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1. Go there

Usually, people that have successfully moved to America have conducted their due diligence – they’ve gone to visit, they know the area.

2. Expert advice

It’s a good idea to seek the advice of a US CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to establish any tax requirements. It may also be useful to hire a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) as a Realtor who can guide you through your property purchase. Realtors are usually paid by the selling side of the transaction after a successful transaction has been concluded, with no cost to the buyer.

3. Ask yourself the right questions

Do you have everything you need to make your move happen? Do you have a US bank account? Do you have all the necessary funds? Have you arranged work for when you arrive? Schools? Haulage? There’s more to the move than the house purchase.

4. Look for a property

Search online, through a realtor/agent, press or just by driving around and seeing a ‘for sale’ sign. In the US, all real estate agents have the same access to the available properties in their market with the exact same conditions. If you are not ready to buy, sign up for listing alert emails on a realtors’ website.

5. Choosing a property

Once you’ve found a property, your agent will represent you as a buyer, regardless of who the property is listed with.

6. Contract for purchase

Once a property has been identified by the client, a contract for purchase will be formed with purchase price and terms and conditions, and presented by the Buyer’s Agent to the Seller Agent.

7. Make a down payment

Usually at the offering, a down payment of between 5% and 10% of the purchase amount is given which is held by an escrow agent – a neutral third party – until the offer is accepted, or will be refunded if the offer is declined. For overseas buyers, you can usually purchase a property with a down payment of 40% - 45%, depending on your credit status and bank criteria. Times Currency Services will transfer your funds on the date you tell us.

8. Home Inspection

This is what we know as the survey. Select and arrange for a Home Inspection. You and/or your Realtor can be present, and your realtor will negotiate with the seller/selling Realtor to get any problems put right.

9. Transferring the property to your name

Once the offer has been submitted, it usually takes no more than 24 hours to come to a decision. Following the acceptance of an offer, the property will be transferred to you 30 to 45 days later, once the inspection has been completed and any problems dealt with.

10. Set up mortgage and general upkeep payments

Remember, you may need to transfer funds across for mortgage or general maintenance costs. You can set up a regular transfer plan with Times Currency Services to secure your rates and minimise currency risks.


This document is for information and educational purposes only. Investing in property carries a certain amount of risk which you should research before purchasing any property. If you are unsure about the risks or procedures involved please seek independent advice.

The research contained herein has been generated by employees of World First UK Ltd, and is a true reflection of their views and opinions. We do not act as advisor or in a fiduciary capacity.