Canadians looking to buy homes in the Palm Springs area have the following considerations:
1) If you want maximum sunshine – which most northern visitors here do – than a South facing exposure is optimum, but if you want the best views South West is premium.
2) Short Sales may seem to have the lowest prices but they aren’t always real prices. The agents selling them know the process is going to take 3-9 months and therefore list the properties at below market prices to try and capture an offer from somebody who will hang in there. And, it might take months before the bank comes back and tells you what they’re really willing to sell the property for. or they might just deny your price and tell you to offer more, without saying what they will accept.
3) Transactions are handled by California licensed Real Estate agents, not attorneys. Once an offer is accepted, all monies are placed in an Escrow that acts as a neutral third party while paperwork, inspections and loans are processed. The Escrow company therefore tries to protect the interests of everyone to comply by state laws, although your agent is the real individual looking out for your particular interests.
4) There is no Sales Tax on homes in California, much like the VAT in Canada. In California you pay an annual sales tax of 1.25% of the purchase price and this remains in effect for the life of your ownership. This was established in the late 1970’s with a state initiative called proposition 13. Your total tax bill may sometimes come closer to @2% of your purchase price as some special districts (i.e. school districts, park districts, library districts, etc.) and city fees, or what’s called Mello Roos may influence the final total.
5) When it comes time to sell your property Canadians are required to pay a 10% tax to the U.S. government under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, FIRPTA, unless the property is being sold to someone as a primary residence for the first two years of ownership and the property is sold for less than $300,000.