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UK citizen looking for good place to buy in the USA!


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Hello all!

 

Hope you are all keeping well and safe during these crazy covid19 times.

 

I am looking for recommendations for somewhere i can buy thats not insanely priced in the USA.

 

I am basically buying the property to spend 6 months of the year in the US and 6 months in the UK as thats what my passport allows.

 

I am looking to buy/move October 2021. My budget is $350k as i have to buy cash as not a US citizen.

 

I am looking for something that has 3 bedrooms at least and is in a decent neighbourhood.

 

I am going to live in the USA home from October 1st till March 31st so needs to be a state where it's warm that time of year, does not need to be roasting hot just warm, i want to avoid the UK winter! I guess that keeps me to the coastal states?

 

I've been to California and Florida a lot, i really like both but Cali seems very expensive.

 

Anyone have any recommedations for these areas or anywhere else please?

 

I love Hawaii but that seemed too expensive too.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Yeah it does look that way. I've only been to the tourist places in Florida like Orlando, but i do go to a music festival in Gainesville every year in Florida too which is cool.

 

What about the Carolinas? Any recommedations there?

 

I've been to New Orleans and loved it for a party town but not sure if i'd like to live there, same as Las Vegas for me. Great for a break but not sure what it's like to live there.

 

Any southern states you would personally recommend Seraphim? PS long time no speak hope you are well

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Yeah it does look that way. I've only been to the tourist places in Florida like Orlando, but i do go to a music festival in Gainesville every year in Florida too which is cool.

 

What about the Carolinas? Any recommedations there?

 

I've been to New Orleans and loved it for a party town but not sure if i'd like to live there, same as Las Vegas for me. Great for a break but not sure what it's like to live there.

 

Any southern states you would personally recommend Seraphim? PS long time no speak hope you are well

I am not American so I can’t really say. I am Canadian . 😁 but most of North America is freezing during those months except Southern US and Pacific Northwest which is expensive.

 

I am good. You?

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Las Vegas is not a huge party town. Far from it.

 

Yes, there is partying, but it takes place in the touristy part of the city. The remaining 90% is just your normal, run of the mill suburb except there are slot machines in the stores and gas stations and many places are open 24 hours.

 

You could get a really, really nice home for $350k in a really nice part of town. I recommend Summerlin, Centennial Hills, Aliante, The Lakes, Southern Highlands, Rhodes Ranch or Henderson.

 

Weather? Of course it gets very, very hot in the summer! And cold in the winter. But you can adjust and make smart decisions like, don't go for a run in the afternoon during the summer months. But it is indeed a "dry" heat and very adaptable.

 

And there are some terrific restaurants, great shopping and very close to great scenery in Utah and Arizona.

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Absolutely right Wiseman! And that goes for every country or continent.

 

"I would never buy anything until you rent/ live there for a while and get the lay of the land to see if it's a good fit for you.

 

Happiness where you live is a lot more than just what houses cost."

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Thanks all.

 

Will check out that area Batya33.

 

Boltnrun glad to hear that there is a normal Vegas! I loved it but i was always on the strip and most of the time i like a quiet life!

 

Wiseman you are asbolutely right. I guess i am leaning more towards Florida and Gainesville in particular. I go there every year so i do have some American friends there who also go to that festival.

 

I was indeed asking for recommendations for areas so i can research them and when possible go visit!

 

It has to be somewhere i can afford though i can't get a mortgage on US property as a UK citizen or i'd be in Honolulu right now!

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Along with Wiseman, I'd really encourage you to get a feel for a place before a mortgage. Maybe next year you make it something of a recon mission, doing 3 months in one spot, 3 months in another? Just a thought.

 

New Orleans is much, much more than a party town. Have a lot of history there myself, not all of it involving daiquiris. Pretty affordable, and much warmer year-round than much of the south, excepting Florida. You'll get a handful of shockingly cold days (Feb, March) but just a handful. Brutal come summer, but personally I love that swampy vibe.

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Hi Bluecastle,

 

Thanks not a bad idea to rent somewhere for 3 months at a time. Guess i will have a look on AirBNB.

 

I did like New Orleans but i think that swampy vibe was not for myself, not full time. Had a great time whilst there though for sure.

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Bit random but anyone been to Boise, Idaho?? I like the look of it haha. Got your city but with a range of outdoor activities to hand. ONly thing there would be the weather wouldnt be so great i imagine.

 

I think the average temperature of Idaho in the winter is probably around -20 Celsius.

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Basically ideal year-round weather is in Southern California and Hawaii, but it will cost you.

 

The coasts are always more expensive. Northern states have seasonal climates. You also need to know if you are a country gent or a city guy. How much sophistication do you need? How much do you like people around or the outdoors, etc.

 

The middle of the country is generally cheaper but with that comes harsher climates and a more or less rural or countryside culture.

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With $350K budget, you can definitely buy a nice house in the south and still have some left over for extras.

 

Most of Florida certainly would be well within your budget.

 

That said, I would urge you to do what Wiseman recommended - spend some time in the specific area you are thinking about during the season you plan to be there and see what it's really like.

 

Other considerations are taxes, insurance, hoa fees if applicable, and upkeep while you are away. The bigger the house, the more costly it will be in maintenance even if the buying price is not that great. So do research that as well. For example, if you buy a house in Florida, keeping it dry and running ac properly will be critical or else you'll come back to growing mold in 6 months. So you do need to learn something about the local climate and how to maintain a house while you are away as well.

 

A good site to look at properties available here is realtor.com - they have the most up to date MLS listings and remove properties that are under contract or sold rather promptly. Their other info re taxes, property values is also fairly decent in terms of giving you some good idea of what's what.

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I was paying almost $400 per month less in Vegas for twice the square footage and bedrooms. The apartment I just moved out of in CA was a one bedroom with tiny rooms and street parking only. I had a large townhouse in Vegas with a two car garage and huge backyard. I only moved away because I needed to be near my family.

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I have no idea how to quote you all but i really do appreciate your input!

 

Wiseman thing is i like being aorund people but here in the UK we have 70m people squeezed into an island smaller than the state of Florida which only has 14m ppl i think so it's the lack of space here that drives me crazy. I would definitely need to be a fairly populated area but i do like outdoors too but as Seraphim mentoned if its colder than here in the UK i won't bother.

 

DancingFool -My Mom turned 66 this month and is retired by this time next year so the current plan is while i live in the UK for 6 months she lives in my US house 6 months and vice versa. Both houses are occupied 24/7 then so won't fall into disrepair. We won't see each other very much but will meet up for Xmas!!!

 

Florida is definitely more where i'm gravitating towards as it stands, i go there every year and have a small group of exsiting American friends already but i don't want to rule anywhere out.

 

 

What about TEXAS? I see they have good weather generally (Austin) and big cities but also outdoors stuff??

 

Boltnrun - any good particular nice neighbourhoods you would recommend in normal Vegas??

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I have no idea how to quote you all but i really do appreciate your input!

 

Wiseman thing is i like being aorund people but here in the UK we have 70m people squeezed into an island smaller than the state of Florida which only has 14m ppl i think so it's the lack of space here that drives me crazy. I would definitely need to be a fairly populated area but i do like outdoors too but as Seraphim mentoned if its colder than here in the UK i won't bother.

 

DancingFool -My Mom turned 66 this month and is retired by this time next year so the current plan is while i live in the UK for 6 months she lives in my US house 6 months and vice versa. Both houses are occupied 24/7 then so won't fall into disrepair. We won't see each other very much but will meet up for Xmas!!!

 

Florida is definitely more where i'm gravitating towards as it stands, i go there every year and have a small group of exsiting American friends already but i don't want to rule anywhere out.

 

 

What about TEXAS? I see they have good weather generally (Austin) and big cities but also outdoors stuff??

 

Boltnrun - any good particular nice neighbourhoods you would recommend in normal Vegas??

 

You could get a really, really nice home for $350k in a really nice part of town. I recommend Summerlin, Centennial Hills, Aliante, The Lakes, Southern Highlands, Mountains Edge, Rhodes Ranch or Henderson.

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Thanks, i iwll look into those areas Boltnrun. That house linked is really nice!

 

I'd tear out the kitchen units and worktops! haha

 

General question for US property owners if i may. Are the prices fairly set or do you negotiate? In the UK if for example a house is up for 200k, anything within 10% of that would be considered a fair offer whether it was accepted or not. Is it similar in the US? So house is 325k, i could offer 300k and haggle up from there if its a no at 300k

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Negotiation is absolutely done and actually expected. The only time people offer full ask or over ask is when a bidding war is expected. Otherwise people will offer less and then there are counteroffers until a price is agreed upon. Or until someone else offers more lol.

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The best advice I could give is to find a real estate agent that specializes in this.

 

Someone that knows the legalities and process for buying property in the foreign country, as well as, the stipulations that apply to you as a foreign buyer.

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Thanks all.

 

Will check out that area Batya33.

 

Boltnrun glad to hear that there is a normal Vegas! I loved it but i was always on the strip and most of the time i like a quiet life!

 

Wiseman you are asbolutely right. I guess i am leaning more towards Florida and Gainesville in particular. I go there every year so i do have some American friends there who also go to that festival.

 

I was indeed asking for recommendations for areas so i can research them and when possible go visit!

 

It has to be somewhere i can afford though i can't get a mortgage on US property as a UK citizen or i'd be in Honolulu right now!

 

 

If you buy a condo in Gainesville, you can hire a management company to rent it to a graduate student from the university in Gainesville for the semesters you are not going to live there to generate income.

You should look at resale potential in case you decide to sell to go to a different area

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Thanks, i iwll look into those areas Boltnrun. That house linked is really nice!

 

I'd tear out the kitchen units and worktops! haha

 

General question for US property owners if i may. Are the prices fairly set or do you negotiate? In the UK if for example a house is up for 200k, anything within 10% of that would be considered a fair offer whether it was accepted or not. Is it similar in the US? So house is 325k, i could offer 300k and haggle up from there if its a no at 300k

 

 

Yes, you can negotiate. You will get better negotiation if you say up front that you will pay cash and you don't have to sell your home to buy it (no contingencies), but it also depends on how long it has been on the market and who else is looking at it or making an offer. for example, if the house is 250k, one buyer offers 250k, but there is a contingency that they need to get a contract on the house they are moving from to buy it, and you offer 245k cash - no contingencies, only contingent on the home inspector's report, then you MAY have the upper hand if the seller is eager to move.

 

HOWEVER, if there are not a lot of inventory on the market, some offers are higher than the asking price.

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