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Vietnamese people hunting for houses in the US   2009-04-03 - VietNamNet/VNE

Bui Bich Nga, director of a garment material company in Tan Binh district in HCM City, has a daughter who is now a sophomore at Nevada State in the US. Nga and her husband made a trip to the US last month to visit their daughter, when they tried seeking a house to buy after hearing that the economic recession has made houses in the US become surprisingly cheaper.


Houses in the US have become very cheap

Nga and her husband have decided to buy a house in Las Vegas in Nevada, which is now offered at US $350,000, or US $150,000 cheaper than the level offered the same period of the last year. Nga said that she is planning to make another trip to the US to fulfill the formalities to purchase the house, hoping that she can get it at less than US $300,000.


Nga related that a friend of hers, after three trips to the US, had successfully purchased a good house in California. “It will take her two or three more trips to fulfill formalities,” Nga said.


The economic recession has made the real estate prices in the US become very cheap with the prices down by more than 60% in some localities. According to the US National Association of Realtors (NAR), the real estate prices have dropped to record lows which make it easier than ever before to purchase houses now. A lot of houses in California, Nevada, and Florida, which have been offered for sale since mid-2008, still cannot find buyers.


In HCM City, more and more people book tours to the US these days in order to purchase houses. The majority of people have relatives living and learning in the US. It is estimated that 20 people, HCM City residents, have become the owners of houses in the US after buying tours from Hoan My Travel Firm.


The Vietnamese people, who hunt for houses in the US, prove to be very patient as they have to travel to the US four or five times to fulfill necessary formalities which cost them more than US $10,000 and take several months to travel.


Nga also said that buyers have to spend money and time to learn information about the houses they want to buy, such as the information about the houses’ situation, positions, maintenance fees, environmental fees, and land taxes.


The General Director of a real estate trading company in HCM City has advised Vietnamese people to learn thoroughly about the law system of the host country and the laws of every state in the US.


Under the current laws, Vietnamese people are not allowed to remit money abroad to pay for the houses they purchase. “In these cases, the house buyers have to ask their relatives in the US to come forward and purchase the houses, and then they pay the money back to the relatives,” said Ho Huu Hanh, Director of the HCM City branch of the State Bank of Vietnam.


According to Hoan My Travel Firm, travelers have to book the tours which allow them to travel and seek houses in some localities (US $3,100/person). After that, they can return to the US with the tours designed specifically for house buyers (US $2,300/person). During the trips, house buyers will have to work directly with lawyers, real estate firms, and pay consultancy fees.

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