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INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE

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  To some degree, the term "International Real Estate" is a misnomer. Real Estate is obviously local in nature and comparatively few parcels of real estate straddle the boundaries of two or more nations. When they do, they might better be described as "transnational", "bi-national" or some such term more descriptive of their special status.  Such parcels are considered special situations as special problems relating to jurisdiction, applicable law, conflicts of law and politics enter into play.  However interesting these special situations might be, they do not constitute the topic most people are interested in when the term "international real estate" is used.

Instead, when using the term, people are most likely to be thinking about real estate located in a nation other than their own.  A more appropriate term for such real estate might be "foreign real estate" but the qualifier "international" does not have the negative connotations of "foreign" and is perhaps seen as somewhat more glamorous. Marketers of real estate might also use the term even for properties located in their own nation, if the market that they seek to affect includes potential buyers and other users located in another country.  

The last decade has seen companies, institutions and individuals alike increasingly look to real estate situated in various parts of the world as appropriate vehicles for investing their money and their time.  As a result, real estate professionals and novices alike have come to think of most of the properties they handle as "international" particularly now that the Internet allows them to establish an international presence nearly overnight.  There is, to be sure, still a market for local, domestic or national real estate but the reason for so qualifying that market seems to have more to do with the marketer's expertise and intended audience than anything else. 

Hence, the approach taken by the author of this page will focus on categorical opportunities and perils, choices and restrictions, problems and solutions people encounter as they ever more often extend their activities outside the boundaries of their own countries and continents.  These topics cover a very broad area of enquiry where marketing, law, accounting, construction and environmental concerns overlap. The limits of this approach will be set more by the relationships that people create between themselves, or which are thrust upon them, when they engage or are engaged in matters regarding real estate with people outside of their own countries. 

A simple example will serve to illustrate: Suppose the owner-resident of a house in Switzerland dies intestate, leaving heirs in California and Switzerland.  One of the Swiss heirs is interested in acquiring the house by buying out his co-heirs, contacts the California heirs with an offer, obtains the approval of all of them, save one, who is afflicted with a terminal, incapacitating disease. Clearly, the succession of the property is subject to Swiss law, as is the sale. Not so clear perhaps is the extent to which Swiss law, California law, or both will govern the transfer of the incapacitated heir's rights.  Is this an "international real estate" problem ? If the question were addressed to this page's author, the answer would be yes, because both Switzerland and California have jurisdiction over some part of the transaction which involves real estate.

The aim of the author of this Website page is to publish information from time to time about this topic, and thereby help our audience better to discriminate among the sources of information, as well as the planners and the players active in the field, and thereby better to decide whether to commit resources of time or money to it. This page will also serve to introduce our readers to individual opportunities involving real estate and travel most susceptible of being of interest to people resident in countries other than the country of location.  Information regarding such opportunities will be accessible through  icons located in the margins ("Kwik-Links") and bearing the notation Kwik-Linkssm  also lead  to other areas of consulting where we provide services and to firms with which we have Internet Links or other arrangements. 

DISCA sm   will, from time to time, publish on this page articles of interest in the field of international real estate.  You are invited to submit your proposed article for publication on the understanding that you agree that your submittal may be deemed to be your representation that the material submitted may be published free of charge and is not subject to any reservation of rights you or anyone else may have under the laws of any country applicable to intellectual property, and that you will hold us harmless from any claim based on the violation of any such rights, if your article is selected for publication. 

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