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First off, I will state that I am not an american resident but a foreigner. I am looking to purchase my first residential rental property.
I have a budget of about 450,000 - 500,000 $. I made a trip over a few weeks ago and looked at a few places in Swampscott, Salem and Marblehead.
All these areas look good to me. I did some research about crime and unemployment rates in the area and was pleased to learn that they are low. Also, the schools
in the area have good reviews and rankings. So overall it would seem that my impression about the area being a good one was correct. I'm looking for a minimum return of at least 10% per year. It seems to me that cash is king in the States and I can buy the property in cash and pay the entire amount on the spot. This should give me considerable bargaining power. I have been on zillow and renometer looking and possible rental income I could get.

I was wondering what fees would be involved. I was told that there is a property tax that is basically the only fee the land lord needs to pay. In Swampscott this is 18.70$ per 1000$. Is it calculated by the closing sale price of the property? What if the value declines? Will I pay less tax?
Is this a good area to invest in? It is convenient for me as a close friend lives there and could take care of any problem that might arise. I think it would be better to have him that one of these property manger companies.


The things I wrote consist of more or less all I know so far and I would be glad to hear any thought or tips anyone might have.
 

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I'm not too familiar with Massachusetts but I am currently involved with a company that deals with HOA foreclosures that allows us to buy properties at a great discount. Some places they deal with is Nevada (las vegas), Florida, and other states as well. The ROI that I've seen ranges from 15-25%. The best part about it is that most these properties are in tip top shape and are ready to be rented out.

If you haven't been able to find property yet, send me a PM.

Also, Property Taxes do not go down if your property value declines. Its basically up to the city. This article explains why:

do property taxes automatically go down with the RE ... - Zillow Real Estate Advice
 
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