Purchasing Property and Funds Transfer

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Purchasing Property and Funds Transfer


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Old 5th February 2012, 09:21 PM
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Default Purchasing Property and Funds Transfer

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum, I hope that you can help with some useful advice. I am a UK citizen and have lived in the US for 8 yrs. I am married to an American and hold permanent residency.

My parents (who usually make annual trips to visit) recently retired and are looking to purchase a small holiday home over here (Colorado) to spend one or two months a year.

They will be looking to purchase outright, so no complications with loans etc. but I would like to know folks' opinions on a few things:

1. Transferring money from the UK to the US for the purchase. Any preferred methods? Anything to be aware of (fees, taxes, charges etc.)

2. Any issues with a UK citizen opening a US bank account (although it could be a joint account with me) to receive the funds for the purchase?

3. Any difficulties to look out for when purchasing property as a non-citizen?

Also, is it necessary to involve an attorney in a US property purchase?

If anyone has already walked this path, I would be grateful to hear about your experiences and any advice you would be willing to offer.

Many thanks!

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Old 5th February 2012, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ChancerUSA View Post
Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum, I hope that you can help with some useful advice. I am a UK citizen and have lived in the US for 8 yrs. I am married to an American and hold permanent residency.

My parents (who usually make annual trips to visit) recently retired and are looking to purchase a small holiday home over here (Colorado) to spend one or two months a year.

They will be looking to purchase outright, so no complications with loans etc. but I would like to know folks' opinions on a few things:

1. Transferring money from the UK to the US for the purchase. Any preferred methods? Anything to be aware of (fees, taxes, charges etc.)

2. Any issues with a UK citizen opening a US bank account (although it could be a joint account with me) to receive the funds for the purchase?

3. Any difficulties to look out for when purchasing property as a non-citizen?

Also, is it necessary to involve an attorney in a US property purchase?

If anyone has already walked this path, I would be grateful to hear about your experiences and any advice you would be willing to offer.

Many thanks!
We own a number of properties in the United States (Texas). I am now a citizen however we purchased a couple of them prior to becoming a citizen, with no issues whatsoever.

We love purchasing property in the United States. The purchase fees are very low (no stamp duty to pay so charges are minimal).

The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is fantastic which means that agents split the commission, which means you can liaise with a 'buyers agent' to find the best deal for you.

These is a compulsory sellers disclosure which is a legally binding document so if you discover anything 'dodgy' you can come back against the sellers.

Funds transfer is easy. We save $1,000's by using an internet based currency website instead of paying huge big bank fees.

In terms of settlement (known as closing in the US) all you have to do is ensure the funds are transferred into the Title Company's account the day prior to the closing taking place.

On the morning of the closing it is a good idea to have your agent, you are relatives inspect the property to ensure it meets or exceeds the condition and that all items that were included are present.

I hope this helps... please ask more if you wish.

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Old 6th February 2012, 02:31 AM
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Thanks for your response!

The one thing I would like to understand a little more about at this stage is the transfer of funds. I have seen companies like Money Corp, Xoom and Xe. Is this the kind of thing you are talking about? How do these guys work exactly? They arrange the transfer between your local and foreign accounts? Any info in this area would be appreciated. Another option that was suggested (by a high st bank advisor) was to buy dollars and place in an off-shore account to then draw from. Sounded kind of strange... Anyway, thanks again for any info.

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Old 6th February 2012, 05:48 AM
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[/QUOTE]

We are currently based in Australia and found a fantastic currency transfer service called OzForex. We save around 2% compared to the big banks which translates into serious dollars when moving over a sum of money large enough to purchase a property.

After signing up and getting approved you simply wait on line until the currency rate is suitable in real time. Then you pull the trigger by initiating a contract at the agreed rate. At this time you have around 3 business days to transfer the funds into one of their accounts in the country you are based (ie. UK). Once they receive the funds they simply transfer them into your destination account (ie. US bank account).

At time of closing all you need to do is instruct your US bank account to wire the funds into the Title Company's account then as long as the property is suitable during inspection the closing occurs, and the property is yours!

Bear in mind that some locations in the US have hefty Property Tax rates so factor this into your purchase. Depending on the area property taxes can be as little as 1% of appraised value or as much as 5%... which means that in some locations you can pay as much as $10,000 or more per year for the pleasure of having your garbage picked up!

The actual cost of purchasing a property is quite low compared to countries that charge stamp duties, etc. The highest cost one will pay will be mortgage fees, not title fees.

In terms of currency rates, try to determine what drives a stronger pound compared to the US dollar. Typically risk aversion makes the US stronger while risk appetite makes the US dollar weaker as more people feel safe in trading other currencies such as the USD or Yen.

Good luck!

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Old 6th February 2012, 12:14 PM
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We are currently based in Australia and found a fantastic currency transfer service called OzForex. We save around 2% compared to the big banks which translates into serious dollars when moving over a sum of money large enough to purchase a property.

After signing up and getting approved you simply wait on line until the currency rate is suitable in real time. Then you pull the trigger by initiating a contract at the agreed rate. At this time you have around 3 business days to transfer the funds into one of their accounts in the country you are based (ie. UK). Once they receive the funds they simply transfer them into your destination account (ie. US bank account).

At time of closing all you need to do is instruct your US bank account to wire the funds into the Title Company's account then as long as the property is suitable during inspection the closing occurs, and the property is yours!

Bear in mind that some locations in the US have hefty Property Tax rates so factor this into your purchase. Depending on the area property taxes can be as little as 1% of appraised value or as much as 5%... which means that in some locations you can pay as much as $10,000 or more per year for the pleasure of having your garbage picked up!

The actual cost of purchasing a property is quite low compared to countries that charge stamp duties, etc. The highest cost one will pay will be mortgage fees, not title fees.

In terms of currency rates, try to determine what drives a stronger pound compared to the US dollar. Typically risk aversion makes the US stronger while risk appetite makes the US dollar weaker as more people feel safe in trading other currencies such as the USD or Yen.

Good luck![/QUOTE]

a) It may not b e called stamp duty but closing costs can be a factor when it comes to purchasing a home in the US. Google RESPA (real estate settlement proceedures act) and you will find plenty of informaiton. hud.gov is the official government site for home purchase questions be it first-time buyer programs, closing costs, time lines, Q&A ...
b) Inspection of the property by a licensed inspector is only a small part of pre-closing and actually not required by law.
c)Trash and recycling pick up can be included in utilities such as water or you will pay for it.

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Old 7th February 2012, 10:33 PM
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Thanks for the additional info!

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Old 12th February 2012, 09:06 AM
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Hi ChancerUSA

I have had a home in Florida for over 4 years now and have always used this company Halo Financial. My friend works there so I felt at ease with using them and they have always given me the best rate. As for the bank account, I am a UK citizen and it was a breeze to open a US account in Florida with Suntrust, and the same can be said for the purchase process, again a breeze.

Funnily enough, I am currently in the process if gaining my Visa and will be relocating to Fort Collins, CO....it's a great state!

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