As you know, many Americans do not buy housing but rent a house or apartment. This has its advantages. But still, buying real estate is no less common in the United States. In addition, you do not need to be a US resident in order to buy property in the US. Foreigners do not need any special permission to acquire residential and commercial properties in the United States of America.
Where to begin?
First of all, you should decide on the state. There are 50 of them in total, and they differ not only in climate, but also in socio-economic conditions, which significantly affects the value of real estate. Next, you need to decide on the real estate itself (apartment, country house, townhouse, etc.) and a realtor (in the USA he is called a broker).
It should be borne in mind that in the United States you cannot make real estate transactions without a realtor. You need to start by looking for a good specialist who is licensed and a member of the NAR (National Association of Realtors). Preference should be given to a specialist who has experience in selling real estate to foreigners. By the way, all commissions for the work of the broker are paid by the seller, not the buyer.
Moreover, this is the most crucial step, because a lot depends on the broker’s qualifications and experience, although there is no particular need to be afraid. As a rule, all brokers are a priori qualified, since it is rather difficult to obtain a license for this type of activity in the USA.
Many foreigners are deterred by real estate prices in the United States. If someone just wants to invest money in real estate, then they usually do not have problems with money. But there is a category of citizens who want to immigrate to the United States. They are just very concerned about prices. But the opinion about the huge cost per square meter of living space in the United States is slightly mistaken.
Again, it is important to check with your broker. He will definitely select an option for exactly the amount you expect. There are states where apartments cost even less than in the CIS countries. For example, in the states of Connecticut and Utah. Also, do not forget that in the United States you can get a mortgage, which is much cheaper here. This is a good option for those who are going to move to the United States and get a job in their specialty.
Remote purchase of real estate in the USA
In order to thoroughly prepare for moving to the United States, you can start preparing in advance. Moreover, real estate in the US is now possible remotely. If in the selected state a real estate transaction is drawn up by a lawyer, then you can simply issue a power of attorney for him, and the specialist himself will conduct the transaction from start to finish. A similar power of attorney can be made at the US consulate in your country. All the details of the transaction will be explained to the buyer there. A special trust account will be opened in the name of a lawyer, where the buyer can transfer money for the purchase of real estate. After that, the funds are already transferred directly to the seller.
It should be said that the risks of remote purchases are almost reduced to zero if the buyer has found a licensed specialist.
This all concerned the states where the purchase is carried out through a lawyer. In other states, it is done through an “escro” – a special company. There is practically no difference. Also, the necessary documents are drawn up at the consulate, which are sent to the States. The money is transferred to a special account.
If the buyer is going to buy real estate on credit, then he will have to open an account with one of the American banks.
Real estate purchase agreement in the USA
The transaction from start to finish will take no more than a month, if we are not talking about buying an apartment on credit. If the object is selected, the price suits, and the broker is already ready to start work, then he prepares an offer – a standard contract, which is drawn up by the real estate association of a particular state. The document is signed by the buyer, and the broker sends these papers to the seller.
After that comes the stage of concluding a sales contract between the buyer and the seller. This contract is signed accompanied by a realtor. If the transaction is made remotely, then instead of escrow, a trusted person comes into play – the buyer’s lawyer.
At this stage, the buyer makes a deposit: about 5% of the cost of the object. Then the condition of the property is checked. I must say that in this regard, the Americans are great. The specialist will identify defects in the object, malfunctioning plumbing, electrical wiring and other communications. These services will cost $ 300-500. For an additional fee, the specialist will look for termites, radon, mold, etc. In other words, unsuitable for housing real estate will not be allowed to be sold. After that, the full payment for the apartment is made and the title deed is obtained.
It is important to note that real estate in the United States must be insured. This is a requirement of the law. The title company is engaged in insurance registration, after which the policy is handed over to the buyer.
Additional expenses for buying real estate in the USA
So, as already mentioned, 5% of the purchase amount is received by the broker, and it is usually the seller who pays it. He also bears the cost of tax on the transfer of ownership of real estate. The services of the title company (or a lawyer), insurance and various duties are usually paid by the buyer. This is approximately 1-2%. Although, in fact, additional costs are distributed between the parties at the conclusion of the contract.