade certain neighbourhoods ?
- Live in a gated community ?
- only go out at pleasure island / universal ?
Just don't look like a tourist from Germany leaving your money and valuables in un-locked places. I think you will find most parts of Orlando, and the US for that matter much more boring than the media makes it out to be.

I do the following:

- lock the house (well most times)
- never shop in malls
- drive a convertible
- never lived in a gated community.
- only go to pleasure island / universal to meet up with out of town friends when I absolutely have to.
- I've been in most neighborhoods in and around Orlando, good and bad.
- I have guns more for a hobby, home protection and hunting, but don't cary one one me.

I've survived without ever being shot at, stabbed, or mugged. Had my car broken into once and my radio stolen. That's about it.

You can figure that your taxes will be somewhere between 25% and 30% of your total income, less permitted deductions. Florida doesn't have an income tax, but it does have a substantial real estate tax.

How are you planning to live here on a permenant basis without a job? I thought that immigration wasn't letting in any forigners who don't have employment?
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:12 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,248 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prichard View Post
You can figure that your taxes will be somewhere between 25% and 30% of your total income, less permitted deductions. Florida doesn't have an income tax, but it does have a substantial real estate tax.

How are you planning to live here on a permenant basis without a job? I thought that immigration wasn't letting in any forigners who don't have employment?
There is the EB5 visa program, which allows foreign nationals to get a green card based on a $500.000 investment in a "regional center program". There are only about 200 people who do this per year, most of them Korean.

This investment is mainly to create jobs and improve depressed areas, ROI is very low. So in return for your 3-5 years 500k near to zero ROI you get a green card. You also have to have a minimum net worth > 1 million US.

With the GC you can get jobs, but because i have a good monthly pension i won't do that. Maybe set up a real estate firm just for the "fun" of it.

You basically buy your way into the US. Canada/Australia/NZ have similar programs. Don't know about the EU as i am an EU citizen and never looked at our immigration policies.

I have heard that real estate tax in FL can be 4-5k per year on a 250-350k house, is that about right ?
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:48 AM
 
17 posts, read 64,944 times
Reputation: 13
For people buying new homes, yes, 4 to 5 thousand is an average number, even with our homestead exemption (which allows you to reduce the tax value of your house by 25,000). However, once in your home, no matter how much it's value increases, your property taxes can only increase 3% a year, which is why those of who've been in our homes since the early 90s are still only paying a fraction of what our home values would normally intail. If you roll property taxes into your mortgage, the bank has to deal with it and they will pay it in November at the cheapest price.
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Downtown Orlando, FL
631 posts, read 2,089,528 times
Reputation: 289
I think you'll like Orlando. When I moved back here last month I decided to not read or watch sensational news. I don't feel unsafe one bit. There are parts of town I lock my doors in and would not drive through at night. But Orlando is VERY spread out and it's not like you would just suddenly hit one of these areas by surprise.
Quote:
What can i expect do i have to :

- Lock down the house / have a gun ?
- Armor plate my car ?
- Shop only in malls ?
- Evade certain neighbourhoods ?
- Live in a gated community ?
- only go out at pleasure island / universal ?
I lock my doors when I leave.
I never shop in malls, always cool small businesses or big box stores.
I lock my doors at night in my car, but in the day I don't even think about it.
I also have never lived in a gated community. I did live in St Cloud and feel you might get bored out there, but it's pretty. Just don't live too close to Kissimmee.
There are hundreds of new things to do in Orlando every single day. If you love your inner child, you will love it here.
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