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4 Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Property in the U.S. As a Foreigner

Moneymagpie Team 13th Oct 2022 No Comments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The U.S. is a popular destination for foreign buyers looking to purchase property. After all, it is a stable country with a strong economy, and there are plenty of locations to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a place in the bustling city or a more tranquil suburban setting, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the U.S. However, before you start your search for the perfect piece of real estate, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

1.   Financing

Unless you have cash on hand to pay for the property outright, you will need to obtain a foreign national loan from a financial institution. However, this can be difficult to do as a foreigner since most lenders will require that you have established credit in the United States.

If you don’t have established credit, you may still be able to obtain financing by providing alternative documentation such as proof of income or assets. You will also need to make sure that you have enough money saved up for a down payment, as most lenders will require one. The size of the down payment will vary depending on the lender, but it is typically between 10% and 20% of the purchase price.

2.   Tax implications

When you purchase a property in the United States, you will be responsible for paying property taxes at the local level. The amount of tax you will owe will depend on the state and county where the property is located, as well as its value.

In addition to property taxes, you may also be required to pay capital gains tax if you sell the property at some point in the future. Capital gains tax is levied on any profit that you make from selling the property and is calculated as a percentage of the sale price. The exact rate will depend on your individual tax situation.

3.   Insurance Requirements

When you purchase a home, your lender will typically require that you have homeowner’s insurance. This type of insurance protects your home against damage from fire, storms, theft, and other mishaps. Homeowner’s insurance can be expensive, so be sure to shop around for quotes from different insurers before making a decision.

Purchasing property in the United States can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to do your homework first. There are a few key things that you need to consider before making an offer on a house, including financing, taxation, insurance requirements, and hiring help. An experienced real estate agent can assist with your search and provide guidance throughout every step of the process.

4.   Estate Tax

When a person dies, state and federal taxes can get up to 46% of their estate. One way to minimize such taxes is to use a foreign corporation headquartered outside the U.S. to buy the property for you. Another option is to purchase inexpensive term-life insurance, which can cover any estate tax liability that may arise after you pass away. This has the benefit of being relatively inexpensive up front and giving heirs clear instructions on how to claim the money when necessary. However, it does require that you regularly update the policy by purchasing additional coverage as your assets grow over time.

Ultimately, the best strategy for avoiding estate taxes depends on your individual situation and preferences. It is important to carefully consider all of your options before making a purchase, and plan ahead so that you can feel confident that your heirs will be able to receive their inheritance smoothly when the time comes.

Whether you are looking for coastal real estate in California or rustic retreats in the mountains of Colorado, purchasing property in the United States can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to do your homework first. Following the tips mentioned here will make the process easier and less stressful.

DisclaimerMoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence 

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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