Canadians in Arizona are now looking for an investment properties!
“You never have to shovel sunshine”
It is not too late! While it is true that prices have gone up in the Phoenix Metro area, there are still plenty of good deals left. I specialize in Canadians in Arizona. After showing hundreds of Canadians in Arizona their new homes, I have never had one say anything negative about property values in Arizona – even with the prices increasing,. I have heard many times “This $200,000 home would be listed for $600,000 in Canada!”.
Canadians in Arizona have a special advantage – they can get out of the COLD! We generally get about 300 days of sunshine per year. While the summers can be quite warm, the winters are generally in the 60s and 70s! Many of the Canadians I have worked with buy homes exclusively for their escape from the harsh Canadian winters, while others use them as investment properties and rent them out for additional income.
If possible- pay cash for the home (Many Canadians get their banker to write a letter stating that the buyer has $xxx,xxx in liquid assets to buy in cash.)
Take out a loan with a Canadian lender-99% of paperwork is done in Canada, but treated as cash in AZ
- Lastly, take out a loan in AZ as a Foreign National. Not every lender offers this program, so feel free to ask for a referral. It is a bit of paperwork because you are dealing with 2 separate counties. Generally the buyer will need to put down 30% on the purchase, but getting a loan in Arizona IS possible!
There are some differences between purchasing property in Canada vs. Arizona.
Canadians in Arizona to buy real estate should consider the following:
- In Arizona, we do not use attorneys, we use escrow officers to issue clear title, check for liens and expedite the transaction.
- In Arizona we do not require inspections, but they are always suggested. Best $300 ever spent by a Canadian in Arizona!
- In Arizona, especially with new builds, a modest amount of money is put down by the buyer (Can vary depending on the price point of the home, but generally will be under 10%).. No further money is due until the home is completed and the sale is finalized. I have heard many Canadians tell me that they put 20% down when the contract is written, then 20% more when the work begins, and more when the work is almost completed etc…
- In Arizona, we do not penalize a Canadian or even a US snowbird by charging extra property taxes because they are not full time residents. (California and Florida do!)
- In Arizona, almost half of our yearly rainfall comes in the months of June, July and August.
- In Arizona, if you really miss shoveling snow, you can drive a few hours into Northern AZ and get to the snow and ski resorts.
- One of the most important things to know if you want to join your fellow Canadians in Arizona may happen when the Canadian is selling the home. The IRS has named this “withholding” FIRPTA. Depending on the price point when selling the property, the US IRS may withhold 10% of the funds, and the seller would need to file US income tax to get some/all of the money back. If the home being sold is over $300,000 then 10% will be withheld. If the home is under $300,000 the transaction may be exempt from the withholding.
Here are a few main questions to get started on the process, I just need to know:
- Single family/Condo/Townhouse or Manufactured home?
- Minimum bedrooms/bathrooms?
- Primary use? Vacation/Winter home or Income?
- Do you have friends or family that are Canadians in Arizona? What areas have they told you to look into? Which areas did they say to avoid?
- Must haves? Granite? Pool? Golf course? 3 car garage? 2 story or Bungalow?
- Price point?
- Wish list? Not deal breakers, just wishes…