Profile picture for Jules_Van

Canadians buying US Properties

Hello,
We are planning to buy a home in this area. We are from Canada and we'd like to know the details for Canadians buying US properties.
Questions I can think of:
1-As non-US-citizens, is there any special requirements to buy a property in the US?
2-If we are eligible to buy, how is the process done, what do we need to do?
3-How long does it take the paper work after we make an offer?
4-What taxes, fees, or any other monies are needed to complete the transaction?
5-If you can elaborate on the buying process in general, so we can have an idea of what to expect.
We intent to buy cash around July.
Thanks for your help. Jules & Bernadette.
  • June 02 2010 - Tampa Palms
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Answers (9)


Good set of well though out questions.  
Here's an article I wrote on the foreign buyer process but specific to Manhattan.

 http://castle-avenue.com/Foreign-Buyer-Guide.html

Best, 
Wei min
  • July 20 2014
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Profile picture for harnit2010
Hi,
I am from Toronto and I am interested in investing in Buffalo. I am basically interested in locations around University Campus area so that I can have students as my potential tenants.

The questions I have are:
1. How much down is required to qualify for mortgage?
2. Can anyone of you share who those lenders/banks are?
3. What are the tax implications?


Thank you all in advance!

Harnit
  • December 09 2013
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Erie, PA is only two hours from the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, NY

No sales tax on food or clothes in Erie, PA

Contact Mary Yonkers, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, 814-899-3005 or 814-881-7548
  • June 04 2010
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Seems like the prior agents gave you all the information you needed. In summary it is very easy to buy, just will have to pay that 10% when you do sell. I have sold many homes to people that live out of the US. Feel free to contact me for more information on homes in the Martin, and St. Lucie County area of Florida. Many great deals on homes in this area!!
  • June 04 2010
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The transaction process for Canadian home buyers here is straightforward and not much different than that of a local home buyer. There is no risk to you until your offer is accepted and contingencies are met. You do need to submit an earnest deposit, which is usually 1-2% of the purchase price. if your contract is not accepted or canceled for a valid reason, your deposit is returned to you.

If you are buying in a community with a homeowners' association you will need to make sure it is adequately funded. When an HOA is underfunded (typically because too many units are in foreclosure and dues are not getting paid) it can mean higher payments for the building's upkeep.

For information about foreign ownership, investment and financial planning for Canadians in the US, check out  The Canadian Snowbird in America: Professional Tax and Financial Insights Into Temporary Lifestyles in the U.S.

  • June 03 2010
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Buying should not be a problem at all. However, when you sell if you don't have a tax ID no/social security number you will be subject to a 10% FIRPTA with holding. That's 10% fo the sale price. So, obtain a tax ID/social security number and you'll be fine. 

  • June 03 2010
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Profile picture for Mark LeMenager
I have a number of Canadian clients who purchased property here.

1. There is no special requirement to buy.
2. Pick a realtor and start making offer.  If you are after distressed properties you will be asked to prove that your have the money to buy or that you have been pre-approved for a mortgage.
3. On bank owned it will be FAST!  Be prepared to meet 24 hours deadlines.  On short sales, you will have plenty of time.
4. As you are buying for cash, the major expense will be any HOA initiation fees, fees from the title company, and perhaps stamp tax if you buy from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
5. Click on my picture and I'll be glad to go into more detail one-one-one.

Good Luck.
  • June 03 2010
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You would qualify in about the same manner as in Canada. They'll require just about the same items. Your Canadian credit standing, income and assets, source of funds. Basically, excellent credit and assets. 50% to 70% loan-to-value to$4MM. .... Happy funding, Rudi

PS. Have you ever explored Southern California? No bugs; No hurricanes; No torrential rain; No 300 thunderstorms in a 3 month period; No roaming alligators or huge snakes; Low humidity; Great all around weather; Go skiing in the mountains and then get a tan at the beach on the same day; Plenty of things to see and do. ..... Check us out..... 
  • June 02 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
As long as you want to us cash, purchasing has no restrictions in the US.  If you did want to leverage your money, look into the HSBC bank.
Use Zillow (not an MLS member so not all listings are here) or a local company's website to hunt for homes.
Ask questions to get to know some local agents and interview as many as it takes to find one that you believe will represent you exclusively.  Look for a CIPS designation: Certified International Property Specialist means that they have extensive training and interest in international buyers.
Part of their job is to teach you the details of local nuance.
In Canada there is a withholding deposit made upon the sale of property by a non-resident owner (25%).  In the US that is only 10% and it is refunded when the tax return is filed and if no tax is due.
At the bottom of this page you will find links to articles that Zillow has put together on the US buying process.
  • June 02 2010
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