In the 12 month period ending March 2014, foreign investment in US Real Estate amounted to $92.2 Billion, roughly 7% of the total US home sales market.
The top 5 Countries are; 1. Canada 2. China 3. India 4. Mexico 5. United Kingdom. Canada was top for the number of overall transactions but it is China that is spending more than any other country. California is second only to Florida as the most popular State for foreign Real Estate investment.
Although there are strict rules about taking funds out of China, many International Buyers will use all cash to complete the transaction. Financing (getting a loan / mortgage) has traditionally been difficult for the International Buyer as there is often no employment or credit history. The tide is slowly turning and institutions like East West Bank are now creating specific programs for foreign investors (mainly focusing on the Asian market). Most of the mainstream high street banks will have foreign investor programs that usually require a larger downpayment (40%). It is always best to carry out due diligence and speak to a number of financial institutions prior to getting started. Feel free to ask questions about financing as I have a number of different avenues that offer unique programs for the International Buyer wanting to purchase here in California.
The US in general and California in particular has a huge appeal for International Buyers. A stable economy, a safe haven, opportunity, education and freedom are all reasons why foreign nationals want to be here. I myself moved to the US in 2001. California was always my dream!
A normal domestic transaction in California takes between 30 – 45 days. Cash deals can be completed much quicker (10 days). Inspections and repairs usually get addressed within the first 2 – 3 weeks. Contingencies are then removed after 17 and 21 days. With the introduction of electronic signatures you can now conduct an entire transaction from overseas.
There will be other areas, such as tax strategy, that International investors will want to research as part of the process. I have partnered with a tax professional (see John Wright on my website ‘Partnerships’ page) who will be able to advise in this area.
Please contact me if you are interested in California Real Estate.