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Eastern Bergen County Board of REALTORS’ Global business Council recently held an expert panel focusing on the unique needs of Russian clients buying and selling real estate in Bergen County.

New Jersey is 1 of the 3 most popular states for Russian immigration. Bergen County is ranked number one, as the county with the highest “First Ancestry Russian Population” over 30,000 residents. Fair Lawn, Tenafly, Alpine, and Fort Lee have some of the highest Russian populations in the state. The panel of experts consisted of the President of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, Sergei Millian; the Director of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and Owner of Macias PR, Mark Macias; Real Estate Attorney, Yelena Perchuk Esq. ; and Foreign National Program lending specialists, Peter Scott  and Rashad Berkirov of MLD Mortgage.

A report surveying the activity of REALTORS in 2013 showed that total international sales were $68.2 billion. A majority of foreign buyers purchased a detached single-family home and 63 percent used all-cash. For the 12 months ending March 2013 the median international home price was $275,862.

The program content focused heavily on the importance of understanding cultural relativity. In depth descriptions of meeting and greeting etiquette as well as common business practices and expectations were reviewed.  The concepts of multiculturalism were a common denominator in the presentations of all panelists.

“It’s no surprise that the U.S. is a desirable place for international buyers to own a home, since homeownership has many benefits, both financial and social,” says Chair of the EBCBOR Global Business Council, Ali Memar Broker of RE/MAX Select Properties “The Global Business Council enables Bergen County Realtors® to grow their global expertise and knowledge of working with clients from different cultures and real estate practices; so international buyers using a Realtor® are at a true advantage.”

EBCBOR 2014 President Bowen Pak says, “Foreign buyers see the U.S. as a stable and secure real estate market. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors®, international home sales in the U.S. are at their second highest level in recent years, signaling that owning property in America continues to be a great investment.”

International buyers are consisting drawn to purchasing real estate in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, many cite the soundness of the government and financial systems which would better guarantee their home investment. These buyers also chose to purchase in the U.S. for its desirable location and climate, to be closer to family and friends, changes in work and employment, educational opportunities and affordable prices. Fourteen percent of international buyers purchased a property in the U.S. primarily for investment purposes. The quality of the Bergen County school system is an attractive feature for Russians living abroad.

The EBCBOR Global Business Council, recently named a Gold Council by the National Association of REALTORS®, hosts quarterly luncheons focusing on various topics in international real estate in addition to promoting important new and updates through its website and social media pages. The Eastern Bergen County Board of REALTORS® (EBCBOR), chartered in 1923, is a not-for-profit trade organization that serves more than 3,000 REALTOR® members in Bergen County, N.J. EBCBOR is dedicated to enhancing the business opportunities of its membership by providing them with industry information, political advocacy and education opportunities.

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