1. No they are not required to do so though most do. The idea is you don't get the title and they don't get the money until you both complete the contract
. The broker keeps your 10% down. You get it all back if you cancel the contract
for most any reason.
2. You can't. Should they go belly up they will have legal problems that won't let them be viable again. They would need to go out of business. It could happen, but I've not heard of it. Your 10% won't let them retire in a style they would accept.
3. If you are not a US citizen you don't have a choice only a US citizen can document a boat in the US - period. You would need to see the process of securing a British Registration
. You would need to be a British citizen. There are a handful of countries that let non residents document but it's a legal trick that works and a small set of countries. It costs extra money.
4/5. Tax issues will not be part of the registration
so you'll need to deal with that. You have a limited amount of time while here in the US to avoid any US based taxes
. Until the boat reaches EU water
you don't owe any EU taxes but when you do the fun begins. Tax advice you get on the Internet
is not worth what you pay for it.
6. You won't get one here.
7. You should buy the ticket since there is no assurance you will buy a boat and actually leave on it. No one really is going to take your word for it. Make sure the ticket is refundable. You'll need the money when you get back since you'll own a boat and we all know you'll need more money. Think of it as a nest egg you'll spend the first day you get back. Now that you will be owning a boat it's cheap
and it's refundable. You'll never get a boat deal like that.
8. Seeing is how I live here I would say we have more surveyors than almost any place. There are two national certifications out there SAMS and NAMS. A surveyor
can be called one with no qualifications BUT if they need to do insurance
work or provide evidence to a bank they must be certified. A good argument can be generated over who is better but if you get one certified by of either you will meet minimal requirements.
I like to pick surveyors by calling them on the phone
, and asking if they are available for the date I need them and then talk about the process they will use. You need to get one to show up is number 1. If you don't like the phone
conversation then try someone else. You are basically renting
someone for the better part of a work day and you want to be there and learn all the things that won't be in the report. You'll want the ability to tell the survey
to quit and you won't buy the boat and he will offer a discounted price
. Expect to pay for travel time door to door, so don't be hiring some hot dog surveyor from New York
to fly down. It is better not to try to hire one before you find a boat. Most of the surveyors know most of the brokers. It's often supposed to be a big deal not to hire one that does. Actually good brokers know good surveyors. Good surveyors when they find a problem come straight at you and the good ones don't make the stuff up. You want to know the facts soon and efficiently. No serious surveyor is doing side deals with brokers. If word ever got out they would be history
in the business.
Once you get past a surveyor that is available on the day you need them and you feel you could stand to spend a day with them you really should be fine. You are only going to learn what they can find in a part of day. You'll find more than that after two weeks. It's how surveying works, but you really want to be there and learn all you can.
You are not hiring the broker so don't expect to fall in love. I would not get one of your own. Doing your own homework should tell you what you need to know. It's OK not to like them as they just handle the paperwork. You will part company and never speak again - deal with it. They work to close deals not to chat and they don't have to know anything about boats. Both boats deals I've done the broker helped me with a lot of things. when I sold my boat the broker helped the buyer get answers so we could close the deal quickly. Good brokers do that stuff. Many do but don't be demanding such things from sales people. You need to take charge of your efforts to find information and make decisions. All help you get is a bonus.
Bring money! Have a way to put down a 10% deposit in cash to write a contract to purchase
. As a foreign buyer no seller will take you serious otherwise. I refused to sell my last boat to a guy from Canada
because he never saw the boat and wanted to put down a deposit. You need to act like a real buyer to be treated like one. Impress that you want to close quickly with cash! If you need a loan don't buy the plane ticket to come over. A protracted deal always falls apart. Time is not your friend.
The boat market is not that great right now. It may seem like a buyers market but a lot of good boats are not listed now because they don't want to give them away. If I were selling now I wouldn't sell and I would wait. If you want a deal make sure you have access to cash quickly. It's the one thing that eliminates all the foreign buyer concerns. Nice British chap with cash to spend today sounds just so much better.
Good luck in your quest. Try to learn as much as you can before you arrive. We have lots of stuff in CF to help.