Investing in a second home or investment property here in the desert is fairly simple for a Canadian citizen. Our goal is to make the process simple and straightforward for our clients. We regularly assist Canadian buyers in finding excellent real estate opportunities be it a condo, home or land for a custom home.
Condo Versus Strata
Here in the desert a condo does not usually refer to a high-rise community as found in many Canadian Provinces. While there are a few high-rise developments here, most condo communities in the desert are actually single level or two story buildings. This is similar to Canadian Strata communities. There are a wide variety of condo types here including those with no shared walls. Condo communities usually offer a ‘lock and leave’ lifestyle where exterior building maintenance, insurance, landscape and more are taken care of by the condo association or Home Owners Association (HOA).
Canadian buyers generally don’t need a U.S. Social Security number, just a valid passport. There are a few forms that we will help you complete, but the process overall is straightforward and fairly simple. An attorney is usually not needed, since our team is trained to process all the escrow papers. If you plan to rent your local property, producing U.S. income, you will need to obtain a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the United States IRS which can be done online. The ITIN is used for reporting of income puproses only.
Here’s What Numerous Canadians Are Taking Advantage Of:
- Historically low real estate prices in the United States
- A perfect sunbelt location for your dream home away from home
- The best inventory selection of homes and condos in many years
- A strong resort rental market for owners wishing to rent their property
- A strong Canadian Dollar
- No GST or HST sales taxes on real estate transactions or agent services
- There is no Realtor fee when you buy a property as the seller pays this service fee
- The desert cities of La Quinta, Palm Desert and Indian Wells offer discounted golf and social programs when you own property in those cities
Annual property taxes in Riverside County are set at a rate of 1.25% of the appraised value of the property. The new appraised value will be set at your purchase price, even if the previous value was higher. Annual property taxes are divided into two payments and paid semi-annually. If you are purchasing a property via a loan you can request that your lender add the property taxes to your loan amount each month (called impounding taxes) with the lender then paying the property taxes for you.
Some communities in the desert may also add a supplemental tax called Mello-Roos which funds new infrastructure for the communities. Your Realtor can tell you if a property is located in a Mello-Roos area.
Canadian Buyer Loan Programs
Mortgages are available here for Canadian buyers. In fact, financing your investment might just be a good option during times when the Loonie is lower against the U.S. Dollar.
When financing, a buyer will just need to establish a U.S. bank account before submitting an application. The financed property must also be a second home or investment property – not a primary residence. We have several good mortgage company referrals for Canadian buyer loan programs. Please don’t hesitate to call for more information (loan programs are subject to change by lenders).
- No social security number required
- No credit scoring – no credit report
- No U.S. residence required
- 50% down payment
- Minimum loan amount of US $200,000
- Full documentation
- No pre-payment penalty for early payoff
- Second home only