How to make the most of in­vest­ing in the US

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - ESTATES - David Gun­der­son ht­spe­cial­pro­jects@htlive.com The au­thor is founder and CIO of US Free­dom Cap­i­tal, a US­based real­es­tate in­vest­ment firm

Since the days of yore, In­di­ans have had a ra­pa­cious ap­petite for land.

With the prop­erty sec­tor is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a slow­down in In­dia, a grow­ing num­ber of In­di­ans are look­ing to the West for sta­ble in­vest­ments in the United States real-es­tate mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors’ (NAR) 2017 Pro­file of In­ter­na­tional Ac­tiv­ity in US Res­i­den­tial Real Es­tate, In­dia emerged as the fifth-largest in­vestor in US real-es­tate by pur­chas­ing prop­erty worth US$ 7.8 bil­lion in the pe­riod be­tween April 2016 and March 2017.

The de­pre­ci­a­tion of the ru­pee, poor re­turns from fixed de­posits (FD), and gov­ern­ment ac­tions such as de­mon­eti­sa­tion pro­vided in­cen­tives for the wealthy High Net-worth In­di­vid­ual (HNI) look­ing for a safe place to put away their ex­tra sav­ings.

In­vestors ac­quired prop­er­ties to gen­er­ate rental yield or for use by a child study­ing in the United States. There are a few ways for in­vestors to get a piece of the realty pie.

One of them is to in­vest in a fund struc­tured for global in­vestors seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in US real-es­tate. The other way to do this is to im­mi­grate to the United States of Amer­ica by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the EB-5 pro­gramme.

The for­mer has the pro­vi­sion for wealth-build­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties while the lat­ter con­tin­ues to be a top visa op­tion for stu­dents seek­ing to pur­sue a de­gree in the United States of Amer­ica or for the HNI fam­ily to re­lo­cate for ei­ther busi­ness or pro­fes­sional rea­sons.

To­day, a ma­jor­ity of EB-5 of­fer­ings in In­dia are left­over from the Chi­nese, where in­vestors are known to ig­nore risk and re­turn in favour of glitzy mega-of­fer­ings.

“A fund struc­tured for a so­phis­ti­cated In­dian au­di­ence that ap­pre­ci­ates the risk-avoid­ance of smaller and faster projects with an as­sured exit strat­egy and higher yields is what In­dia needs,” said David Gun­der­son, founder and chief In­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer of US Free­dom Cap­i­tal, a US-based real-es­tate in­vest­ment firm.

Sev­eral pro­grammes like the FD + Green Card help In­di­ans make the best of their in­vest­ment in the US .

The ad­van­tage is that in­vestors can have their cake and eat it too. The FD+ Green Card is a fam­ily-based US im­mi­gra­tion pro­gramme, which pays 6-8% re­turns per an­num, in US dol­lars and also gives green cards for the fam­ily.

This not only helps in­vestors cover the cost of their child’s un­der­grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion, but also leave the child with a size­able amount to help them with life af­ter col­lege.

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