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Buying a home in the US...from BKK...my current experience.


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I am in the process of buying a home in the US..as a US Citizen.  I did this ten years ago, and am doing it again.  I am willing to share my experiences and answer questions.  There are more than a few hurdles.  I will start at the point, where I found an interesting listing on Zillow.  From there you can ask for an agent to call you.  First hurdle..you can't enter a Thai phone number..and you can't leave it blank.  After about three tries there, I emailed the listing agent directly by email, which was also ignored.  Many agents are lazy or suspicious.  So we go back and forth some and come to an agreement.  I send agent a copy of my brokerage statement showing proof of funds..PDF document.  Today I get wiring instructions to send 1000 us, EMD.  Needed us phone to get code..didn't want to wake the Units, so called brokerage direct..and that is where we are at.  I will update as it moves along.  Any questions?

 

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Have you tried using TextNow to get a US number to receive codes?  Not all financial institutions will send codes to such a number.  I've also had some success using Google Voice to receive codes.

 

Good luck!

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5 minutes ago, gamb00ler said:

Have you tried using TextNow to get a US number to receive codes?  Not all financial institutions will send codes to such a number.  I've also had some success using Google Voice to receive codes.

 

Good luck!

I have been using TalkU app, voip, and they will give you a number for 11 bucks per year..but there was a problem calling the regular fidelity 800 number earlier..but fidelity now has a toll free number specific for Thailand..worked like a charm..22 minute call on AIS...cost me zero.  And free domestic wire, too.

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Why buy remotely?

Not a good idea for Buyer or Seller normally?

As a Seller I would be worried about future lawsuits if you did not inspect the unit before purchase.

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2 hours ago, onekoolguy said:

Why buy remotely?

Not a good idea for Buyer or Seller normally?

As a Seller I would be worried about future lawsuits if you did not inspect the unit before purchase.

Who says it wasn't inspected?  Buyer signs off on his right to hire any professional he chooses during the inspection period. 

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22 hours ago, DogNo1 said:

I call Fidelity Service Direct every month using Skype.  Never a problem.

I now just dial their toll free number, that is unique for Thailand, with my mobile phone.

00180054466666.

 

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Here are some tools I used to determine if the house would be a good choice;

 

www.floodfactor.com.   Gives you a score of 1-10 on flood risks..

www.walkscore.com.     Shows you what businesses are near the property, and gives a score of 1-100 on walkability...There has been a big trend towards convenient locations over the last decade or so.

www.zipwho.com.  Great source for demographic information on your zipcode.

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Here is another one, although I didn't buy in Phoenix, this time..but a soil map..you want to avoid expansive clay soil, even though they now use post-tensioned slabs..seems to be one of those things that works best on paper and not in reality.

images (29).jpeg

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Today I get wiring instructions to send 1000 us, EMD 

Why are you needing to wire $1000?   Have you had an offer accepted and are at the inspections stage?  What is this for?

I don't see any real reason to wire money, especially when even inspection fees & escrow fees are usually settled during the closing?

 

As for agents being suspicious & lazy, maybe, but they work on comission and usually circle like sharks when a buyer shows up.

Also, most RE firms are familiar with overseas buyers so know how to work with different time zones.  In AZ, you'd get lots of Chinese and Latin American buyers paying cash.

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1 hour ago, Iron Tongue said:

Why are you needing to wire $1000?   Have you had an offer accepted and are at the inspections stage?  What is this for?

I don't see any real reason to wire money, especially when even inspection fees & escrow fees are usually settled during the closing?

 

As for agents being suspicious & lazy, maybe, but they work on comission and usually circle like sharks when a buyer shows up.

Also, most RE firms are familiar with overseas buyers so know how to work with different time zones.  In AZ, you'd get lots of Chinese and Latin American buyers paying cash.

In the first post, I stated we went back and forth and came to an agreement.  Ernest Money is frequently required with an offer, accepted or not, but can often be a personal check.  The title company requires the EMD to be deposited for them to continue to do the work, whether you complete the deal or not.  There has to be some money involved to prevent flaky buyers from taking a house off the market for a month or two.  The title company sent me the wiring instructions, and the recipient has its own bank.  I gave the routing number to Fidelity, and the rep already knew the name of institution and address.  So it isn't like I sent an agent 1000 bucks to buy the house, but if I were local, that could be the case.  Some agencies have their own escrow accounts, others just take it to the title company.  Now, if they can't produce clear and insured title, then I would get the 1000 back.  If I find a better deal, that would be my penalty for rattling their cage and pulling their chain.

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Here are a couple of tools I use to evaluate a city/zipcode on things like crime, schools, climate..

 

www.bestplaces.net

www.areavibes.com

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Update..got the closing documents from the escrow officer.  This is one of those hold your breath moments.  In the past, they have been known to come up with junk fees..having a mortgage makes you much more vulnerable to them, but I believe HUD may have cracked down on that over the years.  So, here is what I owe...purchase amount minus the 1000 I already sent.  Half of escrow fees:. 150, which is at least a 100 less than expected.  Recording fees that are charged by the Clerk of the Court to record the deed:. 12 bucks..Fee to FedEx all paperwork to my Virginia residence:. 25 USD.  The agent will send the keys to the same address, no charge.  And since the property taxes have been paid by the owner, I will also pay, at closing, for the 49 days of 2020, that I will own the house.  

 

Seller had to pay for my title insurance..I didn't see the amount, but would guestimate 500 or so, in this case.  And owner also pays the agent commission, likely 6%.  And an unpaid medical bill, from her deceased mom, that had been a lien on the title.  

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