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International Investment In U. S. Property Frequently Asked Questions

International Investment In U. S. Property Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 1. International Investment in U.S. Property Frequently Asked Questions
  • 2. Table of Contents• What does Intero Real Estate provide for international buyers? .............Page 1• Do I have to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident to invest in real estateproperties in the U.S.? .............Page 1• What are the different types of available U.S. properties? .............Page 1• Is there an obligation and fee to have an Intero agent work for me? ............. Page 2• What documents do I need to produce when buying a U.S. property? ............. Page 2• How can I find out more about the condition of the properties and the surroundingareas? ............. Page 2• How do I bring cash out of Asia? ............ Page 2• What documents will I need when writing up a contract? ............. Page 2• Do I need to be present at the time of closing? ............. Page 3• How does property management work in the U.S.? ............. Page 3• How much do property management services cost? ............. Page 3• As an International Investment Buyer, am I eligible for a loan? ............. Page 4• If I buy or sell my investment properties, what taxes do I have to pay? ............. Page 4• What is the purchasing procedure? ............. Page 5• Can I receive more information on the U.S. education systems? ............. Page 5
  • 3. • What does Intero Real Estate provide for international buyers? One of our greatest differentiators at Intero is our culture. Intero, an Italian word that means “entire” or “whole,” is centered around the philosophy of empowering people - clients, agents and employees - to achieve their dreams in all areas of their life. The Intero Difference At Intero, we believe that real estate involves real people and real life. We’re responsive to the needs of today’s customers, and dedicated to constructive change and innovation in every area of the real estate transaction. Intero is About Service At Intero our people feel good about the work they do. They enjoy being part of a dynamic and fast-paced organization that emphasizes a back-to-basics approach and focuses on better ways to serve customers. And they enjoy the independence it takes to turn good ideas into outstanding results. These client-focused professionals are happy to share their local market expertise and their demonstrated talent for matching people with suitable properties. Intero is About Our Clients At Intero, we’re confident that we can make a real difference to the clients we serve. We believe that our culture of trust, respect, and integrity exemplifies the right way to do business, and provides an environment in which our clients can realize the greatest benefits. Intero has put together an International Investment Buyer Team with experience and knowledge to help assist you with your U.S. investment opportunity today.• Do I have to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident to invest inreal estate properties in the U.S.? No you do not have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to invest in U.S. real estate properties. An international buyer must have an appropriate VISA. There are over 40 kinds of non-immigrant Visa’s so you should consult an immigration attorney and a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to find out which type of Visa is appropriate to your situation. For more visa information visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html• What are the different types of available U.S. properties? The most common structure bearing properties are Commercial, Multifamily, 2-3-4plex, Condominiums, Townhomes, Single Family Homes, investment and income properties such as apartment buildings or commercial buildings. There is currently an inventory of distressed residential and commercial properties that are available. Please consult with your Intero International Investment Buyer Representative.International Investment Buyer FAQ Page 1
  • 4. • Is there an obligation and fee to have an Intero agent work for me? There is no obligation or fee to have an Intero agent work for you however, a signed Buyer Broker Exclusive Representation Agreement from the clients is needed. Buyer Agency Agreements are where a Realtor represents the buyer of real estate and will work diligently on the buyer’s behalf. In this agreement, exclusive representation means the buyer has agreed to work exclusively with the broker/agent.• What documents do I need to produce when buying a U.S.property? For all cash transactions you must produce documents to show your legal name and vesting information. If you are applying for a mortgage, you must provide income documentation. Your most current bank statements or a CD Certificate in U.S. currency to show the ability to buy is also acceptable and any additional lender requirements.• How can I find out more about the condition of the properties andthe surrounding areas? An Intero International Investment Buyer Representative will guide you in the process of researching property conditions and neighborhoods. Additionally, our Intero website allows you to search for properties as well. Visit www.interorealestate.com for more information.• How do I bring cash out of Asia? It is common for an international buyer to wire funds to a U.S. bank. It is the most popular way to transfer money worldwide. Most of the foreign banks have this service available. You can transfer your funds directly to any U.S. bank account or directly to the escrow account if the property is already under the contract. It is a quick and easy service. Wire transfer service charges vary from bank to bank. Money transfers do however vary from country to country. Please check with your local government entities.• What documents will I need when writing up a contract? Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer with a U.S. local contract and will include the following information: complete legal description of the property, amount of earnest money, down payment and financing details, proposed move-in date, price you are offering, proposed closing date, length of time the offer is valid and details of the deal.International Investment Buyer FAQ Page 2
  • 5. • How does property management work in the U.S.? Management companies deal directly with owners and tenants, saving you time and worry over marketing your rentals, collecting rent, handling maintenance and repair issues, responding to tenant complaints, and even pursuing evictions. Plus, a good management company brings its know-how and experience to your property, giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your investment is in good hands. Finally, most management companies are hired as independent contractors, so you avoid the hassles of being an employer. Most states require property management companies to be licensed real estate brokers if they are collecting rent, listing properties for rent or helping negotiate leases. A property manager may be a licensed real estate salesperson but they must be working under a licensed real estate broker. Owners who manage their own property are not required to have a real estate license, refer to the State Laws, however they must at least have a business license to even rent out their own home. Owners who do not live near the rental property may be required, by local government, to hire the services of a property management company.• How much do property management services cost? The cost of property management differs greatly depending on location, property type and management company. For most companies, the management fees consist of a percentage of the rent on occupied units (anywhere from 6-12% in general), and additional fees for advertising and leasing services. However, some companies opt to charge flat monthly fees and itemize more specific costs in their management agreements. It’s always important to read your management contract carefully when negotiating with a management company and ask questions about fees. A professional manager can generally lower operating costs while maximizing occupancy and revenue, making their services well worth the price.• Do I need to be present at the time of closing? While it is advisable to be present for all material times during the transaction, all legal documents can be emailed and faxed to a buyer. The Notary at the U.S. Embassy in your country is an acceptable alternative.International Investment Buyer FAQ Page 3
  • 6. • As an International Investment Buyer, am I eligible for a loan? There are institutional lenders who will consider loans for foreign nationals, but they will all require a large downpayment (normally 30% or more) and verification of income from your country. If you have a work visa in the U.S., such as H or L, and have an established credit history in the U.S., you may be able to qualify for regular financing with as little as 3.5% down even though you are still considered a “foreign national.” If you have an established relationship with your bank in your own country or another foreign bank, you may consider obtaining financing from them and then bringing the loan proceeds into the U.S. as an “all cash” purchase, again just make sure to have documentation as to where the money came from. An Intero International Investment Buyer Representative will refer you to a loan officer or mortgage broker that will explain your loan options to you, and prequalify you before the agent begins showing homes.• If I buy or sell my investment properties, what taxes do I have topay? Taxes in the U.S. will vary according to where you live and whether you are considered resident or non-resident for tax purposes. Local taxes are levied to cover education and other services. U.S. income taxes, property taxes and capital gains taxes are fairly low, but inheritance tax needs good planning. It is essential to employ a professional to guide you through the tax system. Real estate investors looking to sell will have to deal with taxes and capital gain. The basic capital gains that you have to pay on the profit from the sale are increased by any depreciation you claimed against the property. If you are selling in order to invest in a different property, it may benefit you to ask a tax professional about a “1031 tax deffered exchange.” If you are selling because you need the capital you may have to pay some taxes. It is advisable to seek out a competent lawyer or an accountant with an international practice.International Investment Buyer FAQ Page 4
  • 7. • What is the purchasing procedure? Getting started with the purchasing procedure, you must establish your buying objectives, determine your needs, become informed and get your financing in order. The second step would be knowing what you can afford. If you do not have an all cash transaction, you should obtain a copy of your credit report and get pre-approved for a mortgage to get the actual amount of what you qualify for. Your Intero International Investment Buyer Representative will help you prepare an offer once the property has been identified. For your protection, the Intero International Investment Buyer Representative will ensure you get a Home Inspection, understand Title Insurance, Appraisal and Homeowners Insurance. The final step would be close escrow. This is usually conducted in a title office and involves signing documents related to the property and your mortgage or cash arrangements. The packet of papers includes the deed, proof of ownership and the title insurance, which ensures no one else has any claim to it or lien against it. Note, in the U.S. however, each state has its own set of rules regarding the purchase of real estate including the type of purchase contract used, the method of closing (finalizing) the sale, and even the duties and titles of the parties involved. When buying property in the U.S. the purchaser will very likely work with a standardized set of documents. In each state a real estate agent uses these sets of standardized forms put together by each state’s Association of Realtors for all transactions.• Can I receive more information on the U.S. education systems? You can receive information about U.S. school systems by contacting the city or county school board or the local schools. An Intero International Investment Buyer Representative is also knowledgeable about schools in the area. For more detailed information and an overview of the U.S. Education System, visit http://www.usastudyguide.com/overview.htmInternational Investment Buyer FAQ Page 5
  • 8. Work with our U.S. International Investment Buyer Team today! Intero Real Estate Services, Inc. 408-342-3062 clientservices@interorealestate.com