Leasing houses in US, lucrative work for Vietnamese

September 17, 2008

16:59′ 04/09/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Purchasing houses in the US and leasing the houses has become a new way for many Viet Kieu and Vietnamese people to earn their living.

Earning money in the US, spending money in Vietnam

A house on sale in the US

When returning to Vietnam to visit family and relatives, Nguyen Huyen said that house and land prices in the US are now at record lows, which proves to be a golden opportunity for many Vietnamese people to own houses in the US.

Huyen himself has purchased a house worth $320,000, for which he had to pay $100,000 in advance. The remaining sum of $220,000 he will pay over 20 years ($1,100 per month) at the interest rate of 5.8% per annum. The house is located in Seattle in Washington state, covering an area of 80 x 40 feet (12 x 24 m). Now Huyen is leasing the house, getting $1,000-1,500 while he lives in another house in Alaska.

A lot of Viet Kieu have decided to return to the homeland after many years of living in the US. Thien Pham said that before returning to Vietnam to settle down, he sold an apartment in California worth $1mil, and then purchased five houses in Houston for $170-200,000 each. Currently, he is leasing three of the five houses at $1,800 a month, while is offering to sell the other two to get money to buy an apartment in San Jose. He said that the leasing fee is higher there, at $2,500/month. With house leasing, he can pocket a lot of money after paying $2,000-3,000 in land tax for each house.

Thien Pham said that now in Vietnam he and his wife still go to work, but ‘just for joy’, not for earning money.

P.D, a musician, said that nearly all overseas musicians now want to return to settle in Vietnam. They are leading good lives in Vietnam with the money they get from leasing houses in the US. P.D said that he is now living in a leased house in Vietnam; however, the leasing fee is just equal to 1/10 of the money he can earn from leasing houses in the US.

Thien related that a lot of his friends in Vietnam are planning to purchase houses in the US for leasing. A cousin of his has just purchased an apartment with 3 bedrooms in Westminster at $480,000, and an apartment in California at $400,000 with payment by instalments. If the cousin leases the two apartments, he will get $2,800 a month from each.

US people sell, Vietnamese purchase

Tran Huy Phuong, Director of Selection Realty & Mortgage in San Jose, said that it is now easier than previously to fly to the US to visit relatives. Therefore, a lot of Vietnamese people are eyeing houses and land in the US. Previously, only very rich people could make the investments, but now, as land prices have decreased sharply, a lot of Vietnamese businessmen have jumped on the bandwagon.

That explains why Lan Nguyen, 32, is not trying to sell her apartment in the suburbs of Houston city in Texas through advertisements in the US, but asked Huyen to introduce the house to his relatives in Vietnam. In general, after successfully selling a house worth $600-700,000, sellers will have to pay $20,000 to an agent. As a matter of course, a lot of Viet Kieu have become real estate brokers.

Phuong from Selection Realty & Mortgage said that leasing houses proves to be a cushy job; it can bring fat profit much higher than the initial investment. However, he said, sometimes inexperienced investors do not get the money they want, while suffering heavy debts from instalment payments.

(Source: NLD)

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