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Six steps to buying a property in the United States




Investments by Brazilians in real estate abroad practically tripled between 2008 and 2013, rising from US$1.9 billion to S$5.4 billion in properties.


The US alone accounted for 31% of the amount invested in 2013.


With the recovery of the US economy, the scenario of property prices "on the ground" has passed, but the interest of companies by Brazilians seeking to acquire units in the country persists.


The demand for real estate in the USA is concentrated in Florida, especially in Miami Beach and in cities in the south of the State, such as Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.


Although there is less demand from Brazilians, the real estate market in New York  is at full speed and in demand. Apartment sales of more than US$10 million (R$27 million) on the island of Manhattan rose by almost 80% in 2014, according to a study by CityRealty, a real estate company that compiles sector data.


Buildings such as One57 and 432 Park Avenue already had Brazilian buyers who, according to industry professionals, are demanding in relation to the services offered.




Know the steps and documents necessary to buy a property in the United States.




To acquire a property in the United States, you must present a passport with a valid visa and proof of income (via bank statement, financial application or income tax return) consistent with the value of the chosen property.




To open an account in the US you need a copy of your passport and a minimum deposit of US$100.




After choosing the property, the foreign buyer sends the funds to his account in the US through a transfer of assets. The transfer of funds must be done within the rules of the Brazilian Central Bank. For the operation to be carried out, the bank account opened in the name of the person who will make the transfer must be approved by the BC. No tax is due for the transaction.




With the money in the US account, this amount is transferred to the chosen notary's escrow account, which carries out the transaction and legal verification of the seller and the property. The notary prepares the transfer documentation and, after the seller's signature, payment is made. Most real estate deals in the US are carried out through "Title Companies", which are formed by lawyers licensed to act in the real estate market and responsible for the legality of the transaction.

Documents required for cash purchase:

  • passport copy

  • proof of the purchase price, through a copy of the bank statement or statement of financial application



Although spot purchases have more attractive conditions, financing for foreigners is available in some institutions and needs to be approved by the bank. The conditions for approval may vary depending on the financial institution and the development, but not all properties are eligible for financing.

The down payment can be 30% or 40%, with the remainder financed in up to 30 years and interest from 3.5% to 6% per year, depending on the package. The initial rate will be fixed for the first three years and then adjusted annually.

Documents required for the financed purchase:

  • passport copy

  • US bank account

  • accountant's letter

  • copy of the last two years of income tax

  • copy of the last three bank statements

  • proof of the amounts, that is, the down payment amount and the months corresponding to the financing installments, in an account or bank application in the USA

Important: all documents must be in English, with a certified translation.




Those who buy the property thinking about renting can have a gross return of around 1.5% to 2% per month. If you hire a real estate agency to attract tenants, collect rents and maintain the property, the administrator will keep 10% to 15% of the rent.






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