Buying real estate in the USA

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Any foreigner can buy real estate in the United States without restrictions on the cost, type and location of the object. Housing in America is a profitable investment, because every year it only becomes more expensive. Over the past few years, the annual increase in prices for apartments and houses in some states has reached 5% of the cost.

In addition, the purchase of real estate is taken into account when considering applications for a green card, which is the first step towards obtaining US citizenship.

Before investing money, you have to understand: how to find good housing, how much to pay a lawyer, whether to hire a realtor, how to get a loan for a non-resident, what documents to prepare so that the sale and purchase transaction is carried out without delay.

Rights and obligations of foreigners when buying real estate

In the US, the conditions and cost of acquiring real estate for foreigners depend on its location. There are practically no restrictions, anyone – an individual or a legal entity – can purchase a residential or commercial property in America under the same rules of sale as Native Americans.

After the end of the purchase and sale transaction, the owner has the right to rent the premises to tenants and receive income. All property owners in America must fulfill their financial obligations:

timely pay utility bills;
pay property tax twice a year.
For evading payments, the owner may be denied an extension or issuance of a visa.

Forms of real estate ownership in the USA

For residents of the CIS, the form of sole ownership of an apartment or house is customary. The owners pay all costs associated with the maintenance of the property. The housing and communal service is responsible for the external repair of the building and maintaining order in the entrance and courtyard. The owner of real estate in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus disposes of his property independently. In the United States, the system for classifying immovable objects is different.

In America, there are several forms of real estate ownership:

A commercial-type multi-apartment building intended for rent, which can have only one owner – an organization or an individual.
Housing in an apartment building, after the purchase of which a person joins an association of a community of residents. There are no housing offices in the United States, so all owners pay the association a certain amount for the maintenance of the house and common areas on a monthly basis.
Co-op apartments
Their buyers become owners of shares in the cooperative, which give the right to own housing. In order for the sale and purchase transaction to take place, all shareholders must vote and approve the new member of the community.
The owner owns one house from a complex of adjacent buildings with or without land. The landlord does not have the right to carry out any construction work or change the appearance of the building. He is also required to make monthly payments to a company that monitors the territory adjacent to the house.
Single family home
The owner has the right to dispose of the property at will: to sell when he wants; erect additional buildings; arrange in other ways.

An average-sized house in a large US city can be bought by selling an apartment in the center of Moscow, so the exchange looks attractive to Russians. Whereas, for example, in Turkey or the Dominican Republic, there is a chance to get a residence permit or permanent residence by investing the same amount.

In 2022, the cost of housing increased by 20.6% compared to the previous period. Over time, you can profitably sell it or recoup the investment by renting it out. The return on investment for rent is 30%.

How to find property?

Americans post ads for sale on the following websites:

Zip Realty;
Not all sellers use the Internet. Some advertise on the street where the house or apartment is located, on bulletin boards in local shops. Americans interested in buying real estate bypass the areas they like on foot, turn to the offices of developers personally.

At the same time, cooperation with specialists can save several thousand dollars.
A realtor must have a license from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), confirming his professional skills. An agency representative, a broker, cannot work without a license either.

No real estate agent will cooperate until the buyer provides a pre-approval letter (a letter from the bank confirming that the client can receive a loan for the required amount) or a bank statement. If you use your own funds for the purchase, then an account statement is sufficient.

How is the deal going?

The process of buying real estate in the USA consists of several stages:

Search for an object.

It starts with receiving a letter from the bank about lending or a bank statement confirming the solvency of the buyer.

Search for a lawyer.

If you can find an apartment in the United States without outside help, then it is imperative to involve a lawyer to complete the transaction. The specialist represents the legal interests of the buyer and joins the process at the stage of preparing the offer.

Getting an offer.

When one or more investment options are found, sellers are sent offers – standard contracts. The documents indicate under what conditions the buyer is ready to purchase the property.

Making a deposit.

If the seller gives prior consent, the buyer pays a deposit. In each state, the authorities provide a certain time (from 5 to 10 days) for which it is necessary to prepare for the transaction or exit it without losing the deposit.

Property valuation.

The participation of the title company is mandatory in checking the value of the object. It holds and stores the buyer’s money in the account until the final conclusion of the transaction. Its representative inspects the object of sale for long-standing fines, other owners and the accuracy of the specified data. For an additional fee, he conducts a check of the technical condition of the property, including an examination for the presence of insects or mold, insures the property and helps to obtain a policy.

If during the inspection of real estate experts revealed serious violations, then the meeting is postponed until they are eliminated. If there are no obstacles, then both parties sign a contract of sale.