Procedure for Buying Real Estate in the United States


US real estate is seen as a safe investment. In addition, the country is popular for immigration. How to find a suitable object, what you need to know before making a deal, whether it is possible to take a mortgage and how much you will have to pay over the price of the object? We tell you everything in detail.

It is possible to formalize the transaction either for an individual or a legal entity. Market professionals recommend the second method, thanks to which you can protect the property from inheritance and gift taxes, as well as limit the owner’s liability in case of an accident. It is best to consult a tax lawyer before making a decision.

What rights a foreigner gets after buying real estate in the USA

The purchase of real estate is not a sufficient basis for obtaining a residence permit in the United States. Nevertheless, under certain conditions, it will help to obtain a business visa.

Thus, EB-5 visa can be obtained when buying an investment property worth $1.05 million (under certain conditions, the amount is reduced to $ 800 thousand). It can be, for example, an apartment building, shopping center or hotel. At the same time it is necessary to provide permanent employment for at least ten people, and the business must be break-even.

Types of real estate in the United States

The following housing options can be found on the US market:

  • private house (single family house),
  • condominium (condo or apartment in an apartment building),
  • townhouse,
  • co-op.

A private house is usually owned by the family that owns it, while the other types of real estate imply a neighborhood of several owners. In this case, an association of owners takes over the management of the dwelling.

In the simplest case, they determine the regular fees and the expenses that will be covered (garbage collection, security, cleaning, etc.). Often, however, the association also decides whether owners can keep dogs, cats, and other pets in their homes, and the number, weight, and type of these animals may be determined. In addition, the association may establish rental policies and even decide who can and cannot own or live in the home.

A cooperative is a special form of ownership that involves the joint ownership of real estate. Each co-owner in a cooperative does not buy a separate apartment, but receives a certain number of shares or a share in the common property that corresponds to the value of his or her apartment.

Buying a home belonging to an association has its own peculiarities. In particular, you must first apply to join the association and pay a fee. In addition, it will be more difficult to get a loan to buy a home in a cooperative, as you will need to be approved by the cooperative. This will limit your options for both buying and selling (since the potential buyer will also need to be approved).

Who else is involved in a real estate transaction

In addition to a realtor, you may need the services of a mortgage broker, attorney, accountant, and translator.

  • A mortgage broker will find you the best terms for a bank loan.
  • A lawyer will deal with drafting contracts, registering real estate, obtaining a certificate of ownership of real estate. He is also responsible for the legal cleanliness of the transaction.
  • An accountant will be needed if you plan to rent out your home. In this case, you will need to fill out an annual tax return, and it is better to entrust this to a specialist. Also at the purchase stage, you will probably need to consult a tax advisor.