What Canadians buying in Arizona should know

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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$599,000 :: 4888 S FRESNO Street, Chandler AZ, 85249

Property Photo

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4 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 2,929 sq ft
Lot Size: 15,245 sq ft
Added: 01/17/19, Last Updated: 03/12/19
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 5869432
The price of this listing was last reduced on 3/12/2019 by 3%
Status: Active

Head-turning Style, Extraordinary Location! Masterful design and luxury are uniquely embodied in this 4 bedroom 3 bath lakefront home with 2,800 SF of living space! Upon entering this home you are immediately greeted with the incredible great room, soothing paint palettes, stone fireplace and gorgeous tile flooring! The island kitchen features tiled countertops/backsplash, dual sinks, pantry, plant shelving, tons of counter space, 2 wall ovens and sleek finishes/fixtures. The spacious bedrooms boast high end plush carpeting, plenty of room for sleep and study and ceiling fans. The expansive master bathroom showcases dual sinks, garden style bathtub and separate shower. The covered back patio overlooks the private pristine pool, lush green grass, desert landscaping

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/!

$815,000 :: 489 E CRESCENT Way, Chandler AZ, 85249

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5 beds, 4.5 baths
Home size: 4,308 sq ft
Lot Size: 20,908 sq ft
Added: 01/23/19, Last Updated: 02/15/19
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 5872044
The price of this listing was last reduced on 2/15/2019 by 2%
Status: Active

This waterfront home invites comfort at a spacious 4308 SF. The generous living spaces & recent upgrades make it easy to relax & entertain with family & friends. Features like double wall ovens, granite counter-tops & a large island, breakfast bar & a formal dining room are perfect for inspiring your inner chef & with 5 beds & 4.5 baths there is plenty of living space. The upstairs master features a huge private bath & walk-in closet. Other highlights include a custom-built entertainment center downstairs, a custom-built office, an upstairs loft, a security system, lake-side access & a private pool.This home has a park located across the street & large backyard with a patio, each perfect for relaxing & playing. There's plenty of parking space with 3-car garage & 6 additional spaces.

Listed with Century 21 Arizona Foothills

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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