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International Buyers
April 11th, 2012 7:29 AM

Florida leads the nation as a powerful magnet to buyers in international real estate, who are getting a real bargain in a tropical paradise.  Canada is the state's largest international market, followed by Europe and Latin America.  However, foreign buyers are exposed to some complexities with visas, real estate regulations and currency rules.  Prospective buyers need to be educated in all these areas to avoid costly mistakes and possible delays.

Even before viewing properties, foreign buyers should secure the help of a tax expert or attorney who can help them structure the purchase in the proper title.  It may sometimes be wiser to buy in a corporate name rather than an individual for future tax issues.

As a result of the mortgage crisis, U. S. lending institutions became less accomodating to foreign buyers and at best will only provide 50 to 60% financing.  Even a cash transaction is more challenging as federal agencies want to know the source of the funds.  Foreign customers must comply with currency rules in their home country and may encounter withholding requirements, which may make more time necessary to transfer the funds for a closing.

Finally, a foreign buyer needs to be aware of certain immigration rules and should seek an attorney for guidance.  Depending on how long the person wants to stay in the United States will determine what type of visa will be needed.  Investors and property managers can arrange long-term stays but the best visas require a direct investment in the United States in an American company or establishment of a local subsidiary of a foreign company. 

Once a foreign buyer has all the legal and tax consultants lined up, all it takes is the right property at the right price and the transaction should close smoothly. 

 This will be the last BLOG until May 2, 2012, as I will be sailing away into another paradise!




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Posted by Barbara Doeringer on April 11th, 2012 7:29 AMPost a Comment

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