Maybe you have a close family member living in Mexico. Or perhaps skiing in Vancouver is your favorite winter vacation spot. Maybe you have a child attending school in London. Or maybe you want to retire to the small town in China that your ancestors are from.
No matter what the reason may be, more and more Americans are looking to purchase property outside of the U.S. And as the world becomes an increasingly connected place, it’s become easier to do so.
According to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, approximately 14 percent of REALTORS® reported that they had a client who was seeking to purchase property in another country, compared to six percent in the previous 12-month period. The report also revealed that 46 percent of Americans bought a home outside of the U.S. as a vacation or investment home.
Looking to spread your wings and explore homeownership in another corner of the world? Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Find the right local real estate professional. You’ll need an excellent point person in the country you’re considering. The best way to find this person might be right here at home. Talk to your local real estate professional first – he or she might be part of a global network that has affiliates in other parts of the world.
Find out if there’s a real estate association representing your destination country in the U.S. These organizations are in the U.S. to support real estate transactions from and to their countries. They can be an incredible resource for your mission.
If you’re not fluent in the language of the country in which you want to purchase a home, find someone who is. The language of real estate in particular varies from country to country so having an interpreter is essential.
Consider the value of the dollar where you’re headed. If the dollar is weak, you may want to hold off on your decision to purchase until the economic picture shifts. Conversely, if the dollar is faring well, you may want to accelerate your plans.
Enlist U.S. home search engines that have international listings – like realtor.com or reach out to your trusted, local REALTOR. Not only will these sites provide you with listings to peruse, they’ll serve as a resource for information on currency and customs, and connect you with real estate professionals to work with.
So when it comes to your next home purchase, think global but enlist local resources. For more information on real estate listings, contact me.