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Should You Invest in Real Estate in The US?

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When I talk to friends about my real estate investments in the US, I often get many questions because the investment takes a little off the beaten path. It is very cost effective; yet, few people wish to cross the course and seriously consider the matter. That’s why I took the time to tell my experience, returning to my investments and I hope you will give the keys to invest successfully.

First what are the risks?

First of country risk and the currency risk with the mighty dollar. It is a risk to look for in this type of investment and the United States are a stable democracy, the rule of law … This is not free of its own fiscal imbalances.

The risk of any real estate and rental market. Prices are historically attractive, all ratios rent or buy show in the US but all real estate investing involves risks and rates are artificially low. If a further rise in prices, a slower pace, probably, it is not certain, especially if unemployment was back at the same time that the rates.

“It is important to focus on employment areas and growing population”

The evolution of rents is also subject to question, many US funds have spent billions of dollars to turn foreclosures in apartment houses, which could generate excess supply (not out yet). Then there is always the risk of defaulters, even if one expels five weeks. Therefore prefer attractive areas: employment areas to growing population for the liquidity and rental demand. Florida and Georgia are both markets that I find most attractive today.

Then legal risk, since the United States is the country of lawyers and trial, with very costly procedures, damages “extravagant” according to European standards. It is therefore necessary to ensure civil liability, but any insurance is capped and the risk is never zero. It is strongly recommended to establish a company on site to guard against any attack on the rest of your heritage.

Natural hazards (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) more common in the US than in Europe for example, but insurable.

To succeed, it is best to get help from local real estate experts

Before you make a move, you should look for a way to get help before to invest several thousand dollars in a property. I made contact with a local realtor first with whom I had shared contacts.

I highly recommend going through a learned intermediary, ideally having himself invested locally. Indeed it will allow you to buy “key”. You can save time and money and …

– Invest in preselected for their intrinsic quality goods
– Invest in dynamic locations (beware, there are great disparities between US states)
– Put you in touch with reliable local partners, lawyer, accountant, rental manager …
– Helping you daily in your efforts, which can be a little difficult if you are alone
– Advise you on your tax return, your bank account opening in the United States.

Through an intermediary allows you to secure your investment and be guided step by step in your efforts to become owner. For my first investment, this is my way there who advised me. I bought a house in Tampa, Florida, which was quickly renovated and rented at the advertised price, no surprises. Between the time of closing (August 16, 2011) and the first rent (October 2011), he spent six weeks in spite of a major renovation (American efficiency in action!).

Answers to common questions:

Should I go to the USA to invest?

Invest in a real estate property in the USAThis is not mandatory; with internet, you can do it remotely. The important thing is to have someone you trust locally. This is the solution I chose but if you can go, it’s as well (you can even deduct your flight from your taxes in the United States).

What will happen if my tenant does not pay?

US law is more favorable to the owners that the French law. If your tenant does not pay, he will be deported in a few weeks. You can relet the property in stride.

These houses are not fragile? What risks during cyclones?

The perception of foreigners is often biased, US goods are quite solid. There is a risk of cyclones over some areas like Florida or Alabama but it is covered by insurance, with a compensation value often exceeds the value of the home (in my case, I made sure to double the purchase price).

Real estate has risen since 2010, is it still time to buy?

Indeed, US real estate has taken the value and it is real. But we are still very far valuations before the crash. In the specific case of my investment in Tampa, my gain is now 20%, but the price is right back to the level of 2002 and another 50% as its highest in 2007.