another property-buying question


Apr 30, 2006
hi all,if someone with experience in this area would answer my questions by outlining the possible scenarios---even briefly---i'd appreciate it. my question would seem to be relevant for any foreigners buying property.
i moved here from san francisco in april and i'd like to stay for a time. i've done a bit of research on buying property in buenos aires. i would be interested in purchasing a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom. at this theoretical stage there is one piece that remains unclear to me: how do you get your money out of the country once you sell? on michael koh's website, which is reposted here, he discusses currency transfer fees---basically the double fee when you initially bring cash into argentina by a bank allowed to bring in money of nonresidents. is it the same for taking your money out of argentina (although at that point i'd have residency)? for example, when you receive cash from the sale of your property in dollars, what are your options? i understand that for individuals there are no capital gains taxes in argentina. but what are the associated fees to deposit/transfer this money into a u.s. bank account? also, in the event that the seller would like to take the money and reinvest in a new property here, what would that look like? in that case i'd assume that the money sits in your argentine bank account until you withdraw it for the next purchase?finally, how would such a transaction affect u.s. taxes?please pardon my ignorance; i'm a puppy (as one friend puts it) with very little financial experience!

i'll just add that there's no law when you sell an argentine property that says you can't receive the funds directly into a foreign bank account. so you wouldn't have to send 'cash' out of the country, it'd be wired directly by the buyer. that's not to say that this is a particularly common type of transaction. many argentine buyers wouldn't agree to this as it would mean having to declare the full value on the contract and, god forbid, pay the full amount of tax that they owe.also, to make it clear about exchange houses and banks:If you're not a resident of Argentina (no DNI, basically) and you need to wire in, say, us$100,000 to buy a property and a bank or exchange house says they will give you this money in either pesos or dollars and let you walk out of the office with it, it's an illegal transaction.
Thanks for the responses. U.S. citizens pay taxes on foreign income---that is clear. It appears that you can get some kind of tax credit for up to 80,000 dollars in salary abroad if you are already paying taxes to the foreign government (i.e., if you are a resident and you have a sueldo en blanco). It is not clear from a first look at the IRS's website how gains from property buying and selling abroad are treated, but that is not an immediate concern.I was stuck on the idea of cash transactions -- good point realba that one can just have the buyer wire money into one's bank account.I would be curious to hear from those posters who were considering buying property in the past few months. How did it go? Did you work with an agency? If not, how did you find a trusted escribano, etc.? What other steps did you take so as to not get ripped off or tripped up by the laws and customs?