Buying Real Estate From Overseas

People from all over the world have been watching the Phoenix and Scottsdale real estate markets since the big price drops from 2005 highs. A weaker dollar also increases the affordability and potential return on investment for foreign buyers.

Here I have some tips for customers trying to buy in Scottsdale from overseas.


With sometimes different time zones and currencies in the game it really pays to be regulated. The best situation is to arrange everything at home before contacting a real estate agent. That means having proof of funds ready this way your agent will know you are ready to buy and can negotiate with the seller on this basis.

Find a REALTOR willing to work with video

The best way to get a feel for property from abroad is to find an agent who is willing to go to the property and shoot some videos while you are there. Virtual tours are useful but often these are just static images, or 360 panoramas at best. But you get a much better sense of light and space with video.

Get Skype

If you’re going to be making a lot of calls, and believe me you are if you end up buying a home overseas, the costs can add up quickly. To get around this I recommend using Skype to make international calls, it can save you a lot of money.

Time to Invest in Real Estate Abroad

For investors looking to explore foreign real estate, some of the best opportunities are south of the border in vibrant Latin America. The market looks very poised to pick as Latin American governments implement programs to attract foreign investment and increase their economic growth potential.

Investors can also take advantage of the growing number of available resources to find and buy real estate in Latin American countries, with Argentina being one of the top destinations. According to Argentine real estate trading group Camara Inmobiliaria Argentina, house prices have increased 50% since 2002. Even though real estate prices have soared, they still look very cheap.

The results for renting apartments in Buenos Aires are great! You can expect to buy an apartment in Buenos Aires and achieve a net return of 7% to 8% annually. Better than low bank interest rates, which will make life difficult for those forced to live on 0% to 3% interest on ‘safe’ cash investments while the world spins counterclockwise out of control.

Even when our property sector at home is at its knees, it’s strange to feel so close to saturation and our aspirations to buy cheap properties, renovate, and rent out properties are hampered by cost and of course competition. Even in the buyer’s market, our money-rich European and US counterparts and property investment specialists find only one or three projects each year. Buenos Aires is still the ‘new world’ for property investment and remains one of the most desirable and affordable cities to buy real estate in, even in the most exclusive neighborhoods of Recoleta and Palermo.

Real estate transactions are mainly in cash. That means meeting somewhere safe and counting piles of banknotes before pushing them across the counter to the seller. Then, the other party counted the money. Therefore, easy credit and excessive leverage did not form the basis of the Argentine real estate boom.

In other words, it’s almost bubble-proof. The country as a whole operates without credit (10% national average). Residential property investments are mostly cash, mortgages as we know them don’t exist, and funding is never more than 50% of the value of the property backed by assets and in terms as short as 3 to 15 years.

Tourism in Argentina has grown by more than 52% from 2003-2007. Government agencies forecast 47% growth over the next 6 years. With the financial stability of the market and the future growth prospects of the country, investing in real estate in Argentina can be a great opportunity now.