A dream home is hard enough to find when you live close to the spot you are hoping to move to but buying a house in another country, such as America, can throw up all sorts of headaches. Managing expectations, budgets and unfamiliar red tape will take some time to get used to. America is an enormous country and as with anywhere else in the world, where you want to live will determine the price and what you get for your money.
A recent report featured in the Global Property Guide showed that the USA’s 20 major cities are experiencing strong price hikes, with Denver leading the way, followed by San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Tampa and Los Angeles. Tampa, and Florida in general, is incredibly popular for expats thanks to it being the ‘Sunshine State’. Unsurprisingly if you’re looking to purchase a home in New York, you’ll find yourself looking at $1,200,000 as the median price with San Francisco not far behind with $1,112, 500. Cheaper options include Boston at $389,000 and Seattle at $498,000.
Homes are also named slightly differently in America: ‘Apartments’ are self-contained units, which in the UK, we know as flats; ‘Single Family Homes’ are stand alone houses with land; when two or more house are in the same building these are ‘Duplexs’. ‘Condominiums’ are separate homes, closely placed together, and sometimes called townhouses. More details can be found here.
It’s easy to research your new home and location on the internet. Try these helpful resources; Realtor, Rightmove and Bank of America. They should give you a clear idea of what’s available and more importantly how much it costs. You’ll need to secure a mortgage or loan before you can buy a property. This can be done through a number of lenders. You’ll need to have documents detailing bank statements, reference letters from banking or credit institutions, and two forms of identification. Some nationalities will also need a visa. As an expat it’s likely you’ll pay a bigger deposit than an American citizen. You’re looking at something in the region of a 1/3 of the asking price – worth baring in mind when researching projects. The Bank of America is a good place to start for basic information of mortgages and mortgage rates.
Finding a reliable estate agent is key to buying a property in America. They’ll see the deal through from beginning to end. Real Estate Agents are licensed by each state and you’ll be able to find information through their regulatory bodies about the good and the bad. Picking a real estate agent may seem tricky but there’s a helpful seven point plan here.
Once you’ve found your home it can take 60-90 days to complete the deal. A formal offer is made on the house and a legally binding sales contract is put into place. You’ll then be asked to pay a deposit, before a title search is done on the property as well other legal checks. Eventually a deed of sale contract is drawn up, signed, and filed with the county and the possession of the property is changed and all money is exchanged. More details on the buying process can be found here.
PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.