Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    American Dream – Buying or Renting a Home

    Buying A Home or Renting

    It is true to say that an English man’s home is his castle. With this mentality in mind many Brits think this should be their number one priority when relocating to America. Although buying a house is certainly a good idea, there are other competing considerations that should be borne in mind first. I’ll try and run through a few of them.

    When in your home country you never have to think about your immigration status. As long as you have a good enough job and a good credit rating buying a house should ultimately follow. Again, being at home you would have been brought up in the education system and therefore know good schools from bad schools and good areas from bad areas. In fact, these are so much a given that you probably would not even give it much thought when buying a home.

    In America, all of these fundamental experiences and first hand knowledge will not be in place on your arrival to the US. In nearly all cases you would have had no first hand knowledge of the US education system, and you will not necessarily know good areas from bad areas. On arrival to America you will not have any form of credit rating.

    Again, many people try to overcome their lack of credit rating by simply putting down a substantial enough deposit or even buy their property outright. There is no problem in doing so if you have all the other precursory elements as outlined above in place.

    In my personal experience, buying a house should come after about six months to a year of being in the town you want to settle in.

    In the previous chapters you should have read about obtaining a credit card and mortgages etc, so now I am going to talk about the process of actually buying property in the US generally.

    In the US, estate agents are called realtors. Typically, all realtors are self-employed, but work under the supervision of a company. Realtors have to be licensed by the state to be able to act as a realtor. It’s perhaps a good idea to ask your realtor how long they have been in practice and how long they have worked and/or lived in the area. These factors are important since you will be relying on the advice they give you about living in the area they are trying to sell to you.

    Never work with just one realtor no matter how chummy they become. Realtor’s work on a very high commission compared to the UK. In the UK a commission of around two and a half percent would be considered normal, if not high. In the US a realtor can earn as much as six percent. Let me explain. Individual realtors will canvass homeowners to get the owner to list a property with them personally. Once the owner enters into this agreement, no other agent can sell that home without the listing agent, (the realtor acting for the seller), being present.

    The listing agent will charge the seller 3% commission for the listing. Then if the listing agent also finds a buyer, the agent can charge a further 3%. However, in the US other realtors can introduce potential buyers to the listing agent and in these cases the listing agent and the introducing agent will get the 3% commission while the listing agent keeps their 3% listing commission. So on a $200,000 property the realtors stand to make $12,000.00. Not bad if you can sell even one property per month. As a result, part-time and full-time realtors fight over potential buyers and are keen to become their new best friend.

    This having been said, a good realtor can be a very useful contact, helping you find the area that’s right for you. If their own children went to the schools they’re recommending, then this may be a good sign. Remember, their goal is to sell you a house.

    Also, before you commit to buying any house make sure your immigration papers are all in place. Many people visit a state in the US, fall in love with it, and start visiting properties. Realtors are not immigration lawyers and therefore cannot advise you on these matters. So always get immigration advice at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Making an offer on a house in the US is like exchanging contracts. An offer on a house in the US is a binding irrevocable contract. The contract can have provisions inserted that will allow either party to leave the contract, but if none of the contingent events occur then you’re bound. Typically, you cannot even make an offer without complete contract papers and parting with a substantial good-faith deposit of around $5,000. Actual terms and conditions will vary.

    When you make an official offer to buy a property, the completion time will be agreed within the offer agreement, this is called the ‘closing period’. The closing period is a definite date by which the property and all legal matters must be sold. It’s not an approximate date. The typical terms are 30 or 45 days. During this time the property is said to be ‘in escrow’.

    Property Taxes:Most states will have property taxes that are the equivalent to the British Council tax. Property taxes are based on the current market value of your home. There are no property bands, but instead it’s a percentage of the value of your home. The precise percentage will depend on the state you buy in. Your realtor should be able to give you a good-faith estimate of what your property tax should be. In many states the property tax could be triple the Council tax that one might pay for a comparable property in the UK. As you complete your property purchase you can ask to have your property tax and property insurance bills rolled into your overall mortgage payments. The property tax and insurance premiums will be held on account by the lender and then paid when due on your behalf. Most people prefer this system rather than having to find what could be over one thousand dollars to pay their property tax that is payable every six months.Utility Bills: Virtually all utility bills are paid monthly. Naples, Florida.

    Christine understands that finding your special place means taking in many factors that include accessibility to work, education and recreational activities. It also includes the size and style of your home, the style of the neighborhood that will make you feel more at home. All of these factors must come together to make your new Metro Naples Florida home, feel like home.

    Miami Beach, Florida.

    Miami Beach Realtor servicing Miami Beach, South Beach, Fisher Island, Williams Island, Sunny Isles Beach, Aventura. Homes, Condos and Commercial Property. New Construction and Resales. Free MLS Property Search on Web Site. We have been in business for over 30 years.

    Boca Raton, Florida.

    Luxury Home Specialist and e-PRO, Marilyn Farber Jacobs, lists and sells homes in gated golfing communities, on the ocean and intracoastal waterway, in senior communities and well-rated school district areas, ranging from affordable condos to multi-million dollar estates, townhouses and condominiums in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, South Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington and all of Palm Beach County.

    Monticello, Florida

    Monticello and Jefferson County Florida Real Esta te Homes, Land, Acreage, Farms, serving Beautiful Monticello and Jefferson County, Florida, “a traditional community in North Florida just east of Tallahassee”.

    List of Florida Realtors

    Christine Sutherland

    Gary Lynn

    Marilyn Farber Jacobs

    Tim Peary

    Karen Dove

    Risa Saltman

    PensacolaInformation.com Realty LLC

    Char Sibiga

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Whatever your wants or needs I’ll ensure you receive the expertise & professional representation you deserve! I look forward to hearing from you & will promptly provide relocation information meeting your wish list. There are NO FEES for my experience & expertise. Orlando, Florida. Welcome to ORLANDO, the City that keeps the Kid alive in all of us. Are you already thinking of candy stores, gumdrops and jellybeans? We have HOMES for all families and budgets, where you can peacefully enjoy your dreams of sugarplums dancing and playful animal kingdoms; big enough to share with all of the friends and family who will love to visit you too.

    Pensacola, Florida. Best Buy on Waterfront & Residential Homes in Florida. Exclusive Buyer Agents of North West Florida including Pensacola, Perdido Key, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Fort Walton, & Destin.

    Orlando, FL. Let us do the running for you! Relocating is more than selling and buying property… When you look for new homes I can represent you at no additional cost to you! Any compensation given to a Realtor is recognized by the builder as a marketing fee and has no impact on the final cost of the home.