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Ten Tips to Buying Real Estate in Asia

21 January 2011 No Comment

    This is article is part of a larger piece, originally featured in Asian Real Estate magazine. Read more of “Asia’s Real Estate Markets Leap Ahead”

    1. Travel to the city – You don’t know what you’re talking about if you don’t see, hear, touch, taste, smell and drive the city.
    2. Understand the market – Know which areas are best for you, what kinds of properties are available and general prices. The more you know, the smarter you will be as an agent or investor.
    3. Work with local agents – You need partners who understand the finer points of the local market, systems and laws to make the best purchase.
    4. Work with co-brokers – If you have U.S. clients who want to invest in Asia, work with a local co-broker and split commissions.
    5. Beware of scammers – Work with partners who have an excellent track record, reputation and credibility. Even relatives can take your money. In one Asian country where U.S. citizens cannot own property, one U.S. investor bought a house under his resident brother’s name, but his brother kept the whole thing for himself later.
    6. Beware of different laws and systems – Asian countries do not have the same kind of multiple listing services, title insurance, legal transparency or consumer protection as in the U.S. If you do not register correctly or invest with a developer who goes belly up, consider your money charity to the local economy.
    7. Beware of corruption – Many countries require “grease money” to get things done. You may need to pay more or expect long waits.
    8. Watch for market bubbles – Asian governments often change policies to cool the market or restrict foreign investors. Know when to buy.
    9. Have plenty of cash – Many Asian banks only lend up to 70 percent. Global banks, such as Citibank and HSBC, will check your U.S. assets.
    10. Know your end goal – Is your goal to have a second home? A rental property? Or to buy and sell? Condos are easier to rent out and maintain than a house.

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