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      03-24-2020, 09:14 AM   #1
Simon89
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Buying Property Abroad

Hi Guys,

Whilst on lockdown, I've been thinking about the whole buying property elsewhere.

Me and my wife have always enjoyed coming over to the states for holidays, even spent our honeymoon travelling around California.

I was wondering what would be the processes/costs of buying a house in America? At the moment we aren't in any position to buy but it's always handy to know the in's and out's.

Thanks
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      03-24-2020, 11:00 AM   #2
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First figure out your budget, what you get for where you want to live. If you need financing I would contact a couple of lenders now to figure out if there are any issues with you living in a different country. Generally need more money down for a 2nd house.

Get preapproved for a loan, find a realtor in the areas you want to live and they will help you through the process.

With the budget also figure out estimated property taxes as they can be very different in different parts of the country.
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      03-24-2020, 12:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon89 View Post
Hi Guys,

Whilst on lockdown, I've been thinking about the whole buying property elsewhere.

Me and my wife have always enjoyed coming over to the states for holidays, even spent our honeymoon travelling around California.

I was wondering what would be the processes/costs of buying a house in America? At the moment we aren't in any position to buy but it's always handy to know the in's and out's.

Thanks
Property taxes are very different from one state to another, where are you thinking about buying, what is the budget?
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      03-24-2020, 12:45 PM   #4
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It's very important to recognize that owning a property in the US does not provide any residence benefits. When entering the US, the burden of proof of having non-immigrant intent always falls on the visitor. I suggest to also speak to an US immigration attorney who will help clarify what documents you need to enter the US to prove non-immigrant intent. Everyone who applies to enter the US (presents themselves to US CBP officer) is checked to see whether he or she is inadmissible. US immigration attorney will also explain what one must do to ensure he or she are admissible at all times.
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      03-24-2020, 01:42 PM   #5
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Unless you plan to live stateside for months at a time (or ultimately retire here immigration stuff aside), you will probably be better off going to a hotel or AirBNB. Although we pay no Telly taxes here, the school/property taxes alone in many areas might set you back more than a month's hotel bill every year. In some parts of California, I've heard that water bills exceed car payments.

If you want to try an investment purchase, people are picking up vacation properties in desirable locations to rent out on AirBNB. Don't forget to factor in the hassles of renting, damages, cleaning services, and a local property manager to oversee everything. Not my cup of tea, but some people are making the numbers work for them.....
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      03-24-2020, 03:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vreihen16 View Post
Unless you plan to live stateside for months at a time (or ultimately retire here immigration stuff aside), you will probably be better off going to a hotel or AirBNB. Although we pay no Telly taxes here, the school/property taxes alone in many areas might set you back more than a month's hotel bill every year. In some parts of California, I've heard that water bills exceed car payments.

If you want to try an investment purchase, people are picking up vacation properties in desirable locations to rent out on AirBNB. Don't forget to factor in the hassles of renting, damages, cleaning services, and a local property manager to oversee everything. Not my cup of tea, but some people are making the numbers work for them.....
Agree with this. When I retire I would like to pick areas in Europe to stay for a month or two but renting comes with a ton of advantages and I can move around. I think also unlikely to buy a property in another country as an investment and it being profitable after figuring out all costs and hassles.

I recently purchased the house next door to mine but will manage it myself and be able to know what is going on. As I rehab the place I also found out you need high priced insurance to cover a property that is vacant for long periods of time. I didn't have to get it but insurance coverage is drastically reduced if I have a problem and they find out it was vacant (should be obvious if it burns down).
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      03-24-2020, 04:17 PM   #7
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Buying a property itself in US is rather easy, assuming your source of funds is legit. Financing will complicate things tenfold.

Price is dependent on location, so it's pointless to discuss w/o knowing at least approximate destination. And yes, for visit/short term stays it's better to rent.
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      03-24-2020, 05:25 PM   #8
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Some states charge a higher property tax to non-residents and it can be substantially higher (florida is one). There is also insurance again, Florida with hurricanes can be pricy. The other concerns and one that has stopped us from buying is the concern about the property when you're not there. Again, Florida is where we were looking, very reasonable purchase prices, but when you're away for months at a time you will need someone or a property management company to check on it. From our perspective it makes more sense to rent a place for 8-10 weeks rather than the cost associated with purchasing. It also gives the flexibility of changing up where you go in the future.
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      03-24-2020, 08:00 PM   #9
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Real Estate Agent cost

Lien searches

Closing cost

Tax

Deed preparation / legal fees

Your a bit more protected if you buy from a builder as opposed to a home owner.

Insurance

U.S.A is a large country with very diverse quality of life.
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      03-24-2020, 08:08 PM   #10
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Another element to consider is owning real property in the US complicates your estate scenario considerably - even commonwealth countries with tax treaties with the US will have significant probate-related items to deal with upon a death of an owner. Food for thought.

-Mark
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      03-25-2020, 06:16 AM   #11
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Another element to consider is owning real property in the US complicates your estate scenario considerably - even commonwealth countries with tax treaties with the US will have significant probate-related items to deal with upon a death of an owner. Food for thought.
My family used to own a winter place in Florida as USA citizens, which someone or another from the family was using about 4 months out of the year. Owning even a part-time residence in Florida dragged their state's laws into the estate taxes, and let's just say that they were ringing the register at the time IIRC since the sunshine state is where old people go to die.....
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      03-25-2020, 10:51 AM   #12
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For sure - and as an out of state person, it's difficult, but as an out of country person it's even worse!

-Mark
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      03-25-2020, 12:40 PM   #13
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problem with the USA is the OBSCENE property tax. It's a VERy different system to the UK/Australian model where the feds rule the roost, in the USA the multiple levels of government all need to raise significant monies and gouge you left, right and centre. For all the US talk of small government, the municipalities and states can be insidious in their pocket picking.

My land rates in Canada are four times higher than they would be in Australia for example, just outrageous flat taxes.
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