Saturday, November 03, 2012

What Foreign Buyers Need to Know

We have received several requests lately from overseas buyers about what the requirements are for foreign nationals who want to purchase property in Las Vegas. Actually the process is pretty simple - we have listed the guidelines below:

1.       Except for Canadian citizens buying second homes in the States, most foreign nationals will need to purchase with cash because the financing for foreign nationals has really dried up. They will need to bring proof of funds, a current bank statement or a bank letter of credit, in order to submit an offer.

2.      They will need to have a US bank account with cleared funds. So all money for the purchase should be placed in a US bank with enough time for the funds to clear. If they wire in the money, it will only take a couple of days for the funds to clear.

3.       There are no special taxes or fees for foreign homebuyers using the property as a primary or secondary residence. Rental properties would be subject to US federal income taxes annually.

4.       When they go to sell the home, the escrow company will withhold a percentage of the sales price for US federal taxes until the foreign buyer has filed and paid the US taxes in total. I can’t give you a specific percentage, because it depends on the sales price, if there has been a gain on the home, and what laws are in place at that time. Right now most escrow companies are withholding 10%.

And that's about it. There are a few countries whose citizens are not eligible to purchase homes in the States (usually terrorist related), but that is a very small number. And currently with the great rate of exchange against the US dollar and record breaking low prices on Las Vegas housing, it makes all the sense in the world for foreign buyers to take advantage of our real estate market.