In a recent article discussing foreign buyers participation in buying real estate investments in hard hit areas of Florida an interesting thing is going on:
You’d never dream of buying a home without seeing it (in person) first, right? Well, there are other buyers who move much more quickly — so fast, in fact, that they sign on the dotted line before they’ve even toured the house.
Foreign investors are so anxious to snag real estate deals in the U.S. — before the housing recovery pushes home prices too far up — that they’re buying homes over the Internet before they’ve even looked at them in person, The Toronto Star reported. The Florida market is where they’re turning their focus. And Canadians looking to score Florida homes are facing stiff competition from Asian investors who are swooping in and snapping up homes, sight unseen, according to the Star.
“Some Chinese investors bought up 35 [townhouse-condo] units without even flying in first,” Wayne Levy of Toronto-based Florida Home Finders told the newspaper. “They looked at a picture. They wrote checks. That’s what’s happening now.”
We’ve heard this before. We were speaking with Albert Hakim, a Detroit-based RE/MAX agent who specializes in bank-owned properties, about homes selling for $1 in the area. He told us that he has seen foreign buyers get so excited over the minuscule price tag that they call him up and make the $1 transaction over the phone or on the Internet.