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Foreign investor

I am a foreign investor looking to buy US property as an investment and would like to help on where to start. Some background - my budget is around US$200k and would likely pay cash for it. Seattle is a city I'm familiar with, so this is where I plan to start looking but am open to other options too.

These are some queries I have and would appreciate it if anyone could shed some light
1. I'm thinking of incorporating a company, would it be preferable if it is a US LLC or an LLC incorporated in my home country?
2. How long does the whole process take? I would likely to be able to stay for only 7-10 days and I know the closing process takes much longer. How would it work for foreign investors?
3. How can I manage the property from afar? If I mandated a firm to manage my property how much would it cost?
4. Would it be easier to buy a condo rather than a house? Are there restrictions against foreign corporations buying condos? 

Many thanks
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January 02 2012 - Seattle
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Answers (6)

Are you still in the market for a Seattle investment? I know this is a very old post, and to at least partially answer you questions, our market is very dynamic, with appreciation throughout the King county area averaging as  high as 17% in the last 6 months. I can connect you to a local attorney for answers to your LLC questions, if you'd like.
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July 18 2013
Actually the right investment is in the Mid West like our home in Minnesota.  It is selling at 1/2 of the highest appreciated value from 4 years ago and as it also has acreage it is a steal.  Now I need to reach more foreign investors to advise them that buying small postage stamp lots and older homes in larger US cities is more of a loss due to the foreclosure rates that surround them whereas the housing market in smaller towns where growth is imminent is pertainant knowledge.  SUCH AS

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1373-45th-Ave-SW-Willmar-MN-56201/106703437_zpid/
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November 04 2012
NC Coastal property, 2 large tracts and 5 minutes from 4 beaches and 20 from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and 30 minutes from Wilmington North Carolina. Great investment.
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September 03 2012
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Good afternoon, i dont see any date on your post therefore, I am assuming its at least about 6 months old.

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I know the market here pretty well. $200,000 can buy you a lot in a market around Raleigh, NC. Raleigh has been rated under top 10 growing cities for the past 4 years.  If you are interested please contact me at [deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines] and we will see if it can result in anything.  

Thanks,
AM.
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July 26 2012
I dont know whether you will get much in Seattle as far as 200K goes, its one of our stronger markets. 
Talk to an attorney about an LLC, why would you want to incorporate in order to purchase?
Most of it can be done overseas via electronic signatures, our company uses it an electronic signature company all the time.
Closing generally take 30 days, faster with cash, depending on what you purchase. You will know when your closing will be and can fly in for it. You will want to do a home inspection, you don't have to be here for that, the report can be sent to you so you can decide to move forward. I would suggest you purchase a condo or townhouse as a home needs more care, unless you go into a gated community  or community where they take care of everything, front and back and the home. In a condo you are still going to be responsible for air conditioning or hvac. I would suggest you use a management company or at least have a home warranty attached to what you purchase so that if something breaks (it will) you have a company you can call to come in and fix it. A property management company can cost anywhere from 40 a month plus. In some areas they take a full months rent, because they also arrange to find your tenant for you. They charge you service fees everytime they need to come out when something goes wrong. Depends on where  you purchase. I would suggest you look to areas that have colleges, good colleges, as those areas are strong areas in rentals,like Duke, Harvard, Stanford etc. There are a lot of articles about where the strongest markets are in the U.S, I hope this helps. Good luck to you

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January 03 2012
1. You should check with an attorney and tax adviser.  (Keep in mind you will need a US tax ID for property taxes)

2. If you pay cash, you can potentially put in an offer and close in 2-3 days.  All that really needs to be done is a title search. I have worked with international client before.  I connected them with an inspection that was completed prior to them making the trip.  Closing was scheduled for the day after they arrived.

3. Property Management company or a tenant for a discounted rent (typically on multifamily). 

4. Yes, I feel a condo would be far easier to maintain.  Keep in mind there are Condo Fees (typically $150-275 in my area) and they could have restrictions from renting, so make sure there are no restrictions before purchasing.
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January 03 2012
 
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