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A Canadian investing in the USA - Arizona & Nevada

Real Estate Agent with Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey, White Rock

I was involved in a large investors conference in Vancouver this past weekend. I have been focusing on investors, particularly between Canadian purchases of Arizona and Nevada properties, and it was exciting to see the buzz from the 550 or so in attendance!

For those that are thinking of entering into this market, here's a few tips!

Welcome to Arizona

For Condos: look for foreclosures, not only individual units, but whole buildings. Many good investments can be found in the Scottsdale area, but, ensure that you find a building that is at least 70% complete.


Lake Las Vegas


For Homes: there really is a softening in the amount of good quality homes, many of them sell in a normal fashion, i.e., before going to a short sale or into foreclosure. There is still a demand for quality, and the old rule of 'you get what you pay for' applies!

A few years in the making.

Arizona Trustee Sales - It is not well known to most consumers/investors that many properties actually never make it to the auction. The banks control these properties and assign them to an Asset Manager (who is often the Bank Manager). Brokers then prepare CMA's and give the Asset Managers a value or list price. Basically if 1,000 properties are destined for the auction, only 30% actually make it, and out of that, only 10% are any good.

Auctions - If you do happen to lock into a great auction investment, you must have $10,000 down and you have within 24 hours to come up with the rest otherwise you will forfeit your deposit. As a result, there is on about 1 in 5 properties purchased at the auction actually close. There are ways to get around this...but, the investor usually does not get a chance to inspect the property prior to the auction...so really, they are bidding sight unseen.

Bank owned vs Auction - Some of the biggest advantages of Bank Owned is that the investor has a chance to inspect the property. In addition, it is not uncommon to ask for repairs to be made!

As far as financing of these properties, financing is available...the banks are open for business! You can obtain financing up to 75% of the purchase value with rates between 4.5-5.5% on a FIXED 30yr rate. We have some banks familiar to Canadians that will finance your Arizona or Nevada investment...Royal(RBC), HSBC, and local banks that are familiar with Canadian investors, Bank of America, Wells Fargo. 

There are all kinds of scenarios that a purchaser or investor from Canada may be tempted by this amazing opportunity. As a snowbird, you may own real estate that you may frequent easily...flights out of Bellingham offers incredible deals. You MUST be aware that you CANNOT do any repairs, painting, you name it that could be otherwise hired out to an American citizen. So if you are thinking of renting out the property, even allowing employees to use it, and do any work yourself, you could be in big BIG trouble!

What a hike!

My wife and I treasure our regular jaunts to Las Vegas and Scottsdale/Phoenix. I really believe that now is the opportunity for many Canadians to invest in the HOT market that can be found in Arizona and Nevada. It should be a buyers market for the next 18 months, and most feel that it will be at it's prime time for purchase in the next 6 months. If you are thinking of investing or know someone that is, it is extremely important to find an professional real estate agent that knows the product, knows the areas, and puts your best interests as the number one priority. I am blessed to know and deal exclusively with top agents from the Keller Williams family in these top investments markets. Let me know if you need any assistance or if you have any good investment stories.

Katie Van Nes
Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, & Fraser Valley - Abbotsford, BC
Local Real Estate eXpert | eXp Realty

Wow great first post John, what a tremendous amount of information here!

Jan 28, 2009 09:19 AM
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

John congrats on your first post - and what an Amazing one at that!  You did a terrific job - I learned even more about you ................and also learned that I think I Created a Monster! :-) A Fabulous Monster! lol

Jan 29, 2009 02:58 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones


Thanks for your post. Learned some interesting things in your message. Welcome to ActiveRain..I'm sure Liz has got you running through the maze @ electrifying speed with all her energy and enthusiasm!!

Feb 04, 2009 11:16 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Home is where the hearth is.

John... if this is your first post, we can expect great things from you. 

I think my first post said "Hi.... er.... um...."

Feb 05, 2009 12:25 AM
John Welsh
Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey, White Rock - Abbotsford, BC
Real Estate Consultant at Keller Williams Valley Realty

Dorie and Alan : Thanks very much for your comments. I am really looking forward to more posts. I have been spending most of my time reading them and learning how I can increase traffic to my websites. Have a great day!

Feb 05, 2009 02:56 AM
Matt Horton
Platinum Living Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
North Scottsdale Real Estate

Arizona is still a great place for Canadians, especially Calgarians!  Easy to get to, great weather!  Matt Horton John Hall & Associates, Scottsdale Arizona!

Jun 23, 2009 07:40 AM