Land sales increased by 6% last year, according to the Realtors’ Land Market Survey. Vacant land is still one of the most affordable types of land, which makes it easier for first-time buyers to purchase it.
Before beginning the process of purchasing property in the USA, regardless of whether you’re relocating abroad or just buying a vacation property, there are a few things you should be aware of. In this guide, we’ve provided some helpful information about the current real estate market in the USA, as well as our best advice for purchasing real estate there.
- Decide What Type of Land You Want to Buy
Many novice investors are only familiar with a few typical types of land deals, such as those involving farmland, undeveloped residential lots, and rural real estate. However, real estate investors can purchase a larger range of land types and make money in unusual or inventive ways.
Depending on your location, terrain, climate, and employment situation, unoccupied property may be put to a wide range of uses. If you look at all the different kinds of land you can buy in your area, you might find some surprising ways to invest in or sell the land you buy. Some of the land uses and types to investigate are:
- Residential: Residential land is used to construct individual homes for owners or to create neighborhoods by homebuilders.
- Commercial: A profit is expected from the sale of land for commercial purposes, which could include the construction of shopping centers, medical facilities, office buildings, hotels, or warehouses.
- Industrial: This comprises factories, bargain wholesale shops, lumber yards, and storage warehouses.
- Agricultural: Row crop farms, animal ranches, vegetable farms, orchards, and vineyards, are all examples of agricultural land.
- Recreational: Land utilized for recreation is primarily intended for outdoor activities, and often includes parks, campgrounds, accommodations, or swimming pools.
- Timberland: This refers to the name for a lot of the forests that are utilized to make wood products.
- Establish a Budget
It’s crucial to have an estimate of how much your property will ultimately cost you and how you plan to pay for it. If you know what your budget is, you can set goals that will help you find the best property with the money you have.
If you want to buy property in the US, you might need to change your local currency to US dollars. Early on in your research, connect with a currency expert so you can stay on top of exchange rates and prepare for how changes in the currency will influence your purchase. This way, you can include your payments from abroad in your overall spending plan and keep an eye on any other charges that might not be as obvious.
- Purchase Authorization in the US
The US has traditionally supported international real estate investment. In reality, foreign nationals are treated very similarly to US citizens when it comes to buying a property and becoming a homeowner. The main difference is usually how long a person who is not a US citizen can stay in the country.
You are permitted a 90-day stay in the US without a visa. You must apply for a visa before traveling to the US if you want to stay for longer than 90 days or if your trip is not for tourism or business. With a non-immigrant visa, you can set up temporary residency for anywhere from three months to 10 years, depending on which visa you choose.
- Be Ready for Additional Costs and Unforeseen Expenditures
You might be surprised to learn that there aren’t too many additional costs when purchasing in the US, despite the possibility that there will be. You should typically budget for them in the buying price because US property taxes and levies are among the lowest in the world.
If you own property in a resort, you might have to pay extra costs. It is also important to keep in mind that you could encounter some unforeseen expenses when and if the time comes to sell your US property. For instance, the cost is typically covered by the seller.
- Find Land for Sale
Here are the top strategies to locate land that’s being sold:
- Property Websites
The majority of consumers begin their land search by browsing online databases for real estate. Everywhere in the nation, there are advertisements for land for sale on websites like Realtor, Zillow, RedFin, and additional databases that focus on listing unoccupied land.
Most of the listings on these websites are MLS properties that can only be seen by licensed realtors, but they may also have FSBO (for sale by owner) listings.
Most of the time, a seller’s agent, who is a real estate professional who works for the seller, is the person to contact about the multiple listing service. The sales agents have to look out for the best interests of the seller because it’s the right thing to do and it’s also good for business. In order to protect your interests, it is generally suggested that you deal with a buyer’s agent.
- Property Agents
Real estate brokers can be a priceless asset when hunting for land. They have accessibility to all MLS listings through their network of industry specialists, which includes land contractors and developers, as well as properties that are not yet listed on the MLS. These people know how to help you with the legal and due diligence steps you need to take when buying land.
- Local Resources
Local newspapers’ classified advertising or internet directories like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are two places to look for FSBO houses. You can also contact landowners directly. In neighborhoods with buildable lots that aren’t too expensive, the owners are often willing to sell for a big discount.
Use the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map on the County Assessor’s Office website to find the contact information for landowners.
- Submit an Offer
After discovering a desirable estate, you must make the seller a written offer. If you’re working with a property agent, he or she will prepare and send in all the necessary paperwork. If you’re not using a property agent, speak with a real estate attorney for guidance.
Buying land in the USA can be a very profitable and easy long-term investment for both new investors and those who have done it before. However, your ability to conduct thorough research and develop a winning plan to earn a return on your land investment will determine how successful your investment is.