First of all, let me address the issue of claiming a property as your primary residence when it is not...that is mortgage fraud. DON'T DO IT! There is no reason to lie on an application. The interest rates are low enough that it won't make a difference. Be straight with your lender and you will avoid future risk.
As to whether it is a good time to buy, it depends. If you do a comparison of rentals in the SPECIFIC NEIGHBORHOOD in which you plan to buy, along with the total cost of owning the property, and you can get a cash flow, then ANY property becomes a good investment. Appreciation should not be a factor when purchasing an investment property; it is a bonus that comes forth at time of sale or refinance, but should NEVER be used when calculating the value of an investment. The simple question is, can I make a cash flow on this property based on current, and trending, market rents. If the answer is yes, buy now. There is never a bad time to make a sound investment.
By the way, over 1/3 of the Los Angeles market is currently all cash buyers who are buying for investment, many of whom are foreign. So the anecdotal evidence suggests that your relative is in good company.
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) (310) 800-2954
Accredited Buyer Representative|Certified Distressed Property Expert |Pre-Foreclosure Specialist Certified
I want you to know that I appreciate any referrals from friends and associates who may be in the market to buy or sell real estate. You can count on me giving them the same high-quality service I provide to all of my clients.