Whether you’re a foreigner or a US resident, buying a property in the US is not a piece of cake. There’s a lot of planning and making decisions, which sometimes can take a while. However, if you’ve decided to make the big purchase, you need to start exploring your options. In this guide, you’ll find out the main tips for purchasing a property in this country,that will help you prepare for the process and make the move to your new home much easier.
If you’re a foreigner…
… make sure you can prove your identity by having a valid passport. Also, you’ll need an individual taxpayer identification number – you’ll need it to file income tax returns. Furthermore, you’ll need a social security number, bank statements (some even from your homeland), proof of reserves, and information about your credit score.
Sort out your budget
The way you’ll pay for the house is surely the most important factor in this purchase. Getting a mortgage is fairly easy in the US, helping young people buy homes without having to save for years. There are several loan programs to choose from, but you’ll need to have a good credit score to get one. Once you find out how much you can afford, you can start looking at homes within your budget.
Remember: even though you can negotiate the price a little bit, don’t browse homes that are above your budget. Buying a home that’s too expensive can cause future financial problems, and turn out to be a wrong investment.
Get a translator if you need one
For those coming from outside the US, speaking English is required to be able to go through the purchase process. However, if you’re not that fluent, it’s important you find someone who is –either a family member or a professional translator. Make sure you understand all the information you get during the process, to avoid misunderstanding and further problems.
Hire a real estate agents
Real estate agents are knowledgeable professionals who can help you find the best home for your family. Agents know the local area very well, so they can help you more with picking the neighborhood and choosing the best property for the price. Also, real estate agents have a lot of experience and great negotiating skills, which will most likely lead you to a better deal. Both foreigners and US residents should consider hiring a knowledgeable pro who will guide them throughout the process of browsing but also buying a property in the US.
Choose the best place to live
There are beautiful properties in different price ranges all over the US. So, if you are not settled yet, make sure you think carefully before you pick the location. This will surely depend on your needs and preferences, work, and family situation. For example, if you’re moving with kids, you should consider Hoboken or a similar place that’s great for raising a family. On the other hand, if you’re a young, single entrepreneur, you’ll choose a location that will give you more business opportunities. Consider your current situation, as well as long-term plans, so be sure you’re looking for the right location for your new home.
Don’t forget the additional costs
Buying a property in the US comes with a number of additional costs. You need to be prepared for closing time, as you’ll have to pay for down payment, but also insurance, title search, and legal fees. Depending on the property’s price, it can cost a couple of thousands dollars more. For that reason, the property-buying process should start as early as possible, so you save for everything and avoid financial problems.
Don’t forget to plan the move
Moving house should also be included in your checklist of things to do when buying a property in the US. Give yourself enough time to plan the move, so you can have a safe relocation and avoid overspending. The main stages of planning the move are:
- Scheduling the moving date with a professional moving team that will handle your items wit care
- Preparing your household for packing – cleaning and decluttering are important steps to take before you start putting items into the boxes
- Choosing the best strategy to pack – you can either go room by room, or pack the items according the frequency of use. This way you can start early with items you don’t use so often, and finish off with everyday pieces.
- Sorting out the boxes – utilize your organization skills to make this move a piece of cake. Sort your items into boxes and label each for easier managing. Furthermore, you can label the boxes with the name of the room they should go. This will help movers sort them out immediately after unloading, creating less mess for you afterwards.
- Changing the address– moving to another home means you’ll need to update your contact details at several places. Bank, utilities providers, and other institution shouldknow about your move, so be sure to notify them on time, and set up your new home from the first day.
Take your time, but don’t be indecisive
Buying a property in the US is a tricky business. You need to take time to find a great location and a valuable property. At the same time, you should avoid being too indecisive, and taking too long to react. Get all the help you need to be able to recognize a perfect property for you, and make an offer soon. If you like a house, don’t wait for too long to get the seller know about it. Good homes often goo off the market quickly, so don’t risk losing a perfectly good property for overthinking.