The saying goes that all real estate is local, but that does not mean that all homebuyers are local. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 international homebuyers report, global buyers spent an estimated $104 billion on housing in 2014, an increase of more than $10 billion from the previous year.
“We live in an international marketplace, and U.S real estate is extremely attractive to foreign buyers,” said 2015 President of the Eastern Bergen County Board of REALTORS Bowen Pak “International buyers recognize the Bergen County’s attractive prices compared to New York City, economic stability and well-defined property rights as an amazing opportunity for investment in their future.”
As more international buyers become a part of the fabric of American communities, they bring with them their many traditions and customs – including those that go along with moving into a new home. President Pak said, “223,000 Bergen County residents are Foreign Born, that is 33% of the total population. 51% of all homeowners are multi-national foreigners.” He explained this is why it is important to understand cultural relativity.
The EBCBOR Global Business Council has compiled a list of a few common housewarming traditions from around the globe, which you may want to use to welcome friends, family or neighbors into their new home.
Russia. According to Russian custom, a cat should cross over the threshold of the new home before anyone else enters. This is said to ensure that the homeowners will have a happy and prosperous life.
China. Before moving into a new home, Chinese custom is to shine a light in every corner, closet and wardrobe of the house. This is said to let any lingering spirits know that it is time to leave and how to find the way outside.
India. In India, it is considered lucky to move into a new house on Thursday, while Friday and Saturday are the unluckiest days to move. There is also the ceremonial housewarming known as ‘Grinha Pravesh,’ during which, in some parts of the country, a cow is allowed to walk through the house first, bringing good fortune to the homeowners.
France. When construction of a new home is finished, the French throw a traditional party called the ‘pendre la cremaillere,’ literally meaning ‘to hang the chimney hook.’ The phrase comes from medieval times when it was customary to invite over everyone who took part in the building of the house and eat dinner as a gesture of thanks. The food would be cooked in a large pot over a fire, where the chimney hook could be used to raise or lower the pot to heat or cool the food.
Buying a home in a foreign country can by a complicated and trying process, and Realtors® have the expertise to serve clients in a variety of international real estate transactions. So whether you are from Korea, Russia, India or Columbia, when you are ready to buy a home make sure to contact a Realtor®.
International buyers are consisting drawn to purchasing real estate in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, many cite the soundness of the government and financial systems which would better guarantee their home investment. These buyers also chose to purchase in the U.S. for its desirable location and climate, to be closer to family and friends, changes in work and employment, educational opportunities and affordable prices. Fourteen percent of international buyers purchased a property in the U.S. primarily for investment purposes. The quality of the Bergen County school system is an attractive feature for Russians living abroad.
The EBCBOR Global Business Council, recently named a Gold Council by the National Association of REALTORS®, hosts quarterly luncheons focusing on various topics in international real estate in addition to promoting important new and updates through its website and social media pages.