More Sunshine Ahead for Canadian Snowbirds?

A new bill introduced by two U.S. senators is designed to have foreigners spur on the struggling U.S. economy. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced The Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States Act (VISIT-USA Act). The new legislation proposes two different variations of a 3-year non-immigrant residential visa. One of which is a “home ownership visa” which is the subject of this blog post. Read the rest of this entry »

Matthew Altro featured in the Montreal Gazette Online

Allison Lampert contacted Matt for his take on this new proposed bill and what it means for Canadians, for the Real Deal business blog on the

U.S. residency could be taxing for Canucks

The Montreal Gazette, Real Deal Business Blog
October 24, 2011

Recent reports that foreign buyers of U.S. homes could one day get automatic visas is good news for Canadian buyers – albeit with one big caveat. The impact of cross-border taxation could make the price of a U.S. residency a lot more expensive than a $500,000 house, experts say.

As a way to bolster the weak housing market, two senators want to give a U.S. residency visa – but not the right to work – to all foreign buyers spending $500,000 or more on American real estate, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro featured in the Kelowna Daily Courier

David was interviewed by business reporter Steve MacNaull of the Kelowna Daily Courier. The article ran in The Okanagan Saturday on October 22, 2011.

Please click here to view the article in PDF format and scroll down to read the complete article below.

Cross-border real estate simplified
Owning U.S. property need not be as complicated as it may seem says author and tax expert

The Okanagan Saturday
Saturday, October 22, 2011

They are called cross-border lifestylers. Or sun belt buyers or snowbirds, if you will. They are the Canadians who purchase vacation and investment homes in the southern U.S. to beat our Great White North winters and make some rental income and equity on the side.

“With the perfect storm we’re having right now there’s more of them than ever,” said Montreal-based buying-in-the- U.S. expert and tax lawyer David A. Altro during a stop in the Okanagan this week.

“Real estate prices in the U.S. are depressed, representing great deals for Canadians, plus the loonie is high.” That means Canadians are not just buying a property they will use for vacations, but rent out when they aren’t using it to generate some income. Read the rest of this entry »

David A. Altro featured on BC radio stations

David A. Altro was interviewed by Frank Stanford on CFAX 1070 radio in Victoria, BC and on The World Today Weekend with Sean Leslie on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver, BC.

Click here to listen to the CFAX recording

Click here to listen to the CKNW recording

Will a Short Sale Leave You Feeling Shortchanged?

We are now about three years into the recession, and there’s no denying that property prices in the U.S. are still at affordable lows. As winter creeps up on us, many Canadians are likely researching just how much a nice little vacation home might cost.

I applaud that line of thinking (as soon as winter hits, I drink Vitamin D drops almost as quickly as the snow falls in a blizzard), but I urge caution on one major issue: if you come across a short sale property and decide to put an offer on it, make sure you have legal counsel to guide you through your real estate transaction.

Short sales occur when a homeowner needs to get out of a mortgage because they are in financial trouble, and they can’t pay off their loan. The seller will put their house on the market, price it attractively and then cross their fingers and hope that their lender will approve the sale and accept its proceeds as full payoff for their loan – even if the seller will fall short of paying back everything they owe. Read the rest of this entry »