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The interest in investing in real estate in the United States by Latin Americans is increasing, this occurs for different reasons. Some see it as a great option to have a residence to vacation or to live at some point. Others see it as a great investment option because of the benefits that the real estate market offers for foreigners in this country.

Whatever the reason, we real estate experts, business lawyers, immigration attorneys and financial advisors agree that the number of Mexican and Latin American clients has recently increased.

Since, without a doubt, the political conjunctures that most of the countries of the region are going through have had a strong influence, due to the uncertainty that exists, which prompts people to value different options to ensure their financial assets, being investment in assets roots one of the safest and most profitable options.

In times of national and international economic slowdown, real estate in the United States is an attractive and safe investment alternative, both for the expected return and for being a way to obtain permanent residence.

Real estate in the US meets in the vast majority of cases the expectations and needs of investors: attractive rents, capital gains, security and stability. With the added benefit of the possibility of obtaining residency, it is not surprising that Mexicans rank fifth among buyers.

Between April 2018 and March 2019, Mexican clients invested $ 2.3 billion, according to the NAR's 2019 Profile of International Homebuying Activity in the United States report.

For investors who use their acquisition for leasing, the NAR estimates that they will be able to benefit from an estimated 3% increase in rents.
A property after five years could increase your total return on investment by more than 150%.

The same NAR estimates that in 2020 US homes will appreciate 3%, while mortgage rates will remain below 4% and are fixed for 30 years. In addition, there will be a modest increase in the residential supply, but the true profitability is when putting the properties up for rent, since in five years it could have a 150% return on investment.

Likewise, the 2020 outlook report for mortgage loan Freddie Mac indicates that, despite the global economic slowdown, the US real estate market remains on solid ground with new construction permits, new housing projects and a good rate of sales of used and new housing, outpacing the growth of the economy in general.

In this environment, thanks to the indicators and previous experience, today it may be a better option for those new to participate in this type of investment.

In 2019, the state of Texas concentrated 28% of Mexican buyers of residential properties, followed by California (with 10%) and Georgia (7%).
However, it is recommended to invest in cities with strong job growth, with relatively affordable prices (less than $ 250,000) and geographically and / or culturally close to Mexico.

Some of these cities are Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, in Florida, with a median price of $ 245,000 and job growth of 6.3%.

According to the report on the profile of international buyers of residences in the United States, 60% have a visa or the coveted green card. The EB-5 program is the one that allows foreigners who invest and create jobs in that country to apply for permanent residence, this benefit extends to the investor's spouse and their children under 21 years of age.

According to the requirements, effective as of November 21, 2019, those who wish to apply to this program must invest at least 1.8 million dollars and generate 10 full-time jobs. If the investment is made in a specific employment area (TEA) or rural, the minimum investment is $ 900,000.

However, within the EB-5 program there is a temporary subprogram called Regional Center that allows investment to be passive, that is, "one is a limited partner and has no greater responsibility in the administration of the company, he is only contributing capital."

"Investing in real estate in the United States is attractive because of its geographic proximity and because property prices, particularly those in the South and Midwest, remain affordable (less than $ 250,000)," says Gay Cororaton, Research Director. Residential and Commercial from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

This subprogram is the one that concentrates 85% of the EB-5 visa applications, although it has a maximum annual quota of up to 10,000 visas, depending on the country of origin of the investors.

A Mexican citizen could obtain their EB-5 visa in approximately two and a half years, as there is no waiting list for Mexico and other Latin American nations.

It is recommended that when investing, in addition to the project to be acquired, the tax issue is analyzed. Since when you become a permanent resident of the United States, you have to pay taxes in that country for the income you receive anywhere in the world.

What is there to know before investing?
To create the perfect investment structure for a non-US resident client, you have to analyze their particular circumstances and objectives in order to find the option that best suits their specific needs.

While a certain structure may work for one client, it may not be the best option for another.
That is why at Optimus Real Estate & Lifestyle we put at your service a team of professionals with more than 25 years of experience serving international clients within the markets of Miami, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum who will advise you so that you make an extremely safe and profitable investment.

Although acquiring a property abroad can be a very smart decision, certain fundamental aspects must be taken into account before buying.
Once you find the property in which you want to invest, before closing the operation it is important to know that the payment of taxes and the rules change according to the immigration status of the buyer.

When buying property as a foreign individual and under other modalities, taxes of up to 40% can be generated at the time of transferring it, giving it away, selling it or inheriting it, so it is necessary to consult with a lawyer before closing the purchase, so that he can advise the best way to acquire it to avoid these taxes or deduct a large part.

There are different ways in which a foreigner can acquire a property. Some of these modalities are:

  • A corporation

  • A society

  • A Trust

  • A Limited Liability Company

  • Co-ownership


Through these structures, investment can be better protected and tax burdens reduced.

It should be noted that real estate has a lower risk than investments in the Stock Market, generate capital gains in the long term and can have annual returns. No other investment offers these advantages.

Who qualifies as a foreign buyer in the United States?
This is one of the first questions that clients have, and the answer is simple: any person or company that can verify that they have the means to acquire a property either in cash or through financing qualifies as a potential buyer.

Is it possible to acquire financing as a foreigner?
In the case of looking for financing, there are many banks that offer loans for foreigners, but in any case the most convenient thing is to contact an expert in this type of financing who can advise you on what are the best options that banks offer at that time , and not only that, the expert will also help you with the paperwork necessary to make a complete application and increase the chances of being approved.

What type of visa or status do I need to acquire a property?
This is a very common question and the answer is simple too, since, although you can acquire properties under different immigration statuses and structures, it is possible to buy property with a non-immigrant visa such as the B1-B2 tourist visa, The most important thing is to show solidity as a buyer and to advise you with an expert international lawyer in taxes for foreigners.

How do I start the process?
The first step is to contact Optimus Real Estate & Lifestyle, so that one of our real estate executives together with our group of experts; lawyers, financial advisers and title agencies support and advise you throughout the process to ensure that you make the best possible investment.

Note: Some of this information has been obtained from sources outside our company, so it may change at any time. Optimus is not responsible for changes or modifications that external sources may make to this information.

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