Created Wednesday, 19 December 2007 19:22
Buying a piece of America isn’t just the American dream, now it is what smart Europeans are doing, too. Strong Euro against the weak US dollar makes investing in the United States by overseas investors a quite smart and potentially profitable choice.
One of the quickest ways that an investor can increase his or her wealth involves owning real estate. This is particularly the case when it comes to European investors, especially if they are looking to invest in U.S. real estate. There are numerous advantages to choosing the United States over other countries for investing purposes. One main reason is because the U.S. dollar is weak compared to the Euro. This allows the European investor to leverage the purchase of real estate at prices that are tens of thousands less than what an American could make the same purchase for.
However, not all real estate in the United States is prime for investment purposes. For example, areas in California, Florida and parts of the Northeast United States have somewhat considerably inflated real estate prices. These properties might be too expensive for an ordinary European investor. This is why it is better that Europeans ought to be considering alternatives that are more reasonably priced, though even then they should be careful. Inexpensive options for real estate are not effective if they are in areas that are not capable of increasing in value over time. Instead, the real estate will just remain on the market for much longer, as the investor will have to struggle to find a person who is willing to buy.
So, what would be a very good solution for overseas investors? Investors who want to be successful need to find an area within the United States that is both reasonably priced and has a moderate cost of living. With this winning combination, investors will be able to purchase into something that they can afford while still being allowed the opportunity to make a decent profit in a reasonable amount of time. If investors are unfamiliar as to which U.S. cities fits such a set of criteria, one of the greatest places to begin a search is in San Antonio, Texas, due to the reasonable cost of living.
Real estate in San Antonio averages around only $150,000, (or currently with the devalued dollar about 105,000 in Euros). Compare this to the national United States real estate price average, which is in excess of $220,000 and you will be pleasantly surprised. Just because the real estate is significantly less expensive in San Antonio, Texas; does not mean that anything will be sacrificed when it comes to quality. This is because even at $150,000, you will be able to choose between new or previously owned, either, absolutely stunning.
Take a quick look at online San Antonio Home Search online to give one an idea of what the real estate worth $150,000 in San Antonio actually is going to look like. Most of the real estate you will find in San Antonio will range 1600-2500 square feet, single-family homes with 3-5 bedrooms, and at least 2 full bathrooms and 2-car garage. In terms of style, many are ranches or 2-story. Although most of the homes in San Antonio have been constructed in recent years, their prices average around the same as the older homes in the city. Additionally, many of the properties are brand new construction or already in move-in condition. Investors will not have to worry themselves with the idea of spending thousands more trying to repair ‘fixer-upper’ properties.
Chances are high that any property bought in San Antonio will increase in value over time. This is because there are two different prospective markets for San Antonio real estate: native San Antonio residents, and people from other states who are looking for more economic freedom. In fact, the latter category might be even more likely to buy or rent than the former, since native San Antonians are already acquainted with the economic advantages associated with their location.
San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the US with nearly 2 million people. These economic advantages to living in San Antonio, Texas are many. First, San Antonio residents do not have to pay state income tax, allowing them to receive more from their paychecks. Secondly, the overall cost of living is much easier to handle in the region. This can be observed using the cost of living index, which is 95.2, (compared to the U.S. average of 100). Thirdly, San Antonio is already poised for further economic growth. Economists predict that the city will gain over 85,000 new jobs over the next 5 years.
Of course, San Antonio also offers many social advantages as well. For instance, the region has undergone significant urban development, especially in comparison to other major cities in Texas. This includes having one of the main elements that makes for a well-functioning city: good transportation. San Antonio fits into this set of criteria by possessing very good bus and downtown streetcar services, as well as access to multiple major freeways.
There is also a lot to do in San Antonio. The area is well saturated with shops, clubs, stadiums, restaurants, golf courses and movie theaters. What sets San Antonio apart from other cities within the US is the city’s myriad of tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by visitors to the city, and residents as well. For example, a popular attraction in San Antonio is the Alamo. Texas most visited tourist spot.
There is also the Riverwalk, which is claimed to be the most popular tourist destination in San Antonio. The area holds a wide array of events and festivals.
If a person is unable to attend a Riverwalk event, another way to enjoy the scenery is through a traditional boat ride tour. These boat rides can be a simple stroll in a ferry, or something much more luxurious, such as a dinner cruise. Either choice will allow residents to be able to fully enjoy the idyllic experience available through the River walk.
Another reason why people from other states tend to consider relocation is because of the San Antonio’s excellent weather. In the winter months, San Antonio’s temperature ranges from 62 to 71 degrees. In the spring the weather ranges from 74 to 86 degrees. The summer months brings temperatures between 90 and 95 degrees. Finally, the fall has weather that is between 82 and 90 degrees. So, as one can see, the region does not get unreasonably cold or unbearably hot, unlike other areas that are touted for their ‘good’ weather.
Investors from all over, particularly from Europe, who are not taking advantage of the real estate market in San Antonio, are putting themselves at a serious disadvantage over other investors that are. European investors can get some suggestions on ways to begin investing endeavors in San Antonio, Texas real estate.
Before a European investor can make any official moves, they must be aware of what is available on the market. To do this, they will need to conduct some research. Suggested sources Texas A&M University Real Estate Center http://recenter.tamu.edu/, the San Antonio Express News-local newspapers http://www.mysa.com, and local Texas real estate agent
Financing is available for the foreign investor. This step may require a little bit of extra investigation because not all Texas mortgage companies have programs available for financing an international investment. Still, enough of these transactions are completed on a regular basis that the European investor should still be able to obtain the help and the financing that they need.
Once a European investor has acquired the property their heart was set on, they will need to put a significant amount of consideration into how they are going to utilize the property. Vacation, second home, home for student child attending a university in San Antonio.
If a European investor decides to rent the property out instead, they can squeeze a monthly payment out of the property for as long as it is in their possession. How can a European investor collect rent if they do not live in the same country as their tenants? The best solution to this conundrum is simply to hire a property management company to handle these affairs. Property managers can be responsible for collecting rent, as well as handling any repairs that may need to be done throughout time on the property. The downside to using a property manager to handle these affairs is that they must be paid through a portion of the rent fees. Still, they can be quite beneficial to an investor who lives out of the country, which means it may be a worthwhile consideration to make.
It should be quite clear by now that San Antonio is a prime location for a variety of strong and productive investing opportunities, especially for Europeans who are looking to own a piece of America. San Antonio offers beauty, affordability and a large number of attractive amenities that nearly guarantee a boost in population in the near future. What this means is that now is prime time to make a serious move. Investors who put their money into San Antonio real estate will surely be glad that they did.