The Benefits of Owning Land as an International Investor

Opportunities for real estate investment for foreigners is wide and varied in the United States.  It doesn’t matter where you’re from and what currency you’d be using to purchase a property, there is land waiting for you!

You’ve probably heard of the increasing number of foreign real estate investments in the United States.  This is not surprising.  With the troubles that the real estate investment market is facing in the United States, greater opportunities in real estate investment have opened for foreign investors.

With the dollar’s value at all-time lows, foreign investors are finding real estate bargains all over the United States.  There are no shortages of deals in this market.  The United States real estate has become a fairly attractive long-term investment for foreign investors.

There are many reasons for foreigners to invest in land in the US.  Aside from the fact that the floating exchange rate has given foreign buyers a lot of leverage over the bargaining table, the financial market is a pretty good reason why you should invest in the US real estate.

Despite the devaluation of the US dollar and the high amount of foreclosures, the real estate market remains stable due to foreign investors’ capital appreciation.  Domestic real estate buyers may not necessarily share the same opinion, but the market has remained strong for foreign real estate buyers.  This may be largely credited to the fact that there is minimal risk for them.

There are many investments for foreign investors, but the safest is investing your money in real properties including land.  This is another good reason aside from the fact that you can create a large ROI particularly with widespread property foreclosures and seemingly continuous US dollar devaluation.

The US government supports foreign investments and has formulated various tax breaks to encourage foreign investment of real estate.   Foreign real estate investment in the United States is open to everyone.  As long as you can afford to buy the property or at least comply with the mortgage requirements and payments, you can secure for yourself a wonderful piece of land in the United States.  Again, with the current economic situation of the United States, this is the perfect chance for you to make an investment.

Another great benefit that you can take advantage of is the availability of mortgage financing.  Lenders have opened their doors to foreign investors who are looking into purchasing a property.  This means, you don’t have to actually deplete your bank account and you can secure a mortgage and gradually pay it off.

Are you an international investor ready to invest in land? Contact Land Wealth to learn more today.


The Rise of Build-to-Rent Investing

One of the most dramatic shifts in the U.S. market over the past decade has been the unprecedented increase in single-family home rentals (“SFRs”). While there has been widespread discussion of the economic and demographic shifts affecting the U.S. multifamily rental market, a major component of the overall rental market—single-family rentals—has been largely overlooked. Understanding the recent dramatic shifts in the single-family rental market is critical to having a complete picture of the overall U.S. housing market.

As we set out to better understand the key drivers of the single-family rental market, we asked the following questions: What are the characteristics of the rental market for single-family homes? What market conditions and actors have driven changes in single-family rentals over time? What are the economic and demographic characteristics of households living in single-family rentals?

Our research found that:

  • Between 2005 and 2014, single-family rentals accounted for 88.9% of the net increase in occupied single-family stock and 62.5% of the increase in total occupied housing units.
  • While institutional-investor-owned inventory comprises a tiny share of overall single-family rental stock, the ongoing institutionalization of the sector—as well as its staying power—are key indicators of the market opportunity.
  • Single-family renter households predominantly consist of lower- and middle-income families with children, whereas single-family homeowners are much more likely to be older, wealthier, and not have children at home.

The 15.1 million rented single-family homes in the U.S. account for 13% of all occupied housing stock in the U.S. and make up over one-third of all occupied rental housing stock. In the U.S., there are roughly 117 million occupied housing units. Of these, 80 million are single-family (attached and detached), 30 million are in multifamily buildings with two or more units, and just under 7 million fall into other categories. Within this inventory mix, there are approximately 73 million owner-occupied housing units and 43 million renter-occupied units. Single-family detached homes made up the largest individual share of the rental housing stock, comprising 29% of the entire rental market in 2014. Combining that portion of the market with the share of townhomes (single-family attached), all single-family residences accounted for 35% of the occupied rental stock in 2014.

The SFR market has come across the problem of dwindling inventory, calling for the need for build-to-rent homes.  If you are an investor looking to diversify your portfolio with build-to-rent contact the Land Wealth team!

Easements 101

EasementsAn easement is a legal agreement between the property owner and a non-owner to utilize the property in some fashion and an important concept to understand when buying investment land.  Two examples would be a shared driveway easement or a utility easement. Your name is on the deed, but your neighbor or utility company has the right to use a portion of your land as the easement states.  It is important to be aware of the easements that affect your property or property you are about to purchase.

So how do you go about finding easements?

Easements are typically recorded at the county recorder’s office and they are public record if you would like to research easements for yourself.  Searching for easements can be difficult, especially if parcels have changed owners multiple times.  Some easements can go back over 100 years and require some extensive legwork to find.  Ordering a title report with your local title company or the services of a real-estate attorney would be well advised.

What are the different types of easements?

The most common are utility easements and private or right-of-way easements.  Utility easements may include the use of power, either underground or overhead, phone/data, gas lines, well/public water and sewer lines.  Private easements could include driveways, walkways or paths and access to bodies of water.  Some of these easements require some sort of service agreement to be recorded with the easement.  One example would be a shared driveway.  The service agreement would state who is responsible for proper maintenance of the driveway and how often service is to occur.  It would also include any costs associated with servicing the driveway and who is responsible for them.

How does one gain, remove or adjust an easement?

Easements are typically granted or removed by a binding written document between the parties involved in the home sites or property.  Some examples would be a shared well that is no longer in service or a shared driveway that is no longer in use.  If the original easement was recorded, it is required for the removal or adjusted easement to be recorded, as well.  Typically, some form of compensation is given to the property owner that is allowing the easement.

Easements can be difficult to find and are often overlooked. This can sometimes be costly in cases of adding to a home or pouring a concrete driveway. To learn more about easements contact an expert member of the Land Wealth team.



Asian Investors Still Love the South Florida Real Estate Market

It’s still a long way from Asia to Florida, yet a growing number of Asians are joining the throng of foreign investors buying Florida real estate, according to a recent study done by the National Association of Realtors in cooperation with Florida Realtors.

While still a minor player in Florida real estate, China has joined Latin American nations like Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina in becoming a growing source of foreign-national buyers in the state, the survey found. Meanwhile, Europeans from the United Kingdom, Germany and France “have figured less prominently compared to previous years.’’

The number of Florida property transactions by foreign nationals dropped 15.8 percent to 22,572 from 26,806 a year earlier, the survey says. Still total foreign sales rose 3.8 percent to $6.43 billion from $6.20 billion a year earlier, reflecting higher prices.

Among all foreign sales, the Miami area accounted for 21.1 percent in the year ended in August, followed by the Orlando-Kissimmee area, which accounted for 13.5 percent and greater Fort Lauderdale, which accounted for 8.5 percent.

Canadians continued to lead the pack among foreign nationals buying Florida real estate, accounting for about 30 percent of foreign sales in Florida, while Venezuelans totaled 8 percent, the survey of 977 Realtors conducted July 9 to Aug 16 revealed.

Asians accounted for 11 percent of foreign purchases in the Fort Lauderdale area over the past year); 10 percent of those in the greater Orlando area; and 5 percent in Miami, the survey said.

If you are a foreign investor looking to learn more about investing in South Florida contact a member of the Land Wealth sales team today!


How to Market Land for a Quick Sale

Just like any piece of real estate, when you have land to sell you want to sell it as quickly as possible. But you can’t just sit back and expect it to happen on its own—you’re going to have to put in the work for a fast sale. While there’s certainly some degree of luck involved in finding that perfect buyer in a short period of time, luck is only half the battle. Here’s how to market land for a quick sale and get your property under contract fast.

Define your buyer

The better you can understand what your ideal buyer is looking for, the better you can market your property to them. A family looking for a vacant lot to build a new home on is going to have very different needs than a developer or someone who isn’t interested in building on the land. Once you have a clear picture of who you’re trying to sell to, you can highlight the assets of the property that will appeal most to your potential buyer and market the land in the places they’re most likely to look.

Research the market

Selling—and especially selling fast—is all about standing out from the competition. Comparable land sales you should be paying attention to are those within the same region that offer similar uses and benefits to the buyer. Take a look at previously sold comps with an eye toward how fast they sold, their listing price versus final sale price, and how the property was marketed. You’ll learn a lot of good information regarding how to price and market your own parcel.

Diversify your online marketing

List your land in as many places as possible to increase your chances of getting in front of the right buyer. Again, think about who your ideal buyer is and target them directly with your online ads. MLS listings are a good way to get in front of agents, but it’s primarily used for residential homes.

Show off your land in its best light

Don’t skimp when it comes to images for your listing. If you need to hire a professional to take the photos, do it—it will be money well spent. Bad images or a lack of images can turn away prospective buyers and hinder your likelihood of a fast sale. Use drone videos to give your potential buyers a good idea of the size and scope of your lot, and take the time to shoot your land at its best, showcasing its most impressive assets and capturing on film why it’s such a good buy.

Be accessible

When you’re marketing your land, make sure that it’s easy for buyers and/or their agents to get their questions answered and come out and visit the lot. People are busy, and they might not be willing to wait around until you can work them into your schedule. If your goal is to sell as quickly as possible, you’ll need to be accommodating—even if it’s not always convenient.

Want to learn more about selling land? Ready to sell your land? Contact Land Wealth to learn more today!

The Benefits of Investing In Land

While most investors believe in the power of buying and selling real estate, there is a relevant population that have made a fortune in the business of land acquisition and sales. While some shy away from land investment because there is not immediate cash flow, land investments can be very lucrative, and in almost all cases, much less convoluted than home sales.

One of the most obvious advantages of investing in land is the potential of diverse options an investor has. Build to rent, build to sell, or build and hold are the most popular options with investors. The goal of most investors is income, so build to rent is very popular in the right market. Premium homes built to collect premium rental rates are a great way to earn passive income.

The greatest part about investing in vacant land is the nearly limitless possibilities of use. In a world with shrinking available real estate, and new land development advancing at a historical rate, real estate developers have noticed the growing trend of offering newly built homes to clients.

A very important step in buying vacant land is to actually have an idea of where you intend to take the project. Is this going to be a quick buy and sell for profit deal, or do you plan to hold on to the land and hope to take advantage of appreciation over a few years? Another option is to build on the land, with intentions to either sell or tenant the property. With the right team on your side and the right connections in home building, one can easily build and make a profit off a new home sale, with less to worry about

Look to buy land where population seems to be growing, or a formidable company has established firmly planted roots. You always want to be ahead of the curve, especially in developing markets. Large build projects often point to a possible increase in future traffic to the area, and an assumed increase in job stability of the region. Regional development agencies should always be utilized if available, as they can offer a wealth of information on developmental forecasts. If you are buying a vacant lot in a neighborhood, how does the size and shape of the lot compare to the surroundings parcels? If the land you are purchasing is near any major rivers, marshlands or streams, is there a flood danger? These are all questions that should be answered before the land is purchased.

Using a real estate attorney to ensure that the land you are purchasing has a clear title, and no deed restrictions is always helpful. Although you might want to keep as few hands reaching into your profits as possible, due diligence should never be avoided!

Land is tangible, will not lose its value, and you cannot lose money on the deal, unless you haven’t done due diligence to ensure that you’re not overpaying. You never have to worry about property damage, break-ins, or non-paying tenants when dealing with vacant land. Unfortunately, the lack of tenants will produce a lack of passive income, so moving on the property build or sale is important if passive income is the expected result of your land purchase. Are you ready to invest in land? Give an expert member of the Asset Quest team a call today!

How To Know If Raw Land Investing Is Right For You

Raw land investing has become increasingly popular among real estate investors over the last decade. Raw land (i.e. vacant or undeveloped land) is a great way to earn and maintain steady cash flow, but it isn’t necessarily the perfect option for every type of investor.

Real estate entrepreneurs come in all different shapes and sizes, and with all different goals and aspirations; however, there is one common trait they all share: the desire to be their own bosses and rid themselves from the confinements of their nine to five jobs. Because there is such variety among the real investing crowd, it makes sense that not every investment opportunity will benefit every investor in the same way. Rehabbing properties might work well for one investor while another, equally successful, investor might have better luck with buy and holds. Does this make either investor better than the other? No. Quite the opposite, in fact. Because each investor knows how to play to his or her strengths, they both excel in their individual niches.

So, will raw land investing be your new niche? Consider the following four items before making that decision:

Deciding which path to take in the world of real estate investing is something every investor should put a lot of thought into. It is important to ask yourself the right questions and do the proper research before jumping into a particular niche so that you set yourself up for success. The ability to designate yourself as “man (or woman) in charge of your own destiny” and call your own shots sounds pretty enticing, which is why most people want to start a career in real estate investing; however, if you want to run a stable, profit-producing business, it is crucial to not jump in the deep end of investing too fast.

This is where raw land investing comes to play. If you are a person who is just getting their feet wet in the real estate investing pool – or even if you’ve been running your own successful investment business for years – making a raw land investment is a great place to start or expand your business. If you like property that is relatively inexpensive, low maintenance, and can produce significant cash flow, undeveloped real estate is about to become your new best friend.

The great thing about investing in raw land is that there is virtually no competition, which is perfect for those whose negotiation skills aren’t quite up to par. Most real estate investors get so caught up with rehabbing, wholesaling, and rental properties, that they fail to see where another great opportunity lies: raw land. Land is a limited resource, so those who own a piece of it are considered to be highly valuable, especially as raw land becomes more and more scarce. It can be purchased for fairly cheap, and once you own some, there isn’t much you have to do. The beauty of land is that it acts as the ultimate buy and hold. There are so many ways to make money off of raw land as well. You can rent your land out to farmers or hunters, you can develop it, or you can simply let it appreciate and sell it down the road as land becomes even more limited.

Are you ready to invest in land? Contact an expert member of the Asset Quest team to learn more.

Investing in the US Real Estate Market for Foreigners

The term “global marketplace” has never been more descriptive – particularly when it comes to real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, international buyers purchased more than $68.2 billion in U.S. residential real estate from March 2012 to March 2013, across all 50 states. Property sales in the United States to foreign buyers amount to more than 6 percent of total U.S. home sales in value.

Whether you’re an international investor, a Canadian snowbird or a first-generation immigrant living in the United States, purchasing in an unfamiliar market can be daunting. While this guide will help you get started, it is no substitute for the expertise of experienced real estate agents, attorneys, mortgage brokers and accountants you will want to consult along the way.


Before you start your property search, it’s important to think ahead to how you’ll use the home once the deal is done.

  • Will this be a vacation home?
  • A home to stay in while doing business in the United States?
  • A home for your children while they attend college in the States?
  • An investment?
  • An eventual long-term residence?

SIMPLY BUYING REAL ESTATE in the United States does not give foreign owners any rights or privileges regarding legal stay or status. If you’re interested in staying in the states longer than allowed by a standard visa, contact an immigration lawyer.

By determining the primary use for your property and how long you plan to own it, you’ll be able to provide information to your real estate agent that will help guide the search and sale.


The way U.S. real estate transactions are carried out may differ from your home country. EACH STATE IN THE UNITED STATES has its own set of rules regarding the purchase of real estate, including the type of purchase contract used, the method of closing the sale and even the duties and titles of the individuals involved.

Several important U.S. real estate practices worth noting:

In the United States, real estate listing information is shared by agents using multiple listing services and consumers can access that same information using real estate sites such as Zillow. In many other parts of the world, real estate is a fragmented business and buyers have to go from agent to agent to find a property.

In some countries, it is typical to pay a fee to the agents who are scouting properties on your behalf and showing you around. In the United States, the sales commission is paid by the seller, so buyers don’t pay anything to have an agent work on their behalf.

In the United States, real estate agents need licenses to operate. The licensing laws of each state differ regarding how much education is required, the type and depth of licensing examinations, and whether continuing education courses are required once an agent becomes licensed. The licensing system was designed to ensure real estate agents are qualified to guide consumers through the maze of finding, evaluating and financing real estate. Many other countries like Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador and Belize do not require real estate agents to be licensed.

Foreign buyers will also want to give consideration to issues such as currency exchange rates, international wire transfers, banking systems, multi-national taxation and accounting issues, and import/export restrictions regarding currency and household goods.


Foreign buyers, in particular, should take the time to find qualified and experienced professionals to walk you through the real estate purchasing process. Agents who have taken additional coursework may carry the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation.

IF YOU’RE NOT FLUENT IN ENGLISH, or prefer speaking in your native language, choose agents, attorneys, inspectors and bankers who are conversant in your native language. While it may be possible to get translated copies of standard real estate documents, it’s likely that you will have to sign the English versions when it comes time to close the deal.

Assembling a qualified team will take some time – ask associates for referrals, do website searches, find locals in real estate directories and check references. In the end, the expertise these professionals bring should make the experience less stressful for you.


Qualified foreign buyers with a 30 to 40 percent down payment can often obtain financing for their U.S. real estate purchases. MANY BANKS REQUIRE FOREIGN BUYERS to have a specific amount ($100,000 or more) on deposit with the bank while others set loan limits of $1 million to $2 million. You may also be required to present a minimum of three months of bank statements.

The U.S. home loan market offers an array of safe, affordable mortgages, including some that will allow Muslims to buy a home without violating Islamic laws against paying interest.

Before applying for a U.S. mortgage, you must first establish credit and earn a good credit score. You can start building your credit score by opening U.S. bank and credit card accounts. You’ll also want to be sure to report all income on your tax returns. Lenders use this income information to determine how much money they’re willing to loan you to buy a home. Want to learn more about investing in the US Real Estate Market? Contact Asset Quest today.

Pros and Cons of Land Investments

Investing in land may seem to be easy. People make money every day buying and selling raw land, but those successful land investors do their homework and probably learned some important investing lessons the hard way.

There are some important pros and cons to consider before signing a check at a closing.


  • The land will be purchased and sold “as is”. No repairs or renovations are needed.
  • There are no tenants, no late rent payments, no legal fees for evictions, no holes in the wall.
  • Raw land owners are, by definition, absentee owners. Statistically, they are motivated sellers because their land isn’t producing income and they don’t know how to maximize the potential of the land.
  • There is little or no competition for raw land, so being the only prospective purchaser is a huge negotiating advantage.
  • Most land purchases are for cash, eliminating the need for mortgage lenders.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of money to get started.
  • Raw land can be effectively bought and sold without ever stepping foot on it by using the phone and the Internet.
  • Create passive income from land by financing qualified buyers. Most banks won’t lend for vacant land, so it’s possible to charge a higher interest rate to an eager purchaser.


Most cons associated with land investing are primarily related to a lack of research. Prepare a checklist of every possible negative for a piece of raw land and use it to evaluate any potential investment. Many will not apply to a contemplated investment, but being thorough and organized is the key to successful investing.

  • Find out why the land is vacant. Many people have lost money by buying land and then discovering that it could not be developed.
  • If the property’s zoning will not permit the land’s highest and best use, it’s not a good buy. In order to be resold at a profit, the land must be able to be developed.
  • Is the property too rocky or hilly for building? Use Google Earth to investigate the topography.
  • Are the taxes too high? Anything higher than 4% of the market value is a red flag.
  • Lack of utilities (water, electric, sewer, phone, etc.) is a huge negative for anyone wanting to build.
  • Landlocked properties or oddly shaped properties should be avoided. Required building setbacks could make a narrow plot worthless.

It’s entirely possible to earn a substantial income by buying and selling raw land. Many plots of undeveloped land can be purchased for the cost of one developed property. The key to success is to thoroughly research any potential land investment before committing to a purchase. Are you ready to invest in land? Contact Asset Quest today to learn more!

Buying Land with a Self-Directed IRA

copy2Buying land for sale as an investment takes careful study, patience, professional assistance, and, of course, money. Because most land does not service debt well, many (if not most) land transactions are cash deals. Purchase funds come from a variety of sources – personal wealth, the sale of another property, or the wise investments in traditional assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds). A lesser known, but steadily growing source of funds for timberland and other real estate investing, is the self-directed Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Self-directed IRAs are similar to standard IRAs with the key difference being that the investor has much greater flexibility to invest in alternative or “non-traded” assets. While this investment vehicle has been available since 1974, only 2% of the nearly $7 trillion in total IRA balances is held in self-directed IRAs. Much of the reason why those with retirement funds haven’t heard of this option is that most IRA custodians/financial advisors focus solely on the standard investments like stocks, bonds and CDs. However, given the volatility of the stock market, although presently at all-time highs (for now), an increasing number of savvy investors are seeking alternatives that can provide greater diversity, and thereby greater stability, to their total retirement portfolio.

For the vast majority of Americans, the IRA is the largest amount of money they may ever hold in their lifetime. While diversifying assets is important to long-term growth, so too is protecting the principal and balancing risks against the reward. Therein lies the second most likely reason why many have avoided tapping their retirement funds to diversify into less well-known alternatives. The benefits of owning timberland via a self-directed IRA are well-documented, but the asset class and the IRS obligations must be fully examined and understood well before deciding to crack open the retirement nest egg for acquisition funds.

In summary, initiated investors who wish to add land to their retirement portfolio and who are willing to do the necessary homework can do so successfully via a self-directed IRA. If you are ready to start investing in land, contact an expert member of the Asset Quest team today!