How does buying a home in the U.S.: the experience of Russian-speaking immigrant

The Russian, who few years ago moved to USA and bought a house in one of the cities of the “Golden life”, told the publication Realting detail about how this happens in the States, and why virtually no chance of fraud with real estate.

Как происходит покупка дома в США: опыт русскоязычного иммигранта

Photo: Depositphotos

“Each house has a story, and in America to know it any person”

Arseny Danilov moved to the U.S. from Russia about 5 years ago. During this time he managed to buy a house in one of the States, and told all the nuances of the process of buying property in the United States.

“Start your story with, the Americans treat their home as an investment, and this is the fundamental difference from “our” thinking — said Arseny Danilov. — House for sale in the US begins with the selection of the property through a special application, the most popular of which Zillow and Trulia. To them, each buyer determines for himself the importance of the General parameters: price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the presence or absence of schools nearby, the year it was built, size of land, amount of monthly tax (it can be from 3 to 15 thousand dollars)”.

“Another very important information, which in the United States is in the public domain, and it is, by the way, is visible in this app — at what price had bought this house the current owner. Even if it was, for example, in 1985, the price will still be displayed. And the buyer will see that in 1985 the owner bought this house, for example, for $250 thousand, and now sells for $1.5 million. Will also be provided if the house is long sold and the owner at some time has removed the ad. In this case, the near object will appear the inscription Off Market, and shows that increased or decreased the price this time”, — says Arseniy.

It turns out that the purchase process as transparent as possible, there are no backroom deals or numbers. This moment reflects a fundamental difference between the American and the domestic real estate market. In the United States the owner cannot hide the history of the house: all documents, sales history, the amount of transactions — everything can be easily read.

Apps are slightly different from each other. Trulia provides the ability to choose a property depending on the area that belongs to one or the other school. This is especially important for those parents who want their children to study in schools with a high rating. Because sometimes houses just across the street will be treated to different schools. Zillow have no way to choose a home by school, but there is another advantage.

“You can go more simple way — just find a realtor that will search for a house. He will need to provide the whole list of their demands. Then begins their work: according to provided criteria, they constitute a list of objects and sends it to the potential buyer by email. As soon as there will be new matches they have, they will also send letters. Each object also contains all the necessary information, including its history,” — said Arseny.

If a house I liked, the realtor negotiates on displaying of the object. You can come and see the house alone, but you can come to the so-called open house. In the second case, this is a General open house for all interested buyers, is often on weekends. Are house realtors from the seller, and they sometimes organize small celebration in the house arranged furniture, hung balloons everywhere and try to attract the attention of others. Often the furniture inside the house is fake — just that the buyer presented here can be arranged. Thus, in the first place, come to see the neighbors: it is important to know how it works, what and how in their area sell.

Another feature of the Americans — at home rarely do for themselves, no one is trying to impress visitors with some individual “chips” in the design. If we consider the house as an investment, then the repair should be as universal as possible.

“The house of the American is like a machine: had it sold. And therefore property needs to be saleble — “sold”. The buyer expects to see a certain set of rooms: living room, master bedroom with EN Suite and dressing room, nursery, dining area, kitchen, office”, — says the Russian.

“The Americans very rarely cash, but the Chinese and the Russians immediately come with money”

“The Americans very rarely are cash to buy a house — they usually use credit. But visiting the Chinese and the Russians realize that without a credit history the loan can’t have, and therefore come directly from the money — said Arseny. — Americans before buying a house go to the Bank and find out what amount they can expect. The first payment for the house will be approximately 20% of its value. If you don’t have that amount, then the Bank to safe the loan interest will be obliged to pay more, and insurance!

Go watch the cottage without a letter from the Bank makes no sense, the seller ask to see it first. “Just to talk” is not the American version, you just won’t understand this. On the other hand, it is possible to discuss a possible discount, sometimes sellers agree on it. Happen that conversation about a possible discount leads, conversely, to increase prices. If the house is really nice and has a Prime location, interested buyer can raise the price by $5-10 thousand.

As soon as the parties came to an agreement, the buyer shall make a prepayment in the amount of 2-5% of your home’s value. It’s such a advance, after which the mail comes an email confirmation of the transaction. In the United States have long used an electronic signature, so to go anywhere, as a rule, not necessary.

“In the process of buying a home the buyer cannot see the seller. In the end, when it will be transferred to the keys, the realtor can show the photo of the family that lived here before, but no more. For a buyer in the US is much more important to know what is the reputation of the district as a whole. There is no standing next to the house for $500 thousand and $100 thousand, all the houses in a particular area will be in some specific range, for example, $470-520 thousand. That is why, by the way, and it makes no sense to do in the cottage, some kind of super repair when selling it will still cost the same $520 thousand. Beyond repair no one separately will not pay. Because people who have more money to buy a house, just going to look for options in other areas, more expensive”, — says Arseniy.

“As a result: all the houses are very similar. Here you can again draw a parallel with the buying and selling of the car. If you buy, for example, the Toyota Camry, there is no reason to make it seat made of alligator, you’ll still sell it as a Toyota Camry. Someone, maybe a little underpaid, but not 2 times more,” added the Russian.

“When buying a home will have to sign a ton of papers, so be prepared”

“After making the advance payment, the house is “under contract”, wherein the amount of the advance payment and the period during which the buyer must conduct a home inspection. After that comes a special licensed inspector who checks the house for all indicators: how to make the wiring as well the house is how the water is done, the roof, etc. just in 2 days compiled a full report on the object of purchase. For example, it will indicate that the fence in the third section tilted to the left, bathroom on the ground floor, broken faucet, and the second — there are cracks on the ceiling, the roof in 2 years will have to change the old conditioning. And, if after the purchase revealed some significant disadvantage (for example, roll or subsidence of the Foundation), the seller is obliged to pay the money for the restoration of the house, or you can cancel the deal altogether,” says Arseny.

“But if the buyer refuses the deal on some unimportant points, the advance payment remains with the seller. Here you need to take into account the fact that, if the report was not specified a defect, which was detected during the operation of the house, the company inspector will pay a fine or repair through your insurance,” added the Russian.

Once the transaction is confirmed, the buyer sends the documents to the Bank. Since then, the Bank will conduct its own evaluation of the object of sale (because in case of failure, the house becomes the property of the Bank and will need to sell) and begins to examine in more detail the borrower. The first thing you will be asked to provide a sum of tax payments over the past 2 years. Then need proof of income for last 2 years, a certificate of recommendation from work, sometimes you may need proof of income of other family members.

Will necessarily take into account the personal credit rating. The 850, to buy a house, this figure should be above 750. You need to understand that the credit rating takes into account the payment of phone and electricity bills, and even the smallest purchase in the store. If the credit rating is low, the Bank may refuse to provide the loan or increase interest rates.

“There is still a company that assures the home buying process. In our state it’s Title — a separate private company for its insurance and lawyers. They carefully check the history of the house itself from its occurrence. They prepare a special certificate on building, stating everything from the first brick. This is done to ensure that after the transaction is not a person who says, for example, that this area bequeathed to him by his grandfather in 1927,” says Arseny.

“Besides, be prepared for the cost of the house to pay about $10 thousand (this includes taxes, various insurance, payment services Title, etc.). If everything is in order, then will receive e-mail documents that will also need to sign. Generally, when buying a home will have to sign a ton of papers, so be prepared. I received about 100 email in all the time of the transaction. I didn’t even know where the real estate office, which represented the seller, — it was solved remotely. And after the deal it became clear that the realtors communicated with me from another city,” adds the man.

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