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Real Estate in the United States

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in United States? How do you find a home in United States? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in the United States?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"The best way to find a place to live in the United States is to research online. You can look up areas of interest, average rental costs, and any amenities or attractions that you may be looking for. You can use websites such as Craigslist, Zillow, and Apartments.com to compare rentals in different cities or neighborhoods. Additionally, you can talk to family and friends, who may have lived in the area you are considering. Local real estate agents can provide helpful information about neighborhoods, rental costs, and availability," explained one expat living in United States.

"Came and stayed for a month touring island. Last 3 days found the part we liked, so came back down and rented a condo there for 2 weeks. Arranged finances online and came down 3rd time to sign and move in," said another person in Palmas Del Mar Humacao .

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in the United States?

"A typical expat home or apartment in the United States is often modern and comfortable, typically furnished with both new and traditional furniture. Many expat homes feature amenities such as air-conditioning, wireless internet, and flat-screen televisions. If an expat lives in an urban area, their typical home may be a one- or two-bedroom condominium, townhouse, or apartment. If an expat lives in a rural area, they may have a house or a cabin. Some expats bring their own furnishings with them when they move, while others opt to purchase new furniture when they move. In either case, kitchens will often be fully equipped and many expats take advantage of the larger supply of international goods available in the US," explained one person living in United States.

"Condo on beach. [Palmas del Mar is a] large resort area but still 3000 permanent residents equally distributed across age range from 1-87 years. Large % condo but houses available. Most expats live in condo villages," said another expat in Palmas Del Mar Humacao .

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What is the average cost of housing in the United States?

If you are thinking about moving to the United States, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in the United States varies significantly depending on location and market prices, but generally falls in the range of about $200,000 to $400,000 for a single-family home," explained one person living in United States.

"Housing costs much lower but we moved from Seattle, WA. Any other locations in WA would be slightly lower for regular condo location and much lower for on water," said another expat in Palmas Del Mar Humacao .

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Should I buy or rent a home in the United States?

If you have not spent a lot of time in the United States, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Deciding whether to buy or rent a home in the United States is largely dependent on personal preference and financial standing. Buying a home will allow you to customize the property and build equity, but it also requires a significant investment of money and commitment. If you're not ready for a long-term financial commitment, you may want to consider renting instead, as it provides more flexibility and lower up-front costs. Researching your area, finances, and desired lifestyle is the best way to determine if buying or renting a home is the right choice for you," said another expat in United States.

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What appliances are typically included in a rental?

We asked foreigners in the United States what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:

"We nearly always have stove, fridge, and AC. But is there a generator? A cistern? Any alternative form of energy? These are important questions in an area where there are frequent power outages even when there is no storm," said another person in Christiansted.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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