By Aki Uola
As stated in an earlier blog, Florida has a fairly large Finnish population (when one notes that there are just about 5 million Finns in the entire world). Most of the Finns who live in Florida live in the area stretching from the Lake Worth area down to Miami. According to different estimates, there are about 25,000-30,000 Finns living in that area.
Most of these people are retirees who have a second home/vacation house in the area. Therefore, they spend the summer time in Finland but leave to live in Florida once the winter arrives. The main reason for this community is Florida’s favorable weather, a lot of activities to choose from and the United States and the area in Florida area are safe compared to other options. In addition, even though the real estate prices have risen in the past years, they are still lower than in Spain’s “Sun Coast” (Costa del Sol), which is also known for being a hot spot for the Finnish.
Buying a vacation home in Florida has legal benefits for the retirees as well. Currently, any foreign citizen who invests over $200,000 into a house in the US, has a very high change of receiving an E-2 Treaty Investor VISA automatically. The E2 VISA allows the VISA-holder to be and work in the US because of the investment he is controlling. The VISA needs to be renewed every second year but there is no limit how many times it can be renewed.
Due to the fact that there are a significant number of Finns living in Florida, it is possible to get almost any service in Finnish from hair dressers, boat rentals, lawn service and even funeral home service. In Lake Worth, there are even three Finnish churches and the Finnish Chamber of Commerce.
This series was put together in an effort to provide our readers with not only knowledge about the Finnish, but to make you aware of niches out there and how important they are to your business. In vacation rentals if you know your owners, you can develop marketing and sales strategies for your tenants. And if you are in real estate sales tenants lead to buyers.