International Properties

Tips and tricks on buying in Spain’s finest cities.

Posted on August 25, 2018. Filed under: Buying in Spain, First Time Buyer help, Homeownership, International Properties | Tags: , , , , |

If you read our last post about buying property in Spain then you know we think its a great idea! Spain is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been, and we can’t wait to purchase a home there! After visiting Spain, we wrote a blog post about all the things we learned, but we wanted to know more! We always want to be as educated as we can in order to help our clients make the best decisions in their home buying experiences. Ever since Angie earned her CIPS designation international buying is extra important to us. We had the opportunity to speak to Realtor, Anna Rubio from Keller Williams Capital Properties in DC who has also earned her CIPS designation and works often in Madrid, and she helped answer some of our questions about purchasing in Spain. Now we have someone we can refer our amazing clients too if they choose to purchase in Spain.

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The process of becoming a homeowner in Spain

When you begin your. process of purchasing a Spanish property you’ll make an offer on the place you love with the seller’s agent. In Spain the buyer deals with the seller’s agent directly, because typically buyers are unrepresented, but you can choose be if you want (which you know we always recommend). If your offer is accepted then you and the seller would sign a preliminary contract and you would pay a deposit, usually around 10%. The contract is signed in front of a notary (in Spain you have a notary help you with the legal paperwork). You can choose your mortgage provider, but the seller’s agent can usually steer you in the right direction if you don’t know any in the area.

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Increase your goal and shoot to become a Spain resident

In order to buy a property in Spain you need a NIE. This is a number assigned by the National Police to all foreigners that want to purchase property, or become Spanish residents. It can be difficult to obtain from overseas if you are not an EU resident and typically needs to be done with the Spain police, in person. EU partners are able to do it easier and more quickly. Just think, if you were already a resident it would be so much easier! If you’re waiting until you purchase your dream home there to become a resident then you should know Spain offers an awesome program that if you purchase property that is $500k worth in Euros, you can become eligible for your resident visa! How awesome to buy a home you love in a beautiful country while all becoming a resident of said country!

Best locations to live in Spain

Spain has some amazing cities to choose from, especially for retiring, but we all want to start retirement early, right? One of the top cities to live in is Barcelona (the second largest in Spain) known for its coastal, but historical views. You get to go to visit the beach and beautiful architecture all in one day, who could ask for anything more? Another great city to purchase in is Madrid. We visited Madrid while in Spain and it was absolutely beautiful! Madrid is the capital of Spain and known for its friendly locals and multicultural views. Malaga is another city that is absolutely breathtaking and would be a wonderful place to purchase a property and become a resident of Spain. It is on the southern coast of Spain with views of the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Its full of Spanish culture and a must see, even if only for a visit.

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Malaga, Spain

We can’t wait to start referring you guys and make your dream of owning in Spain a reality! If you are interested in knowing more please fill out the form below or contact Angie at 949-338-7408.

 

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How foreigners can buy property in Spain

Posted on June 8, 2018. Filed under: Buying in Spain, First Time Buyer help, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info | Tags: , , , , , |

Travel much? So many of our client’s do, which is why I recently got my CIPS designation. Having international connections with real estate agents around the world is important so our team can make sure you’re real estate needs get served…literally everywhere! I recently had the pleasure of attending the SIMA convention in Madrid and had a chance to network while learning all about the process of buying and selling in Spain.

Fun fact: Spain is in the top 3 countries where foreigners make purchases. Not surprising, because it’s beautiful. We’ll save that for a different post 😉

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The process of buying a property in Spain

First things first, financing. It does not make sense to begin your search until you know how much you are comfortable spending. Of course, cash is easiest. But this is a post for normal people, not cash cows…

Options for financing foreign property

So… you have a couple options. HELOC is a great one if you have more than 30% equity in your current home. Every time I mention the acronym HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) I feel it necessary to remind you to ONLY do this for appreciating assets. Do not use your HELOC for cars, boats, or babes. Only to buy more property. ONLY.

If HELOC is not an option for you, foreign financing is also currently available in Spain. Here’s a quick video we recorded with Lola from B. S. Bank in Madrid:

Current interest rates may actually be better than your HELOC, so it’s something to consider!

 

Finding your home in Spain

Like most countries, first steps are determining an area for your new home or vacation rental, and then selecting a buyer’s agent. Make sure to consider all the factors when determining your area. Here’s just a few to think about:

  • Proximity to airport
  • Walkable to restaurants
  • Local tourist attractions & festivals
  • Amount the property could rent for, both nightly & monthly
  • Noise levels (planes, trains, bars, church bells)
  • Crime statistics
  • Parking accommodations
  • If you’re vacation renting, does the area embrace that?

 

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Once you’ve got an area in mind, it’s time to get connected with a Realtor who works that region. Just like I mentioned in our post about how to buy property in Costa Rica… a quality agent is crucial in these countries where they don’t offer a Multiple Listing Service or a centralized listing database. We never recommend DIY buying, especially in a foreign land. You need someone who will actually go scout for you and someone who gets along with the other agents in the area so your chances of obtaining your favorite property are higher.

It’s always our pleasure to interview and pair people with quality agents. Please fill out the form below if you would like to find an English-speaking match in your desired area of Spain.

If you’re still nervous about buying overseas, or have any questions about getting started on the process, we would be happy to help. Contact Angie at 949-338-7408!

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Global Forum – International Real Estate

Posted on April 17, 2018. Filed under: First Time Buyer help, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Lenders & Loan info, Making Life Easier, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , |

 

Ways Immigrants Can Buy California Property

Have you been thinking about buying in the US, but live in a foreign country? We can help! There’s lots of talk in real estate about EB 5 Immigration , it’s a program United States offers to encourage foreign investors to purchase property here in the US. Because Trump administration has been putting the brakes on immigration recently, a Green Card is tough to get! This has caused major issues and investors (particularly from China) are getting turned away. 😦 But don’t be discouraged. According to Immigration attorney Qiang Bjornbak, depending on your country of origin and job, there may be options for your visa:

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If you would like to explore which immigration solution is best for you, we would be happy to put you in touch with Qiang for a consultation. She can help pave your path 🙂 Once you are able to legally own a home in the United States, then the next challenge is to obtain financing.

How Foreigners Can Obtain US Loans

Foreign loans don’t come without challenges. Seasoning, or the amount of time your money has been in the bank, can be a big one. Another issue can be a newer social security number. Furthermore, reported income, foreign bank statements, and low appraisals are all landmines that can explode during the loan application process. Red flags everywhere…what’s an investor to do?!

It was great to hear from a panel of lenders who are open to working with foreign buyers, and have experiences to overcome challenges. If you’re buying for the first time in the US, you NEED an experienced lender to make your loan process smooth. Regardless of which lender you select, always run a DU (Direct Underwriting) to make sure your loan is fully approved. Usually about 30% down is required on foreign investments, and you need 2-12 months of reserves. Certain lenders also offer down payment programs. Sometimes these loans can be closed in 30 days, but usually they take about 40-45 days. It’s best to make sure your funds are already in the US to ensure there are no delays.

According to feedback in the room… Sterling Bank & Trust is very easy to work with and has fabulous programs that are easy to qualify. ChinaTrust Bank has an ‘asset based’ program which is great when income isn’t high. Cathay Bank offers a foreign HELOC, which is very rare! Here are all the panelists, just fill out the form below if you would like an introduction!

  • Sterling Bank & Trust – Steven Chang
  • New American Funding – Frank Fuentes
  • HSBC Bank – Buddie Krugh
  • Cathay Bank – Howard Tung
  • ChinaTrust Bank – Kevin Yang

What States Do International Investors Prefer in the US?

Interesting question! Literally, it’s all over! According to 2017 data, here’s the top 5:

  1. Florida
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Arizona
  5. New Jersey

If you think sunny Southern California is the best state for you, let’s talk! Just fill out the form below or text call Angie at 949-338-7408. Happy investing – we can’t wait to help you open the door to your US property!

 

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Costa Rica Real Estate and Vacation Homes

Posted on November 15, 2017. Filed under: Costa Rica Real Estate, First Time Buyer help, International Properties, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , |

Want to live where others vacation?

I was recently visiting Costa Rica where I connected with Melissa Smith, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Tamarindo. She went into details about the buying process in Costa Rica, and how you can go about getting yourself a home in the beautiful land of ‘Pura vida’. Spending some time in this gorgeous place made me want to share insights with buyers and investors on how to safely purchase property there!
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I mean, wouldn’t you love for these ocean views to just be a short walk away from your home?

What do you have to do to buy a Costa Rica vacation home?

Melissa told us during our interview that Costa Rica real estate’s most busy season is November-April. $250k will give you a two bedroom two bathroom place in Tamarindo with about a five minute walk to the beach. If you want an ocean view, it would be around $350k, but how can you beat that?

The right team can close a house in just 14 days, but typical timeframes are around 30. If you are planning to buy in Costa Rica, you’ll need cash or a HELOC – they don’t offer mortgages to foreigners.

In Costa Rica attorneys do all of the closing, so you need a good real estate agent, and they will connect you with a reputable attorney as well! Buyer beware – anyone can be an agent over there (literally, your taxi driver) so make sure you’re working with someone like Melissa who has the proper credentials and experience.

If you’d prefer to buy in another area of Costa Rica just reach out to us – we’ll use our Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation to interview and connect you with a great Realtor in the area.

My favorite part in researching Costa Rica is that property tax is just .25 percent! In other words… $250 for every $100k…so affordable! 😍 If you are less than 50m from the ocean you are actually leasing from the government which is called “concession land.

There is no multiple listing (MLS) system set up in Costa Rica, so it’s crucially important to hire a very motivated real estate agent to make sure finding your dream home is an easy process! Every office will offer different listings, so your agent will be required to do a lot more legwork and networking than agents here in the US.

If this sounds like something you are interested in learning more about – let’s talk! I’d be happy to help you find what Homes and land are available currently in Costa Rica. You can get ahold of me at 949-338-7408 or email angie@askangie.com – let’s make your tropical dreams come true!

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CIPS – Why we think International Real Estate is so important!

Posted on August 18, 2017. Filed under: Balboa's Best Property Deals, Home Seller Tips, Informed Investor Alliance, International Properties, Orange County Real Estate | Tags: , , , , |

First of all, what even is a CIPS?

That is what AskAngie team is here to explain! CIPS stands for Certified International Property Specialist, which means that we are designees that have been trained and certified on how to help you with your international real estate needs. We are well informed on how different cultures interpret people and real estate. CIPS designees are prepared to work with international clients, international funds, as well as American clients who choose to buy internationally. We are relied on because of our expertise in international real estate.

Why do we need Certified International Property Specialists?

Global business and international real estate have expanded a lot so these designees are need more now than ever before! Recently, foreign buyers have spent a lot more money in real estate – to the tune of over 1 BILLION per year. Earning the CIPS title makes agents more creditable and resourceful. CIPS have access to a wide network of professionals that can help you with your property needs around the world. Through research we are able to protect you from losing property or buying in a country where you don’t actually ‘own’ your home. We make sure you are buying legitimate properties wherever you may be looking! People are moving from foreign countries to the US every single day and many Americans look into property overseas as well. Because of the work Certified International Property Specialists do, these home owners are able to have a smooth and reliable transition into their new space (or out of their old)!

Watch this video on why we think CIPS is an important designation!

We recommend if you’re thinking about buying out of the country, call us at 877-230-3211 or text Angie at 949-338-7408 to take advantage of the CIPS education and put it to work for your real estate needs! 🙂

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    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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