Here are the answers to the most frequented questions for those who are outside US, non-US citizens, immigrants, or foreign investors seeking to invest in property in USA. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information.
Matthew Raanan is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Previews, Beverly Hills.
Q: Can people from outside of the USA or non-US citizens buy and own real estate in the US?
A: Yes. The United States government does not place any restriction on non-US citizens on buying or owning real estate in the country. Myriad of people outside the US do invest in real estate, for vacation homes or further relocation. Buying real estate in the US is also very safe and secure, as all transactions are subject to USA contract law and are handled by neutral third party escrow companies who oversee all aspects of the transaction between seller and buyer. Currently due to favourable exchange rates of currencies from dollar, such as Euro or Yen, we have an increased number buyers from outside USA.
Q: Which countries and citizens do you work with in helping to buy real estate or relocate to the Los Angeles area?
A: I have worked with clients from all over the world, in the past and present. Most recent ones being from Western Europe, Canada, Russia, Japan and the Middle East. No matter what country you are a citizen of, I will be pleased to learn about your needs and assist you as instructed.
Q: What are the best areas of Los Angeles to buy property or to relocate and live?
A: Los Angeles is a city where that accommodates a variety of communities, tastes, and lifestyles. Most popular communities in Los Angeles for relocating, buying, or investing are Beverly Hills, Bell Air, Hollywood Hills and so fourth. These communities are inhibited by desirable school, extraordinary homes, safe neighborhoods, and world class shopping and dining places.
Q: What are typical expenses for owning a home in the Los Angeles area?
A: As you would expect with owning a home in any other area, you should plan for utilities such as electricity, gas, water and sewage. Depending on the size of the home and the usage, these expenses can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000+ a month. Please note these amounts are estimates only, and actual expense can vary from home to home and community to community. It is recommended you verify all expenses before buying any home. Property taxes are another expense, and the typical rate can range from 1% to 1.25% of the assessed value per annum. As with utilities, you should verify the taxes for the particular area and home you are thinking of buying prior to purchase. Condominiums and even some single family homes also come with an added expense of a homeowners association. The homeowners association covers all expenses related to maintenance and upkeep of common areas of the property, as well as the operating budget of the homeowners association itself. Monthly HOA fees can range from under $200 a month to over $1,000+ per month for luxury communities.
Q: What types of visas are available for immigration and permanent citizenship to the United States?
A: The most common visa is a work visa, which is obtained if you are working in the US, but an investor visa EB-5 is available to individuals who can qualify and invest a minimum amount of money in the United States, which can range from $500,000 to $1,000,000. This visa can eventually lead to permanent citizenship if desired. For more information on this type of visa, here is a link to a great article.
Q: Can you help me with referrals to US lawyers who can advise on Visas, immigration and financial aspects of US real estate or relocating?
A: Yes. Part of my experience and service as a real estate agent assisting non-US citizens in buying real estate or relocating to the US is helping them with immigration, visa, tax issues, and other questions or concerns you may have. If you do not have your own legal counsel in the US, I can refer you to attorneys I have worked with in the past and have provided excellent service to my clients.
Q: How can I buy real estate in the USA?
A: The best way to get started is to provide me with all the details of the type of home or real estate you do want to invest in. Once the details are gathered, I can start browse for properties that match your criteria, and I can provide you with photos and information about the property. I can answer any questions you have such as neighborhood information, maintenance costs, property taxes, security, and other expenses related to a particular home. From there, once you decide which area you would like and type of home, it is best to plan a trip to the US so you can actually tour the area and view properties. It is advised to plan on spending about 5 to 10 days on your visit, especially if you would like to purchase property while you are here.
Q: Do you work with investors as well as individuals in acquiring or selling US real estate?
A: Yes. If you plan to invest in US real estate I can help with acquiring the real estate, and in addition, my firm also can work with you on leasing/renting property, screening tenants and listing and marketing property for sale.
If you have any questions on this process or would like to get started on finding real estate in Los Angeles area, please feel free to leave your contact information on my contact form and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Or you can call me directly at (310) 999-2233. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you!