Photo: emilio labrador
If you’ve been trying to sell your place, think about going international … as in finding a foreign buyer because these non-U.S. citizens actually want your home.
Internationals flooded the market in the 12 months ending in March, having spent $82 billion on American homes and accounting for 8 per cent of American home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors.
If you’re in a pathetic market like that of South Florida, you’re especially in luck. International buyers make up a crazy 25 per cent of the purchases, says CNNMoney. A lot of them also look to buy in California, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii and New York.
These foreign purchases can give a real confidence boost to your local real estate market. But what’s better, these international buyers are often affluent and buy more expensive homes. In Florida, for example, the median house sells for $136,500, but when purchased by foreigners, the numbers come in at $175,000.
Not only do they buy the more expensive homes, but they often do so hassle free. Many internationals like to pay cash, which means no financing or waiting for a mortgage lender. That’s a major bonus if you’re looking to sell fast.
Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) want to encourage the foreign investments by granting a prized U.S. visa to those who spend at least $500,000 on residential real estate.
For foreigners to qualify, they must purchase the home with cash, pay U.S. taxes and spend 180 days a year in the country. They can’t work in the states or take out home-equity loans against the properties, but in return, they can live in the U.S. hassle free for three years.
If the senators’ bill passes, it could add a real surge to the deathly-ill real estate market. The boost could help markets everywhere including New York, for example, where 15 per cent of buyers are already internationals.