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Just wondering if anyone has any experience or insight into investing in US real estate post-bubble.

I've come into a bit of money by way of an estate settlement and am weighing my options. I have a young family and live reasonably close to the Adirondacks in NY State and have been looking at the real estate listings. Prices have definitely taken a nosedive, and the exchange rate looks good.

The property would be primarily for our personal use but I would consider renting through a local agency to help offset costs.

I know this would be a lifestyle choice over an investment, just wondering if the conditions in the US would weigh a little heavier on the investment side.

Thanks:)
 

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The market is definitely favourable right now. Just check out the resident alien aspects. These count more when you are at risk of dying, and especially when the estate tax kicks in again in 2011. There are ways around it but you cannot eliminate its effects.

For rental, there are income tax filings required. But if you are young and willing, it is a good time to buy. We have friend who owns a ski chalet in Mount Baker and has enjoyed it tremendously (although he doesn't rent it out). Cost of liquor alone often generates enough savings in a weekend to justify the trip from Vancouver (Sunshine Hills).
 

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I think it's a great time to buy in the US. My only caution would be financing would be difficult as a foreigner, so unless you can pay for it up front, in cash, I wouldn't do it.
 

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The only caveat I would have is to look at different properties and inform yourself on the market before buying.

Prices are low and may get lower. In any case you can find an affordable vacation home.
 

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I still think that US RE prices will come down a bit more before they reach the bottom, but I don't see a downside of more than %15-20 from here (real estate markets are local so this number can vary). If you decide to buy research the area well, find a good property and try to negotiate the price down. I wouldn't expect much price appreciation for years after the RE bottom has been reached though.
 

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I bought a place in Orlando.

A couple things you have to do if it is an investment property:

1) Apply for ITIN number - this is a number for tax purposes only when you don't actually work in the States. You don't need an SSN or might not be eligible for one so they give you a ITIN number. This requires ID and notary signatures - lawyer has to sign it.
2) Tax return - I had this done in the States via email correspondence. This is pretty easy but it'll cost about $200+
3) after filing your tax return, you probably haven't actually made any money due to the expenses so you won't be paying taxes.
4) For financing, I just used cash and a unsecured credit line from a Canadian bank.
5) There are foreign exchange brokers that will help you convert your money for rates cheaper than the bank. You can even buy in the future, for example, you can say i want $100,000 US for Sept 1st. How much is that going to cost me? That way you can lock in your rate if it is good.

I have received my ITIN but I haven't received any correspondence after i submitted my tax return 3 months ago so that makes me a bit nervous. You never want to be in a bad situation with the IRS.
 
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