“Certainly Foreign Investment is Good”
Foreigners have been buying real estate in the US for a long time. The reason for this bill is the somewhat controversial aspect that a 3 year residential visa would be granted. There are some limitations, such as you have to live in the property for 180 days per year, not sure how they would be able to monitor this one. There would need to be a minimum of $500,000 in cash brought to each transaction.
There are certainly a number of positives, mainly properties available for $500,000 or higher, there would be more buyers, which helps that segment of the market. They would also be spending money for other purchases, which would also assist our economy.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate is making moves to help the U.S. housing market capitalize on foreign investors. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) proposed legislation recently that would facilitate investments from abroad by easing the acquisition of visas for those participating.
The bipartisan plan would give foreigners buying homes on American soil a residential visa for three-years with an investment of $500,000 or more, provided they live in the property for a minimum of 180 days per year. Sen. Schumer spoke out on the bill during a conference call to reporters, noting the measure’s ability to recruit high numbers of investors.
The proposal targets assistance to the still struggling housing sector stateside, and Sen. Schumer indicated that the current version of the legislation would still ensure that foreign buyers under consideration meet the strict guidelines that are applied to those generally seeking a U.S. visa. Other stipulations revealed within the Senators’ bill include a mandate that investors pay for their homes in cash versus a mortgage and that the foreigners involved pay taxes.
Buyers from outside the U.S. would also be required to apply for a work visa, though an exception would be made for earning income through leasing out the property purchased. Sen. Schumer emphasized the efforts of he and Sen. Lee to avoid creating a circumstance that could threaten American jobs, and additionally, he reiterated that the visas extended to qualifying foreign investors would not give them citizenship or voting rights.
“The greatest problem in our housing market is there’s not enough demand,” Sen. Schumer stated during the call. He continued his commentary, saying he hoped the Obama administration “will like it.”
The Senators’ proposed legislation has its foundations in ideas first presented by Warren Buffet, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has indicated its approval of the potential maneuver. Sen. Schumer said that President Obama and members of his administration received the bill last week but have not responded to it thus far.
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