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The pitfalls of buying and selling housing in the US: realtors answered questions from readers ForumDaily

When buying a house, pitfalls and purely American nuances are not to be considered. But the acquisition of a house is not just another purchase, it is a responsible investment, which will largely determine the quality of your life in the future. Each real estate market has its own rules and nuances, so it is often difficult for immigrants who decide to buy housing in the US to decide where to start, how to choose really lucrative offers, how to get a mortgage and send a request for a purchase.

Collage: ForumDaily

Lilia Garipova is an expert on buying and selling real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area, which works with English and Russian-speaking clients, as well as Steve Tsvetkov, a loan broker, helped ForumDaily readers understand the process of buying a house in the US from A to Z, answering readers' questions about financing and obtaining a mortgage and about existing programs for buying housing in America for the first time.

At the same time, the experts emphasize that each case is unique, and you may not have taken into account some important factor when asking a question, therefore it is better to seek personal advice in order to analyze each specific case.

When buying a house by a citizen of another country, do you have to pay property taxes?

Yes, every property purchase transaction is subject to real estate tax, which charges the state and / or district In California, this tax rate can range from 1,0% to 1,4% of the purchase price.

I'm interested in the question of building a house for later sale. The first question: is it possible to do this without being a US resident. What are the nuances, what to look for, where to start? I would be grateful for the detailed response.

You can start by hiring a general contractor. If you have the funds to implement this project, it doesn't matter if you are a US resident or not. On the other hand, if you need financing, there are banks that specialize in loans for people looking to buy and sell real estate. Some of these programs allow very small first installments - up to 10% of the cost, the bank can also finance construction costs. It should be borne in mind that each project has its own characteristics, so you should seek additional advice.

My husband owned a house in America, but he sold it a long time ago. I did not buy real estate in the USA. Can we as a family be treated as first time buyers? What are the advantages of this program, except for the first installment in 3,5%? Because I just do not like the idea with such a small contribution. And with the first time buyer program, is the interest rate higher than without it? Thank!

Related question: Hello! Tell me please, what types of programs exist for those who buy housing for the first time? What are the requirements for the participant? Is the program valid throughout the US? Is Guam Island in this program? Are there any special requirements for buying a home on the island? Are general requirements throughout the US? In which state is it best to participate in this program?

Yes, your family can participate in the first time buyers program. Many new programs are available today, and the first installment may be 1% -15%. Monthly payments and interest rates vary greatly depending on the bank and program, please seek personal advice for more information.

I am a licensed real estate agent only in the state of California, so I cannot answer whether other states and territories have similar programs, however, I think that all states most likely have very similar mortgage options.

Good day! I am interested in how several processes pass:

  1. Interested in the possibility of acquiring land for the construction of a small house.
  2. Obtaining a building permit (is it necessary to obtain if the building is not capital \ "modular, without a foundation")?
  3. Hiring contractors for construction.
  4. The commissioning and registration of property.

It all depends on local government. As a rule, building permits in California cities need to be obtained if the area exceeds 120 square feet. The foundation may also be necessary for seismic resistance if the city or the soil control engineer (Soil Engineer) so requests. Before buying a plot, make sure that the wiring of water, sewage, gas and electricity is included in your budget. Sometimes you need to pay an additional administrative fee for connection only. Your contractor will tell you.

Typically a temporary fence and a toilet for workers are needed. Road access is also very important, make sure the plot is not landlocked. In seismically active areas, it is always good to hire a geologist before buying to make sure there are no fault lines under the site, and the city will allow you to build the type of building (height, distance to the fence, etc.) that you want in the area of ​​your site, otherwise a building permit will not be given. The cost of the permit may also include a fee to the school district, City Impact Fees, Solar Research - if the shadow from the new house falls on a foreign site, where there may be solar panels in the future. After the house is built and passed the Fianal Inspection, you will be given a Certificate of Occupancy. In some cities, a Final Inspection on the permit signed by an inspector may serve as a Certificate of Occupancy. After that, the house can be rented out by purchasing Landlord Insurance.

Interested in taxes on income from rental housing. If you buy a house for rent, does it even make sense? The state must pay a tax on income plus the maintenance of a house ...

Being a landlord and managing a rental property is not for everyone, but many who buy property for further lease do it with the expectation of future increases in property values ​​and monthly cash flow.

Can a student who does not have a country passport buy a house on credit?

Yes, if the student, in addition to studying, also works or can make a substantial down payment (30% - 40%).

Фото: Depositphotos

If the house on the financing and income from rent covers the payment of the bank and maintenance, without bringing income to the owner, that's good. Income will be after the sale?

A real estate investment strategy for profit can sometimes be a very long-term project.

The question of programs / grants for the purchase of housing. I know a lot of them, and it depends on the state, but maybe someone knows the available resources where you can read about them all over the country. Thank!

There is an organization in California that helps families buy their first home, supporting them with a down payment and closing a deal. Information about it can be found by typing “CALHFA” in the search box. If you are in California, contact me directly and I can tell you all the details in detail.

What is the principle of finding multi family houses for subsequent rental? It's about investing from 300 000 dollars of personal funds, without financing, not more.

This is a very good investment, if the calculations are done correctly, many people do it for profit, both in the long term and in the short term. Please contact directly if you are thinking about investing in California and I can explain everything in more detail.

Are there any programs for buying a home (apartment) without a down payment if there is a stable income?

Yes, there is a grant program in California that covers the first installment and closing costs for those who buy their first home in the United States. For more information, contact me directly.

Who finances, considering not net income, after taxes, but gross on 1099?

Traditional banks expect only “net” income for people who receive 1099. Today, they have many new programs available to 1099 workers, and there the approach to calculating revenues is very different. Please contact directly for more details.

Please tell me if the house was bought for cash 8 years ago. During this time, he probably increased in value. How to evaluate it? And is it possible to "get" money out of it?

I am sure that over the past 8 years, the value of your property has increased significantly, you can get an estimate by contacting a realtor. We can create an evaluation package for free. Today, while interest rates on loans are still very low, people use their homes to get new loans and get cash. Please contact me directly for more information and free advice.

A friend received some time benefits and had a medicaid. If he sells the house, will he be charged for all the previous benefits?

If the owner sells the principal residence after using medicaid, then yes, the government will charge the payment, this is called “estate recovery”.

What are the benefits of buying a home with the 55 + program?

In California, there is Proposition 60, which allows people older than 55 to sell their home and buy a new one, retaining the property tax that was applied to the old property (calculated many years ago, and not from the purchase price). There are also mobile home parks for people aged 55 + with a low rental price.

Good day! At the moment, home sales are falling or remained at the level of the summer? What is the reason?

In California today, real estate deals are higher than 6 months ago. This allows buyers to choose from a larger number of options, and therefore sellers may not get the maximum price they could rely on 6 months ago. At the same time, the demand is almost 0,25% higher than it was 6 months ago, and experts believe that it will continue to grow. If you are in California and want to explore your options for buying property, please contact me directly for a free quote.

Without US citizenship, is it possible to buy a house or an apartment here?

Yes, many of the programs for those who buy housing in the United States for the first time do not require permanent resident status.

Hello! Interested in buying a home for myself, but I do not have green cards and citizenship. It is generally possible and on what rights? Massachusetts State. Thank!

Yes, you can buy a house without having a green card. Some banks today are ready to provide loans to people with a valid work visa. Good luck!

Hello! I am a citizen of Russia. I come to the USA on a tourist visa. Everything is in the law. I want to buy an apartment in COOP (coop, not condo) in New York, Brooklyn, Sunset Park. Estimated price: $ 300. Questions: 000. What taxes will I have to pay when purchasing? 1. What taxes to pay when owning an apartment (annual tax, and so on). 2. What confirmation of the legality of the origin of funds must be provided? Thank you.

I am not familiar with property taxes in New York, but in California, this tax rates range from 1% to 1,4% of the purchase price of real estate. This tax in California is collected 2 times a year.

Does it make sense to expect a drop in prices for housing (real estate)? I want to buy a house. Now prices are too high. I would not like to buy a house, and in two years its cost will decrease.

Buying real estate for a short time always carries more risk than buying for a long time. In the long term, prices will rise as the population and economy grow. In the short term, there can be either an increase or a decrease in prices. If this is a home for you and your family, then buying it like this is almost always a good idea. But if this is an investment, then it is better to calculate your risk. Also you have to calculate how much you will spend on rent over the next 2 to 3 years? Homeowners in the United States have additional tax breaks that tenants do not. If you are planning to buy real estate in California, please contact me directly for a free consultation.

Hello! Once I heard about a soft loan for the first purchase of real estate. Is there such a practice? And what are the current interest rates on a loan in Los Angeles? What is refinancing here and how much does it cost - is it profitable? Thank!

First-home buyers in the US have many credit options to choose from. Some banks offer low down payments, lower interest rates and other benefits. Most of our clients receive refinancing with very low with very low or zero closing prices. Contact me directly and we will find the right program for you.

Contact us A specialist in the purchase and sale of real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area Lily Garipova can call 415-910-3958, mail: or through the feedback form on Online.

Ask for advice on options for financing the acquisition of real estate to Mortgage consultant Steve Tsvetkov can be reached at: Pacific Bay Financial Corporation, 355 Gellert Blvd. Suite #230, Daly City, CA 94015; by phone: (415) 592-0987 (Office); (925) 594-2520 (Mobile) or by mail:

Read also on ForumDaily:

How to find the perfect home in the USA with Zillow

How much to earn to buy a house in major US cities

30 cities with good salaries and affordable housing

7 US states with the lowest real estate taxes

Educational program покупка недвижимости answers to questions
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