The following is a step-by-step guide to the property buying process in the USA
Step one: Find the property
If you’re looking to buy a property for a holiday home, your first port of call will be to look online to research popular holiday resorts in the US, the types of properties that work well, and the typical returns and prices. You can then research which properties are available in these areas and get an idea for prices and what you get for your money. There are a number of sites where you can find this information and a wide range of properties available for purchase.
If you are planning to migrate to the USA, you need to find an area and property that will suit your new lifestyle in the US – whether that’s a new job, raising a family, or enjoying retirement. Again, online research is valuable in narrowing down potential areas and properties and helping you pull together your must-haves and nice-to-haves before travelling to America to view any properties.
You should also take the time to prepare your budget at this point – find out about the different costs you will need to include in your budget in Money matters.
Research real estate agents and find agents that have the right kind of properties for sale to suit your needs. Check out the real estate agent, too, and do your homework. Real estate works a bit differently in the USA and many are individuals rather than larger agencies. Read our tips for finding the right agent.
Step two: Visit the property
Plan several visits: to view a selection of US properties in the areas you are considering, then a second trip to view your shortlist. Explore the local area, speak to other homeowners and business owners in the area, and find out what it’s really like. You can even get copies of any local newspapers and free neighborhood publications to get a more in-depth, insiders view of the area.
If buying a holiday home or investing to let a property, find out the area’s popularity and rentability – is it year-round, or seasonal? If you’re planning a permanent move, you need to ensure that the local area suits your needs. Are there the right amenities close by, and good transport links, for example? Is the distance commutable to your new place of work, if you are moving to the US to live and work?