How can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questions

How can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questions

Regardless Whether you're an international investor looking for a vacation property or a new resident starting your first-time home hunt, buying a home in the US can seem like a huge undertaking. But while real estate practices and requirements in the United States may differ from mortgage practices in your country, there are numerous resources and options available to foreign buyers at every stage of the journey.

When searching, appraising and financing real estate, it is important not only to find licensed agents with local experience, but also those who can offer advice on navigating the complex transactions you may encounter as an international home buyer.

Assembling a qualified team will take some time — ask staff for recommendations, search the website, find locals in real estate directories and check references. After all, the experience these professionals bring should help make the experience less stressful.

How can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsHow can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsphoto:

Your professional the command may include:

    • Buyer's Agent with CIPS Designation: Licensed agents with experience in foreign real estate transactions often completed additional coursework to become Certified International Property Professionals (CIPS). Many of these specialized agents are fluent in multiple languages ​​and can also help you navigate each state's unique rules and regulations. Find out what questions to ask when shopping for the agent that's right for you: How to Hire a Buyer's Real Estate Agent.
    • Real Estate Attorney: Some states require buyers to hire a real estate attorney to handle the paperwork, while others only require a buyer's agent. In some states, you may see «real estate brokers» in addition to agents. Learn about the differences between a broker and an agent here.
    • Global Lender: Choose a bank with global services that can help you navigate issues such as currency exchange rates, multinational taxation, and credit established in other countries. countries.
    • US Financial Advisor/Accountant: While you can find financial advisors through your local bank branch, it may also be convenient to find a firm that specializes in working with international clients.
    • Tax Advisor/Attorney: Talk to a tax professional who can advise what forms you will need to provide to the lender to show proof of work, if applicable. You'll also want to make sure you understand the tax implications and rules associated with purchasing real estate in the US.

You need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to buy house in the USA. An ITIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service to people who are not eligible for a Social Security number. To obtain an ITIN, you will need to contact a Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) to complete Form W-7—refer to this guide for a list of accepted CAAs in the U.S. and internationally.

What you need to buy real estate in the USA as a non-citizen How can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsHow can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsphoto:

If you use a mortgage lender, you may be required to provide any or all of the following:
1. Social Security Number or ITIN
2. Valid passport, US visa or driver's license
3. Bank statements and, if applicable, financial records from your foreign bank
4. Proof of reserves
5. Payment receipts
6. Credit rating
7. Tax return

Create a credit history

To get a home loan as a foreigner in the US, you must first establish credit and have a good credit score. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rate on your future home loan.

If you don't already have a bank and credit card account in the US, prioritize this step and budget for about three to six months to start building your credit history. Contact your local bank to learn about different options and tools to get you started on credit.

Want to learn more about your US credit report? Learn how credit scores affect mortgage rates in our mortgage education center.

In addition to a credit score, lenders also typically look at income information to determine loan eligibility, but there are many paths to mortgage approval regardless of employment status. A US financial advisor and/or tax professional can provide information about your options and the documentation needed to move forward.

Shopping with lenders only can help you get the best rate, but you may want to take the time to speak with a mortgage advisor first, who can help you navigate your unique circumstances. Your residency status—your conditions of stay and how long you've been in the U.S.—may affect the loans you're eligible for and the types of documentation required. Green card holders, permanent residents and refugees are eligible for the same home loans as US citizens, but may require additional documentation.

Depending on your situation, a larger down payment could improve your eligibility for financing—think 30 to 40%. Typically, a down payment of 20% is considered ideal when buying a home, and some lenders will even offer mortgages as low as 3%, so talk to your lender to determine what payment plans are right for you.

What should I expect from my first meeting with my real estate agent?

How can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsHow can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsphoto:

This is the ideal time for you to tell your agent exactly what you are looking for in a property and your budget. It may also be a good idea to take the time to tell your agent how the home buying process works in your home country and ask about any differences in the US market. The more you know, the less stressed you will be when you enter the negotiation process.

Should I hire a real estate lawyer?

While not required, depending on what state you are looking to buy in, you may want to seek the services of a real estate attorney to help with any legal issues or issues you may encounter along the way. A real estate attorney can review the purchase agreement for you, verify title and other documents related to your purchase, and advise on legal and tax issues related to your property.

Is there a type property that I cannot purchase in the US?

Foreign buyers are eligible to purchase single-family homes, condominiums, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes and townhomes.

Housing cooperatives or co-ops often have rules prohibiting foreign ownership. This is because co-ops generally require that the buyer's source of income be from the US and that the majority of the majority of the buyer's assets be held in the US.

Should I purchase US real estate with my own name?

Foreign investors may purchase real estate directly—in their own name—or through a business entity such as a domestic corporation, foreign corporation, limited partnership, joint venture, real estate investment trust, or limited liability company.

Then, How the property will be used should play into your decision. Additionally, whether or not you purchase the property in your own name can have dramatic tax consequences. Your real estate attorney and accountant should be able to advise you on your options.

Can I pay for my property in cash?

Yes, cash purchases are allowed, but US law requires you to report cash transactions over $10,000 to the federal government. The reporting requirement applies to everyone involved with the transaction (buyer, real estate agents, attorneys, title companies, etc.). You will need to show how you earned the money and that it was obtained legally.

Cash buyers can potentially save money on mortgage application fees, loan origination fees, appraisals, and title insurance .

Do I need to go to the USA to close?

How can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsHow can a non-citizen buy housing in the USA? Answers to frequently asked questionsphoto:

While you may well want to attend the closing of the property, it is not necessary. In the event that you are unable or choose not to attend the closing, you must execute a “Power of Attorney”. This is a written document that authorizes another person to represent you and sign on your behalf.

Are there additional fees I will need to pay at closing?

Yes. In addition to your down payment, the buyer is typically responsible for paying for title search and insurance, legal fees and recording fees, which amount to an additional 1 to 2.25 percent of the total transaction cost. On a $300,000 home, that's another $3,000 to $6,750. Learn more about closing costs in our mortgage training center.

How long does it typically take to buy a home in the US?

You can expect to budget on average 4 .5 months into the home buying process until your home is under contract. It takes another 30 to 45 days to close on the house and move. Learn more about the steps that go into buying a home in our Home Buyers Guide.

How will buying real estate in the US affect my taxes?

Taxes The obligations of foreign property owners in the United States and/or their home country will vary depending on their residence status, where the buyer is from, and whether that country has a tax treaty with the United States. Consult with a tax attorney familiar with your country's treaty to get answers to your tax-related questions.