you a Canadian who
wants to buy a home in the USA?
NOTE: For more complete and accurate tax and property ownership information, consult your professional accountant. The information below is not official:
Can a Canadian resident buy a home in the U.S.A?
Yes, It's no different than anywhere else: you pay money, take title.
Can a Canadian get a mortgage in Canada to buy in the U.S.A?
Not if you're a Canadian resident. However, most USA banks and mortgage companies are willing to make loans to qualifying Canadians. Most of the time you need a large enough down payment and a good credit rating. However, for your down payment money you can possibly get a bank loan in Canada. Of course, you could take out a second mortgage on your own house in Canada perhaps. If you need a list of banks or mortgage companies, e-mail or call me for a list.
Anything relating to Tax I should know about?
Property taxes may be higher because you are non-resident, this is the case in some States. Most, if not all, tax credits and rebates available to U.S.A. residents will not be available to you as a Canadian citizen. Again, talk to your professional accountant.
Can I rent out the property once purchased?
Of course you can. A lot of Canadians do this. They get the renter to pay most if not all of the mortgage payments. Be sure to get to know the State laws on landlord responsibilities, etc.
Do I have to have a property manager/agent if I want to rent out my property?
No you certainly do not, but some find it easier to control your property by having one. Windermere has a property management division, and there are lots of others here in Whatcom County. E-mail me or give me a call and I'll send you a list.
Can I buy a home with a "mother-in-law" suite, duplex, or some other kind of multiple housing unit?
Lots of Canadians do this. They have a "second" or "vacation" residence in one part of the home, and rent out the rest. Be sure to talk to you accountant about the tax ramifications and landlord responsibilities.
How long can I live in the U.S.A?
You can only stay in the US up to six months (183 days) in any calendar year in the B-1/2 entry category that is used for visitors. Whenever you cross into the U.S.A. and say you've got property there, make sure you have evidence that you do not live there other than on a temporary vacation basis.
This answers most of the questions I get from Canadians wanting to buy in the U.S.A. If you have other questions, just e-mail them to me or call me. I'd be happy to add them to this list.
-- Paul Holtzheimer, you e-Pro Realtor