According to the National Association of Realtors, international buyers purchased more than$68.2 million in U.S. residential real estate from March 2012 to March 2013, across all 50 states. Property sales in the United States to foreign buyers amount to more than 6 percent of total U.S. home sales in value.
Florida real estate is considered a good value among many international buyers reflected by the fact that in 2012, Florida had the largest number of international buyers at 23 percent, followed by California at 17 percent.
Whether you’re an international investor, a Canadian snowbird or just considering living in the United States part of the year, purchasing in an unfamiliar market can seem a daunting undertaking. Below is a short list of the major things to keep in mind when considering purchases of real estate in Florida for the international client. While this guide will serve to highlight the most important considerations when buying real estate in Florida it is not a substitute for consultation of a real estate professional with experience in international relocation. Please feel free to take a look at this guide and then contact me with any questions you might have. I have years of international relocation and purchases experience and will help make your transaction as smooth, and efficient as possible.
Step 1: Determine How the Property Will Be Used
This is a very important first step to help you and your realtor determine what real estate is right for you and will help greatly in guiding your purchase decision. Some of the major uses for properties include:
- Vacation Home
- Home to stay in while conducting business in the United States
- Place for you children to stay while attending college in the United States
- A long-term investment
- An eventual long-term residence
Step 2: Understand How the U.S. and In Particularly the Florida Real Estate Market Works
There are several important differences between real estate practices in the U.S and in Florida compared to how real estate business is conducted abroad.
- Sales commission is paid by the seller not the buyer
- Real estate agents need licenses to operate
- Each state has different operating requirements so be sure to select a qualified agent located in the state you intend to purchase real estate
Step 3: Select Qualified Professionals
It is especially important for foreign buyers to find qualified, experiences professionals to walk them through the many steps in the real estate purchasing process. Considerations from the ability to communicate in your native language to the type of financing available to the amount and type of experience in conducting foreign real estate purchasing should be among the many details considered when deciding who you will select to assist you in your international real estate purchase.
Below are some of the many additional questions and considerations you should ask your realtor when considering purchasing real estate as an international client.
Do I need to become a citizen to buy a home in the U.S.?
Is there a type of property I can’t purchase in the United States?
Will I need to hire a real estate lawyer?
What should I expect from my first meeting with my real estate agent?
How will a U.S. real estate purchase affect my taxes?
Are there additional fees I will need to pay at closing?
Do I have to travel to the U.S. for the closing?
Are there specific states in which foreign buyers should look for properties?
Can I pay for my property in cash?
Should I purchase U.S. property in my name?
Don’t worry if all this seems a bit overwhelming just contact me and I will gladly answer any questions you might have concerning the process. Let’s get started today on making your dream of buying a home in Florida a reality.
David Plourde “The Property Chef”