Buying in the USA

We’re back with our special ‘Going Global…’ all about doing real estate not just at home – but all around the world.

I’d like to wrap up this hour of the show with a few words for people who are not from America – but who want to buy real estate here. Of course, you’re not alone….plenty of international buyers head straight for the USA when they’re looking for property.

And even though Real Estate Today is an American radio show – broadcast only on radio stations here in the US – we’re online too….and we have quite a few international listeners, who tune in to hear what’s going on, in the US real estate markets.

So for you – a few words about doing real estate here in the US – the right way!

First – make sure you use a REALTOR® here in America. Not just a real estate agent – but a REALTOR®…that is, a member of the THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. They represent the highest level of professionalism, expertise and education – and they abide by a strict code of ethics – to make sure everyone in the transaction is dealt with fairly.

Also, try to work with a REALTOR® with the CIPS designation – that’s Certified International Property Specialist. They’ll have the extra training and experience you’ll need, to do the smoothest transaction possible, here in America.

Talk to your REALTOR® about the markets here. AN international expert told us on the show that this is no time to hit buyers with lowball offers – there are just too many buyers out there, and if you come in low, your offer will be tossed out right away. Talk to your REALTOR® about making a winning offer – they’ll know how to make that happen.

Next – it will be hard to find a mortgage here in the US, if you are not an American citizen, or even an american resident. The reason – there will be no US record of credit usage. Plus, your money might be in banks – located in your country of origin…so, you might want to try to line up financing back home. Some buyers take an equity loan on their primary residence – and use THAT to but here in America, Others might sell part of their investment portfolio. Either way, if you arrive with cash – you will be a much stronger buyer – if you face competition.

Next up – do some careful research into taxes, especially if you plan to rent the place out. And it’s always a good idea to have an American accountant on your side as well. In some cases, rental income, or income from selling property might be subject to taxes both here in the US, as well as back home…so watch this area very carefully.

One more – and again, this will require some research. If you’re planning on living in your new house full time here in America, make sure you know what your status is as a foreign citizen in the US…and the rules about how long you can stay here – before you have to head home. Funny as it sounds, in some cases you just have to set foot back in your home country for one day – every six months. But again – don’t just wing it – know exactly where you stand….and which rules apply to you.

Finally, one last word – if you are a citizen of another country, and you want to buy real estate here in the USA? Good move. Whether it’s a vacation home, a retirement home, or an investment property, you’ll be joining thousands of other folks from around the world who decided to buy property here in the United States. Economists will tell you US real estate is a good bet – what they call a safe haven for investment funds – stable, relatively predictable, and with excellent growth potential.

Just remember, like any investment, be careful and work with a professional. Work – with a REALTOR®.

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