buying U S Tax sale properties

I am trying to buy homes owned by the bank in the US i was just wondering  if there is any thing I need to do like become a U S citizen? or is there just a form i have to fill out ? my plan is to just by them and rent them out .very seldom will I be going to the US

Thank You

david ingram replies:

The fastest way to become a US citizen would be an E5 visa which would require an investment of $500,000 to $1,000,000 actual US dollars (not borroewed money) and rental property does not qualify.  The investment must be into an active business and hire ten full time employees not related to you.    Even then, you would only be given a green card and it would take about five more years to actually get US citizenship.

As a Canadian, 'You' do not need a paper visa to byuy rental houses. 

However, you can not do any repairs or cleanup on the properties you buy.

And be careful.  I presume yiou have taken a $5,000 course telling you how to do it and how easy it is but MOST PEOPLE LOSE MONEY. 

The following will give you some more info.

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QUESTION: Hello David,

I'm living in Vancouver, finally paid off the student debt but don't see myself getting into
the expensive Vancouver market. I do however like to ski and was thinking of buying an
inexpensive trailer (25k Cdn) in Maple Falls Washington.
However I'm not sure what other expensives I should expect given that it's in the US.
I'm not trying to make this an investment with a high return, but I would like to do some
handy work to it to increase the value. If I add about 10k worth of value, how would that
affect my taxes in the long term?

Thanks for the advice.
david ingram replies:

One of my favourite weekends ever was in 1973 at the Chandelier (think it has a
different name now) when marooned at SnowLine  because of the gas shortage when
one could only buy gas on odd days if your licence pklatre ende dwith an odd number
and even days when it was an even number.

Strangely, it was that weekend 34 years ago that lets me answer you question now.

The cabin I was staying in was not a rental but was built by the fellow who owned it. 
When he was building it, buddies would come down and help him and one weekend, the
INS raided the spot and deported a bunch of his friends for working in the US .

He was fine building it because he owned it but no one else can hammer a nail,
paint a board, install a sink, or carry a shingle if they are not either an owner
or a legal US citizen or US resident with a green card.

If your buddy is working and living in the US with a TN, H1, O1, P1, L1 or any
other visa but a green card, he can NOT help you either.

And, if you are intending to rent the trailer out 'EVER', 'you' can NOT hammer
a nail, sweep the front steps or clean the toilet.

Assuming you are buying this trailer on its own lot, when you go to sell, you
will owe the US income tax on the profit.

If it is your only piece of real estate at that time, you will not owe Canada
any tax because you can claim it as your personal residence if you have not bought another place.
However, I would far prefer that you stretched your resources to buy something
in Canada to live in and combine your present rent and the payments you would
have to make for the trailer to buy your home in Canada. If you can't afford
a one bedroom, buy a studio.  Go down to Ikea onteh Lougheed highway and look
at how much they can put into a small space. 

Interestingly, I read the other day that Ikea has now sold enough furniture
in North America that 10% of all children are conceived in an Ikea Bed. 
Now that is information worth knowing.

Good luck