Forums / Property Investing / Overseas Deals / US property investing journey

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  • Profile photo of matt_decatmatt_decat
    Participant
    @matt_decat
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 21

    Hi all

    Have been living in the Bay Area for the last 12 months and have been curious about investing in US property. Unfortunately we have an empty house back home as we are renovating it so cash flow has been mostly going to that project. Recently my wife just got a significant promotion so now this has reignited my curiosity in the US markets.

    I’d like to use this thread to document my progression through the US as a helpful resource to others.

    Currently, I know NOTHING about investing here, however I am keen to learn. With the US being the big scary place that it is, I’m hesitant to go out into the world and give it a go just yet as I’m sure there are a lot of sharks out there compared to back home to be wary of.

    With all that being said, I’m turning to a community I trust to hopefully get some sound guidance and advice on investing here in the US. While I am someone that is known to research something to within an inch of its life, when it comes to property back home I’m very much a bite the bullet type person once I have established that the fundamentals of the property stacks up.

    So before I get my toes wet, are there any good resources that people recommend I read/watch/listen to? Is there anybody here with some advice? Is there any strategies that are worth looking into or avoiding as I know that there are some different strategies here compared to back home?

    For what it’s worth, I’m not looking to flip properties, and an most likely looking to not invest in the Bay Area as I would like something that has a good mix of cash flow and capital appreciation.

    Thanks in advance for any responses. Also, if any of you are in the area, it’d be great to catch up with some like minded people.

    Profile photo of BennyteeBennytee
    Participant
    @ten_burner
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 242

    Hi Matt, I started buying cashflow property in Kansas City in 2013 with a friend/business partner of mine, we ended up with several cheap properties, we did well partly due to the exchange rate over the last 6 years and growth of the US economy. We sold them all in the last 12 months. I’m not sure about your situation but happy for you to message me privately for more info.
    I basically set up an LLC in the state of Missouri to buy in Kansas City. As a foreigner I wasn’t allowed access to traditional finance options in the early years so used my own/partners cash , however, overtime with cashflow coming in smaller banks were happy to lend to me with low LVRs.
    I was typically buying properties that were rehabbed an tenanted for 35 to 50k in lower socioeconomic areas.
    The biggest issue I had was the banking system there, twice my LLC business accounts were shut down at short notice. Once I had to fly there just to move a large amount of money from one bank to another. I have to fly back again in person shortly to wire a large amount back to Australia because the small bank we were with was taken over by another bank. I had to google how to write a Cheque out when I started buying there, because for some reason they still use them there.
    I often hear Australians who have invested in the states complain about property management, however, I made the effort to go to Kansas City and build a rapport / friendships with the property managers I used, I made friends out of them, I always got my rent.

    Profile photo of blackhotelblackhotel
    Participant
    @blackhotel
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 139

    I purchased a property in San Francisco in 2001 when the dollar was AUD$53cents. The property has grown 150%. I manage it myself. US properties have no stamp duties when you buy but have annual property taxes u need to pay which can be a burden. Problem with purchasing in US is you need to follow the Aussie dollar closely because if AUD goes up then you lose – only if you sell. I have been waiting patiently for the AUD to keep falling then I’m definitely selling. The taxes a foreigner has to pay upon selling is abhorrently expensive. They really take the mickey out of you, I suppose the same thing the Australian govt does to foreigners that buys in Australia. In the end, I probably wish I didn’t do it because of these US taxes that you need to pay when selling. My advice – buy Australian.

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