While the list was topped by cosmopoliltian cities such as Los Angeles and New York, Naples and Ft Myers rounded out the top ten ranked 9 & 10 repectively.
o what should Internationa Buyers know about purchasing real estate in the US here are some tips.
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Real estate brokers in the Naples-Bonita area pool their property listings into the Multiple Listing Services (MLS). The MLS system can then be accessed by all real estate brokers and their agents. Allowing me to show you not only my listings but listings from other firms.
As members of the local real estate board and to advertise a listing on the MLS Brokers agree to pay a Co-Broke Fee or Commission. The Commission comes from the Sellers proceeds of the sale of the property.
Therefore, as a member of the local board I am paid by the Seller when I Represent you in Home Purchase..
Steps From Search to Sale
Purchasing property is not difficult with the proper and consistent professional assistance.
Typcially upon first contact with a potential buyer I make sure they have a good area map, I find this an invaluable tool to help orientate a buyer to community location, park, beach, shopping and amenity locations. Often we spend time in advance comunicating by voice and email loking at properties and determining lifestyle objectives for a SouthWest Forida Purchase.
This initial ground work is followed up by a community and property tour.
When a property is found, an offer will then be made to the seller through their listing agent. Offers are made on a Standard Contract that is used by Florida Realtors. and approved by Florida Attorney Associations .
As a part of the contract a buyer includes a small deposit known as Earnest Money. These funds are evidence to the seller that the buyer is sincere in their offer.
Earnest Money can be in the form or check or wired funds to an Escrow Agent, I use a local Attorney to hold the funds.
These funds are refundable in the event the contract terms are not agreed upon.
Typical earnest fund amounts vary according to the value of the purchase property. Ranging from $1000 to $10,000.
Once the ofIf an offer is accepted, then the closing is typically scheduled for 30 to 60 days from date of acceptance.
Shortly after acceptance, an additional deposit of approximately 10% of the purchase price is to be made to an escrow account to secure the offer.
A local bank account should be established, and if using mortgage financing, amounts equal to the total down payment plus amounts equal to several months of mortgage payments and expenses need to be on deposit before closing. A local bank account is also useful for paying monthly expenses (electricity, fees, mortgage payments, etc.).
We use a local Attorney to coordinate all the legal documents and signatures needed to transfer the property deed and legal notices. The firm we have used has served as an invaluable resource to the many local, national and international clients we have represented.
Buyers do not need to be present at closing, all activities can be accomplished through the mail.
Transfer of services such as electric, phone and cable can all be done through phone and mail.
Financing and Mortgage
If you prefer not to pay cash, then mortgage programs would be available. The majority of mortgage loans are done through licensed mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers in Naples work with many sources of lending funds and banks, to get the best possible rates. Mortgage rates for properties in the Naples area are always very competitive.
Lender Requirements for both Foreign and Domestic Borrowers change regularly, Below is a list of Banks and Private Lenders that may be of assistance in finding a loan.
In advance understanging what is needed for a purchase with borrowed money will help make the contract negotiations smoother. So we'll start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan. One advantage is the comfort in knowing what would be affordable, plus sellers view pre-approval for a mortgage as a positive thing. It is best to start the approval process slightly ahead of beginning your property search. Basically, you would need a letter from your banker and certified/chartered accountant stating that you have sufficient capital recourses and/or an ongoing flow of cash income. The letter from your Banker should be a confirmation of your deposits and investments, and a brief description of the length and nature of the banking relationship. Typically for foreign buyers, 30% of the purchase price would be required to be made in cash, but if you have strong finances then 20% down would not be a problem.
Foreign buyers, same as US citizens, will be subject to various state and county taxes at the time of purchase (info here), annual taxes based on the value of the property (info here), and on gains (the selling price less the original purchase price) when the property is sold.
Foreign buyers are also eligible to defer the tax on gains when they sell, by doing what is called a 1031 exchange. A 1031 exchange may be available when you sell an investment property held for over one year, and then purchase another within a specific time frame. It permits the gain from the property sold to be deferred from taxes, until such future date that the new property is eventually sold. Very specific rules need to be followed, but several companies are available to help coordinate the 1031 exchanges for a low fee.
Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA), requires that an amount equal to 10% of the selling price be withheld from a foreign seller of real estate. This amount is withheld to cover the potential taxes on the gain, but the 10% withheld can be much higher than the actual amount of tax due. The foreign seller will then need to file for a tax refund to collect the excess amount of taxes withheld. Some advance paperwork filings can reduced the amount withheld, the wait for the refund and other hassles. I recommend that shortly after the original purchase of real estate, a foreign buyer talk with an accountant, get a tax id number, and be prepare for the future. Eventually a foreign buyer will end up selling, so it is best to plan in advance.
Again this is where the Attorney Firm will be invaluable in preparing documents for the eventual sale of property.