Sounds to good to be true????- overseas investor needs advice

Hi guys,
I am from Melbourne Australia, and I have to admit, all we get down here about you guys is how bad it is and how easy it is for us to invest in the US housing market.
From my internet research, I have to admit, it all sounds to good to be true (from an investors perspective, that is).
In Australia we are currently experienceing a housing shortage, and most properties are returning about 5% gross, so you can imagine I am a little skeptical when I hear returns of 20% + over there.
As things are travelling pretty well over here, and we are being told that we should invest in your market, I am trying to establish if what I am hearing is correct, so if any of you guys can assist with helping out a fellow investor, I would be much obliged.
What I am asking is:

  1. Are returns of over 10% achievable?
  2. I am looking at the Phoenix market - anyone out there have an opinion on this?
  3. Are the listing prices of properties that I see on the websites actually real? I mean do they sell for that or do you have to bid or offer higher to get one?
  4. Any one got any legal advice for me, how do you guys structure over there?
  5. I am planning on coming over in the next dew weeks, can any one suggest a good Real Estate Agent, an Accountant, or a Solicitor in Phoenix that I can contact?
  6. Any other general comments would be appreciated if anyone has the time.

The USA is a very good place for investment. Real estate is on sale right now, and the foreign exchange rate makes it even cheaper for foreigners to invest in the USA.

I don’t know much about Phoenix, except that it is a favorite retirement location because of all the sunshine, but generally you can buy for less than the asking price; sometimes considerably less.

Shop carefully, and I suggest that you come over and look at the properties in person to be sure of what you are getting.

Just make sure everything is reliable and legitimate. Double check just to be sure you won’t end up losing in the end. :slight_smile: Getting a professional would be helpful too.

I am a short sale investing in Texas. 10% returns are achievable in Texas. I don’t know if you know, but Texas boasts the top 5 real estate markets in the United States. Please contact me if you are interested in doing business in Texas. I can get you a 10 % return on your investment. Are you looking for long term passive income?

I think the comment on the exchange rate has to be huge. The US Dollar is very weak right now.

I would be very careful though, because I’m sure there are limitations and probably even special tax burden placed on investors from overseas. It can get very complex very fast to manage properties in 2 geographic locations. Like anything else in life, a calculated decision is in order. There is definitely added risk involved with investing so far from home.

There is no special tax burdon placed on foreign investors at this end. They just get a tax id number and file the exact same forms to the IRS that a US citizen files.

There is no SS tax or self-employment tax on real estate income

Property taxes are the same, no matter who is paying them.

As for the tax implications in Australia, I haven’t a clue.

Hi Guys
Thanks for the advice so far.
As an australian citizn we have to pay the same rate of tax on all our inevestments, so how it works is that we pay the tax to the US gov under your tax system, any profits or losses can then be offest or added to our taxes here- deducting any tax we have paid to the overseas country.
.I am planning on coming over there to see it all for myself and look at setting up all the stuff I need to, like companies, social secutiry numbers and bank accounts, etc, etc, which is why i was asking if any one can recommend any contacts in Phoenix.
My real concern is that we are getting all this information shoved down our thrats here about how we should be inesting over there to help out our allies, newspapers are running stories on the topic everday, and the current affairs shows are showing ‘rags-to-riches’ stories on all the investors who brought homes there for $2000 on Ebay!
Obviously they are buying in places like Detroit, etc, I’m not interested in those things, I’m after better quality homes in positive growth areas.
My other concern is the dislike of natural disaters - so I am trying to to stay away from areas that suffer earthquakes, tornadoes, etc - given the distance, the last thing I need is to watch stuff like that on the late news and stay up all night worrying!
Texas is one of the other places I was looking at, but I am limited in the time I can saty away from here, so Phoenix it is for now.

Are you looking at paying ALL CASH for some deals? The reason I ask is if you are I would look more into tax liens here rather then houses. Seriously, if you were to purchase Tax Liens they are easier to manage from where you are and they pay higher then 10% that you are looking for. I know that GA and NV pay the highest.

hey ldytdk22,

10% and higher returns are very common over here…that is the beauty of this country…no matter if the market or booming or bombing (like it is now)…there is always ways to make monies.

For instance, you could be investing in tax certificates in Arizona, and the phoenix area, right now, and be making your self 16%…and, you don’t even have to take ownership of any properties…all you have to do is pay a property owners delinquent prop taxes…and the local government will guarantee you a 16% return…

Or you can look into purchasing the actual property direct from the county if they happen to have any surplus lands or properties that are on sort of like strike off lists and such…or you can even try to take possession of a property by getting the deed from the prop owner before they lose it at tax sale…this is called front running (it only works about 1 out of every 100-200 prop owners you contact)

Good Luck…Happy Investing.

hey I just read Summit’s post…he is right,tax cert. may be more manageable for you

also you don’t need to limit yourself to Phoenix AZ…Fl pays 18%…and many states higher…you can check out my post entitled tax lien & tax deed states from a few weeks back…it lists all 50 states, and what the counties will pay you if you purchase tax certificates…(this is a completely accurate list as well)

Good Luck

If you are buying in Arizona, you’d have an escrow company (title company) handle the paperwork and you get title insurance. That way you don’t have to worry about whether or not you actually own what you think you’ve purchased.

The title company researches and makes sure back taxes were paid by the seller. They’d get you a copy of the CCRs if there are any.

If you are using an agent, make sure they check to verify that the building was built with permits and passed inspection. That includes all additions.

I suggest that you go by the sheriff’s office with the address and ask them about the neighborhood. In a town I don’t know well, I’d stop by the planning commission and ask if there is anything planned for that area. I once considered buying one until I discovered that a sewage treatment plant would be going in across the street. That’s very rare. Seller is suppoed to disclose, but sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t take much time to check.