California Dreaming for Canadian Buyers

By: Quinn Kiet

With the strong and mighty Canadian dollar soaring and the turmoil and foreclosure rate in the California housing market continuing, there are great buying opportunities out there for Canadians. Although buying in the US may not present the best speculative opportunity, if you like the area you are looking at and feel you'd like to live there, than seize the moment to successfully low ball on a property. You may save yourself hundreds of thousands. These are the days for Canadians to make things happen-- to buy in the beautiful state of California and to, "love where you live, and live where you love"-- and at not so pretty a penny as in the past.

Before buying into the market in California it's important to understand that it's possible to get a much better price than what many properties are listed as. Yes, it's possible to take the 2006 assessed value of a condo property and to offer half and actually make a deal! Take note that Florida and other sunbelt properties, such as Arizona, were in dire straits one year ago, well before the sub-prime scandal killed values. Also keep in mind that with so many foreclosures, prices are bound to continue to plummet, so, depending on where you're bidding, there is really great opportunity to drive a hard bargain and to make out like a bandit.With transactions these days, listing prices are truly just a starting point.

Of course, be mindful that if the property in question is not to be your primary residence you will pay much higher taxes. Get a comparison of tax property tax rates and look into the U.S. capital gains taxes and estate taxes that are applicable to foreign owners of U.S. property. Also, rental properties held by foreigners must file separate annual tax returns. The best way to avoid rental taxes is to rent to Canadians or other foreigners, and to take the income back home. Take all these extra taxations into consideration as you conceive your offer and it's upper limit.

Another important consideration to factor in is insurance. Older properties that are on low-lying ground on or near the ocean or intracoastals are often subject to high insurance premiums. Factor these in as you design your offer.

All in all, now is a great time for Canadians to make some steals of deals in Florida and other parts of California.

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