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Investing in the U.S. Real Estate Market as a Canadian || Authentication and Legalization

Sep 8, 2020

The US investment laws are fairly relaxed for foreign investors. This makes it easy for Canadians to bank on opportunities such collecting assets. This, along with many Canadians choosing to retire in America, are two primary reasons why Canadians invest in real estate. Whether you are a keen investor looking to bank on an opportunity or planning a dream retirement home, you will need to complete document authentication and legalization. Apostille is the equivalent process in the United States.

On September 29, 2008….

The Dow Jones dropped a stooping 777% within one trading day, causing a massive economic collapse which affected the US real estate market in a profound manner. The collapse was the result of lenders taking loans on homes they couldn’t afford. Many had to walk away from their mortgages, as they couldn’t carry on their payments anymore. This caused a significant drop in the housing market prices due to foreclosures, the effects of which can be seen even today. At one point, a single family swelling was as low as $50,000 US dollars! These conditions were dismal for home owners. However, these sudden low prices opened up a gate for foreign investors. Many Canadian investors began collecting these assets and still hunt for such deals to date.

What You Might Need for Apostille

Some documents you may need to apostille may include a mortgage agreement, Power of Attorney, property Deed, time-share contract or purchase/sales agreement. Regardless of what your apostille needs are, having a document authentication and legalization professional complete the process can save significant time and money.

Authentication and Legalization Simplified: Apostille

America requires documents to be apostilled, instead of authenticated and legalized. The difference in terminology is due to the fact that America is one of the countries that has signed the Hague Convention while Canada has not. Without going into much detail, what is important to recognize is that while the terminology may be different, the process of authentication and legalization are the same as document apostille.

If you want to authenticate your property documents, a professional such as Legalization Service Centre (LSC) will review what your end goal is. LSC will collect all of the necessary documents and forms, then fill them out. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) will validate that the sent documents meet their standards. Once satisfied, they will place a large red stamp on your documents.

The next and final step is legalization. The US embassy in Ottawa is in charge of legalizing your documents. They will be checking that the GAC stamp is valid and meets their standards, too. Should everything go well, they will also affix their stamp (certificate of legalization) to your document. After these steps, your documents will be apostilled! Or in Canadian terms, authenticated and legalized.

Why Choose A Professional?

While both of these processed can be completed on your own, involving a professional includes several advantages. For one thing, Legalization Service Centre has a network with GAC which allows for documents sent by us to receive preferential processing time. While it can take upwards of 20 days if you send the documents on your own, LSC can have your documents authenticated as early as one business day.

Our professional oversight allows for reduction in chances of error. This can save you more money and time. LSC’s connections and proximity to the US embassy in Ottawa also help with processing time at the legalization stage. The process will be timely and cost-effective! Investing in the US can very exciting, we know. Paperwork, however, can be daunting if not done right. Having the right paperwork certified in the right manner can save you hassle. Not just in the present, but it can create a secure foundation for many years to come, too. Regardless of what your document authentication and legalization needs are, give us a call to chat with one of our highly skilled professionals. We are happy to help whenever we can!

 

Image Credit: BioWorld, Karen Carey

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