Important considerations when buying in Arizona

As home prices have declined in Arizona, the goal of many Canadian citizens of owning a home in the U.S.  has become a reality.  Instead of shoveling snow and battling freezing temperatures, Canadian second home owners can be dealing with other issues such as which golf course should I play today, or how early do I want to get up to go hiking or jogging, and where should we go for dinner.  I’ve also noticed that many Canadian homeowners who live on a lake in Canada have a desire to duplicate that scenic landscape and have inquired about lakefront homes in Phoenix.  When a buyer from Canada decides to pursue owning property in Arizona, there are some considerations they should be aware of.

Getting a loan in the U.S. as a Canadian citizen

A frequent question is, “Can a Canadian get a loan through a U.S. bank?”  It has been somewhat of a moving target; however, as of this writing there are companies that do offer loans to Canadians through a U.S. bank.  There are some conditions.  For example, one lender requires that the down payment must be at least 30% and the borrower must have 6 months reserve in a U.S. bank.  And the maximum loan amount is $417,000 and requires a 700 FICO score.  It’s best to talk to a loan officer that is familiar with these loan options.   If you’d like contact information on banks that do provide loans to Canadian citizens, please call me directly.

Earnest Money, Escrow and Signing

Earnest money which is used to open escrow once the offer has been accepted must be in U.S. funds.  Another difference is that in Arizona attorneys are typically not involved in the transaction.   Title/escrow companies take care of the title insurance and make sure the contract is executed as written.  This makes for a much more streamlined escrow and smooth closing process.  In fact, the buyer(s) do not need to be present at closing, and the necessary paperwork can be signed in Canada and sent via priority mail to the title/escrow company prior to closing.  Possession takes place once the transaction has recorded with the county recorder.

When a Canadian buyer is ready to place an offer on a house and no financing will be required since it will be a cash transaction, the proof of funds (typically a bank statement) may be required to be in U.S. funds.

Inspection Period

The 10 day inspection period begins once the offer has been accepted. During this time, it is the buyer’s opportunity and responsibility to inspection the property and the surrounding area in detail. The Arizona Department of Real Estate has provided the Buyer Advisory to assist buyers in their due diligence.

Most Arizona properties are platted and do not require a survey.   This is different from Canada where a surveyor’s certificate is required.

FIRPTA – The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

 The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) kicks in when the seller is a foreign person. Typcially not an issue when buying a property, it will come into play when selling.  One of the exemptions to FIRPTA is that the house sells for  less than $300,000.   It is in place to insure that foreign persons are not purchasing property only to sell it later at a profit without paying taxes.  A foreign person is a nonresident alien individual; a foreign corporation not treated as a domestic corporation; or a foreign partnership, trust or estate. A resident alien is not considered a foreign person under FIRPTA. IRS Publication 515 can provide more detailed information.

The Phoenix area provides a great second home get-away for Canadians looking for a repreive from the harsh winters.   For detailed information regarding Arizona homes for sale, contact me at your convenience. Or receive property listings via e-mail that fit your winter vacation home criteria.

Here’s some feedback from one of my favorite Canadian clients  last year who live in Alberta and their feedback on the process:

“Just thought that we’d drop you a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed working with you on the recent purchase of our home in  Phoenix.  No surveyor’s certificate and no legal fees made the process a lot less stressful than buying our home in Alberta. 
 
We, seriously, don’t know how we would have managed without you.  Since the inspections, utilities hook-ups, and all the paperwork were initiated by you, all we had to do was – literally – get the key and move in.
 
So “THANK YOU” and be assured than we are passing your information on to anyone we meet who talks about investing in property in Arizona.
 
All the best,
Jim & Annette
Millet,  Alberta  ”

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$820,000 :: 478 E Mead Place, Chandler AZ, 85249

Property Photo

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5 beds, 4.5 baths
Home size: 4,308 sq ft
Lot Size: 22,215 sq ft
Added: 06/29/17, Last Updated: 08/24/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 5626517
Community: PINELAKE ESTATES
Tract: PINELAKE ESTATES
The price of this listing was last reduced on 8/5/2017 by 1%
Status: Active


THE BEST WATERFRONT Property in PINELAKE ESTATES! EXQUISITE 180 Degree LAKE VIEWS & BOAT DOCKING. HALF ACRE Dream Lot with ENDLESS VIEWS located at the end of a Cul-de-Sac! 5Bed/4.5 Baths, Plus Den/Office. Ensuite guest bedroom downstairs. Ensuite guest bedroom upstairs. Huge Master Suite with separate Seating Area, Large Master Bathroom and Walk-In Closet. Great Room upstairs. Soaring ceilings in Living Room with wrought iron & wood banister staircase. Formal Dining Room. Gourmet Kitchen w/ center island, granite counters w/ glass tile backsplah, upgraded cabinetry throughout the house and crown molding in the kitchen cabinets. Large breakfast bar and separate breakfast room w/ sliding glass door to Patio. Large Pantry and Large Laundry Room. Large Family Room with door to Patio.

Listed with HomeSmart


Brought to you by Gordon Baker, Remax Alliance Group. Call me today at 480-326-8571, or visit my website at www.myhomeinaz.com/!


$334,900 :: 3800 S CANTABRIA Circle #1073, Chandler AZ, 85248

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2 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 2,218 sq ft
Lot Size: 3,484 sq ft
Added: 02/28/17, Last Updated: 09/08/17
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 5567445
Community: CANTABRIA SHORES
Tract: CANTABRIA SHORES
The price of this listing was last reduced on 5/23/2017 by 1%
Status: Active


Located in the heart of Cantabria Shores, this spacious 2218 sq.ft., 2 story townhouse features 2 bedrooms with a large master suite with walk-in closet, a study/den with built-in bookcase & file storage, a large loft, 3 bathrooms & attached 2 car garage. There are 2 large balconies, one off the master suite & one off the second bedroom & loft. Lots of storage including a large shelved storage area under the stairs and a built in workbench in the garage with storage cabinets & overhead storage. Enjoy resort living at its finest in the quiet & exclusive Cantabria Shores gated community with privileges at the Ocotillo Resort and Golf Club. This Troon 27 hole Championship golf course has been ranked by Golf Digest as four-star and one of the Best Places to Play in Arizona.

Listed with DPR Realty LLC


Brought to you by Gordon Baker, Remax Alliance Group. Call me today at 480-326-8571, or visit my website at www.myhomeinaz.com/!


$260,000 :: 3800 S CANTABRIA Circle #1071, Chandler AZ, 85248

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2 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,564 sq ft
Lot Size: 3,484 sq ft
Added: 05/23/17, Last Updated: 07/08/17
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 5609657
Community: CANTABRIA SHORES
Tract: CANTABRIA SHORES
The price of this listing was last reduced on 5/23/2017 by 4%
Status: Active


Awesome, Gated Townhome in Exclusive, Chandler Area with surrounded by Golf Course! Features Spacious, Open Design with Plenty of Window Space, plus loads of Tile Flooring! Kitchen has lots of cabinets, Breakfast Bar, Pantry, Smooth-top Range & Microwave, loads of light and is Open to Great Room! Lovely Great Room with cozy gas fireplace and door to deck! Neutral Decor including Fresh, two tone paint, loads of Tile Flooring, Plantations Shutters, Blinds & Neutral Carpet! Perfect, Quiet location near all that Chandler has to offer! Popular floorplan with private master suite with French door to deck, dual vanities and walk-in closet! Second bedroom also had deck & door to bath! Just move in and enjoy the Chandler Lifestyle! Washer & Dryer, Refrigerator Included Too!

Listed with West USA Realty


Brought to you by Gordon Baker, Remax Alliance Group. Call me today at 480-326-8571, or visit my website at www.myhomeinaz.com/!


$249,900 :: 3800 S CANTABRIA Circle #1089, Chandler AZ, 85248

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2 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,764 sq ft
Lot Size: 3,484 sq ft
Added: 05/23/17, Last Updated: 05/23/17
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 5609448
Community: CANTABRIA SHORES
Tract: CANTABRIA SHORES
Status: Active


Enjoy the resort life style in this bright, open condo just steps away from the community clubhouse in gated, upscale Cantabria Shores. Bring your golf clubs to play on the beautiful Phil Mickelson owned course (fees apply). Stroll around the lake. Dine in their restaurant. This is a clean, lightly lived in, nicely updated 2-bedroom, 1.75-bath, single-living-level home with 2-car garage below. Recent upgrades include oil-rubbed bronze hardware and fixtures. The HOA allows two pets (dog, cat, household bird). Water, sewer, trash, and basic cable provided in the HOA fee. Furniture and household items available. Convenient to shopping, dining, and the Loop 202 Freeway, and a quick commute to Intel and the Chandler high-tech district.

Listed with Realty Executives


Brought to you by Gordon Baker, Remax Alliance Group. Call me today at 480-326-8571, or visit my website at www.myhomeinaz.com/!


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