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.

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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!