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VietNamNet: Vietnamese hunting for houses in the U.S.

America's housing price collapse is a big lure.

Nga and her husband have decided to buy a house in Las Vegas in Nevada, which is now offered at  $350,000, or $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 U.S. to fulfill the formalities to purchase the house, hoping that she can get it at less than U.S. $300,000.

Nga related that a friend of hers, after three trips to the U.S., 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 U.S. become very cheap with the prices down by more than 60 percent in some localities. According to the U.S. 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 U.S. these days in order to purchase houses. The majority of people have relatives living and learning in the U.S. It is estimated that 20 people, HCM City residents, have become the owners of houses in the U.S. after buying tours from Hoan My Travel Firm.

The Vietnamese people, who hunt for houses in the U.S., prove to be very patient as they have to travel to the U.S. four or five times to fulfill necessary formalities which cost them more than $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 U.S.

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 U.S. 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 ($3,100/person). After that, they can return to the U.S. with the tours designed specifically for house buyers ($2,300/person). During the trips, house buyers will have to work directly with lawyers, real estate firms, and pay consultancy fees.

Source: VietNamNet/VNE

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/vietnam/090403/vietnamnet-vietnamese-hunting-houses-the-us