Cross-border house shopping: six reasons to be cautious of buying up U.S. real estate
It’s official: we’ve weathered the economic crisis better than the Americans. Does that mean we can stop gloating and start taking advantage of our neighbours? Many Canadians are saying, “Yes we can.” With low interest rates, dropping American home prices and a strong loonie, temptation is high for Canucks to snap up foreclosed houses and condos in the States (there’s certainly no shortage of supply). Yet the prospect of a four-bedroom bungalow in Florida for $170,000 still sounds suspicious. Below, six points of caution to Canadians looking to buy up U.S. real estate.
1. It could be a very, very long-term investment
“This is a long-term buy,” one realtor told the Toronto Star. That may be an understatement, since this isn’t exactly a flipper’s market. The New York Times tells us that over 1,000 new homes are being built in Las Vegas while nearly 10,000 are sitting empty and thousands more are likely to go up for sale.
2. Repair costs could be excessive
Frustrated homeowners have been known to vandalize their foreclosed property before they leave, or gut their home of all usable items. We’re talking everything: toilets, tubs, light fixtures and, quite literally, kitchen sinks.
3. Where would the squatters go?
The plethora of squatters will have to find other foreclosed houses—why not right next door?—to move into once their current home is sold from under them (no offence to Queen Omega).
4. Where would the wild animals go?
Foreclosed homes are havens for wild animals: raccoons the size of orangutans, bobcats and even black widow spiders. Of course, there are also the more common, less cool-sounding pests to worry about: rats, roaches and weeds.
5. Living in a ghost town is not everyone’s cup of tea
If the house becomes unsellable, it could always provide a nice place to retire. That is, if one has a penchant for sketchy neighbourhoods composed of abandoned homes.
6. Condo maintenance fees add up
In Florida, some of the remaining condo owners who haven’t left their buildings are getting stiffed with exorbitant maintenance fees. Altruists would probably be welcome, though.
3 thoughts on “Cross-border house shopping: six reasons to be cautious of buying up U.S. real estate”
For the foreseeable future, it will be cheaper to rent in the US than to buy.
Every morning I wake up and I see the US real estate market and the US economy continuing to weaken and I wonder if it is time to buy. But I look at what you can rent for through online rental services and I come back to the same conclusion…renting for a weak or months is significantly, cheaper, more flexible and less risky.
Until they decide that ‘we’re stealing their jobs & real estate investments’ & refuse to let you cross the Border as a ‘potential economic terrorist’ or a ‘culture war combatant’
They have *no idea* what human & civil rights look like anymore.
Frankly, I’m tired of rich Canadians coming back from the US & deciding *they like what they see* down there:
-bad social infrastructure,
-bad social ethics,
-massive economic disparity,
-ecological destruction from short-term bad “planning”
– & a ** horrifically huge prison industry** based on a corporate & legal scam to abuse children & the Poor for the financial & political benefits of the ‘elite’.
The same ‘elite’ who live in gated private communities or just bail to run off with their private off-shore bank accounts.
Come on Canada, you can do better than suck up *that* nonsense!
Come on.. are you suggesting we don’t buy real estate down ther becuase the spiders are big … They were big when the market was on fire too.
Why is it that when thinsg are expensive everyone is telling us that now is the time to buy. Now that Florida real estate prices have come down to what they should we should stay away.
IMHO buying a home in Canada is what we should be scared of. $170,000 for a bungalow sounds about right. Thats what the price should be even here in the GTA.
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