I’ve just wrapped up a transaction involving properties in the United States, so I’m sharing with you guys some important tidbits I picked up in my first adventure in the US property market!
Basic rules to know
Property laws vary for every state in the US. Drill this in your mind before you even start entertaining thoughts of buying a house in the “land of the free”. As a consequence of varying laws, it’s highly advised for you to secure the services of a solicitor that’s familiar with the laws of the State where you want to buy a property. Otherwise, you will get really confused through the entire process.
That being said, one rule that’s pretty standard in any state in the US is that foreign nationals aren’t prohibited from buying US property. This simply means that foreign buyers can acquire property regardless of their nationality.
The next step is to find a real estate agent who can help you in your search. Finding one shouldn’t be hard to do, since there’s no language barrier and most real estate agents in the US are friendly and accommodating to their clients. You can also do the property search even if you’re a thousand miles away through online property portals.
Financing your dream
Financing your goal of buying property in the US can be done through UK lenders or US mortgage brokers. UK lenders can fund up to 70 per cent of the agreed purchase price. Most US mortgage brokers, however, require a 20 per cent deposit from non-US citizens and you’ll also be asked to present proof of income and identity, as well as details of your bank account and credit cards.
In addition to the purchase price, you’ll also have to set aside at least 3-6 per cent of the total price for additional costs like inspection fee, mortgage insurance, title insurance, closing costs, survey, and other related costs. As I’ve mentioned earlier, property laws are different in every State, so there are no standard rates for additional fees and even a basic list of requirements that buyers should prepare for.
Finalising the deal
Before placing an offer for a property, make sure that you’ve scrutinised every open house and turned every stone possible from your pool of choices. Take this advice to heart, because once you put down an offer, this means that you are accepting the house in its condition at the time the offer was made. If you realise, after inspection, that there are some structural defects in the home, you can’t go after the seller to annul the sale or ask for a refund.
To avoid these untoward incidents, you can demand for a survey or an inspection report before making an offer. You can also use the results of the inspection as a way to justify any price negotiations with the seller if it appears that there are defects in the house.
Once a contract of sale is signed, a closing date for the deal will be set. This date is important, because it will be treated as the deadline for payment and performance of any obligation assigned to either party. Usually, the date is set 30 days from the signing of the contract of sale.
If you want to learn more about remote property investment, just drop by my site regularly and stay tuned for further updates!