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Florida real estate opportunities await Caribbean investors
Caribbean people have an opportunity to purchase real estate in Florida, United States. President of JC Powerhouse Marketing Corporation, Beverly May Antoine, says that was one of the main reasons why she opened a branch of her company at Petra Street, Woodbrook. It was officially launched on September 8, with Antoine getting support from Rick Reizen Senior Vice President New Vista Properties.
“We (T&T) had an opportunity a few years ago to buy land in one of the most sought after tourist destinations—Tobago, but we hesitated. Today we have to pay premium for what should have been ours,” Antoine told the Sunday Guardian. “Another opportunity has presented itself. I want to ensure we seize this opportunity to acquire property in the Florida—the fourth fastest growing city in the US.
“Europeans are buying multiple lots now, and I want to ensure we also take advantage of this second chance. So, as a native Trinbagonian, the decision to bring this opportunity to the Caribbean felt like the most natural next step to make.” According to Antoine, people from the Caribbean understand the value of owning real property. and over the years, a large percentage of the clientele at her firm’s New York office have been of Trinidad and Tobago origin.
She said Trinis are being lured by Florida’s climate and casual lifestyle. “It’s similar to Trinidad and Tobago . . . plus Florida offers additional modern conveniences, outdoor activities and tourist attractions not found elsewhere.” However, she observed the clients had displayed “cautious spending habits.” Antoine and Reizen said there are undeterred by reality of tough economic times facing this country.
“Nationals of Trinidad and Tobago are no different. After verifying what they hear and see they normally make a personal decision to purchase,” said Antoine. “It is really all about opportunity, timing and ability to do so,” she said. Reizen said there is currently an excellent opportunity “to start building credibility with a mortgage in the United States.” “It’s the space for the quality of life. We have information engines here to give advice.”
He added: “It’s like playing monopoly. You buy a piece of land and then you put up a house.” Antoine said real estate prices have “increased over the long term.” “We tend to deal with market fluctuations through incentives rather than pricing,” she said. Generally speaking, she explained, over the long term, most well situated real estate increases in price.
“We sell our Florida homesites for future use; not as a financial investment. Our homesites, however, are not sold as investments (ie stocks, bonds, precious metals). It is for future personal use.” Asked whether local real estate agents felt threatened by the presence of JC Powerhouse inn T&T, President of the Association of Real Estate Agents Mark Edgill said: “ That is no threat because we network with several agents.
We have our buyers in Trinidad. If they are looking outside of Trinidad, we have links to other real estate brokers that can offer similar opportunties. Most of the interest would be in Florida. A lot of people would fly across there and go and start prospecting themselves.”
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