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Irish people priced out of investment market at home are putting their money in properties near Disneyworld

07 July 2018

HUNDREDS OF IRISH people in the last two years have turned away from the property market at home and instead invested their money in rental properties close to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.

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Up to 200 Irish clients in the last two years have made investments through one company alone, according to Irishman and Florida-based real estate agent, Kevin Brady.

He left his hometown of Dublin when he lost his job in 2007 and moved to Florida to find work. Now he deals increasingly with Irish people who are looking to make some money in property – but not at home. He and his business partner Liam Hogan are back in Dublin to give a seminar on property investment in the Clayton Burlington Hotel this afternoon.

His clients include members of An Garda Síochána and farmers, company CEOs and Irish celebrities, and the properties they invest in range in price from just under $60,000 to millions.

hol home

“We have the families who want to buy a house for themselves, and those sorts of vacation homes as we call them, a decent one you’ll get for $200,000, so about €180,000, and with that most families will use them for say winter months and then when they’re not here we’ll rent them out. There are always people travelling to Disney, so you’ll always fill them.”

He and Liam Hogan have built four ‘mega mansions’ in a luxury complex, the biggest of which is a 12-bed with its own spa and bowling alley.

It rents for between $1,500 and $3,000 a night – and up to $5,000 a night for a wedding. Most of the people who rent these expensive holiday homes are American holidaymakers.

Every so often you’ll get a snide comment from an American, like ‘who do these Irish people think they are?’ but it is what it is.

“I can’t tell you who the Irish people are who bought them, but they’re pretty well known. In that development, it’s called Reunion, there are basketball players, Eastenders stars, who own houses there. The funny thing is that 12-bed mansion rents more than a four-bed small house, the profit on it so far this year is $140,000, just profit, it’s just nuts.”

The investments are made through a holding company of which the owners are directors – Brady stresses this is all completely legal in the US – and this means there is little or no tax to pay.

Though they will not bring in quite as much as the knock-out mansions in the Reunion development, there are homes on the lower end of the scale that will still make decent money for the owners, Brady said.

“I could find you a condo for $65,000 (€55,000) – there are a couple of tertiary cities, say where Legoland is, that’s called Winter Haven, and the other is Lakeland and they never took off as much as Orlando, but there is a huge population of people who live there and it’s cheaper.”

orlando

A serving member of An Garda Síochána recently invested in a $92,000 condo, which already had longterm tenants in place. He comes away with about $1,200 a month on that property. Another client is a farmer who sold land and is looking to reinvest the money.

Brady said there has been a surge in interest from Irish buyers – particularly middle income families – in the last couple of years.

“People have money again and I wouldn’t say they’re getting risky again exactly. People got burned and they’re smarter now. We’re doing this in a way where we lead by example – Liam [his business partner] and I have both done it and our families have too so we can prove it works.

“The other thing about America which I think is very important is it is one of the most stable economies at the moment. In four years’ time, whether you like Trump or not, he’ll either be voted back in or he won’t but the system won’t change significantly.”



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