Financing in San Francisco>Question Details

WY27723, Both Buyer and Seller in Deer Park, IL

How can a foreigner (Canadian) buy a property in California?

Asked by WY27723, Deer Park, IL Wed Mar 31, 2010

In light of property purchase, what is the process for a foreigner to buy a home in California? What are required? Background: Canadian, work and live in 3rd country (Asia) now, wants to buy a home in California. Need a home mortgage too for the house to be purchased.

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Danielle Lazier’s answer
Hi there,

Yes, you can buy real estate in California. It's not an issue. However, you may wish to research the financing up-front because that is the part that could be tricky (though quite doable).

I recently helped a client who lives overseas purchase a property for his family in San Francisco. There were great options for him with HSBC Bank so you may want to try them. I recommend that you call Amy Ku or someone else on this resource list:

Let me know if I can help further.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Buyer and Seller,
There are no restrictions on a Foreigner purchasing property in the United States. However, on the sale of the property, a Foreign Owner will have to pay taxes on the profit resulting from the sale to the IRS at closing. The proceeds will be taken from the transaction at time of sale. Hope this is helpful, Rick

Rick Scherer & Kevin Reder, ALHS, CLHMS, P.A.
Smith & Associates Real Estate
3801 Bay to Bay Blvd
Tampa, FL 33629
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Hi WY27723,

I work with a mortgage bank. We are a direct lender with a variance from FNMA that allows us to lend to Canadians that do not have a US Social Security Number.

Our loan program is similar to what Bill Eckler from Sarasota described, except the rates are in the mid 5% range for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

Let me know if we can help.

All the best,

Roswell Moore, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
480-422-5095 direct

Information contained herein is provided to assist real estate professionals and is not an advertisement to extend consumer credit as defined by section 226.2 of Regulation Z.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 4, 2010
Great question....

The standard infomation for a loan includes includes the following:

70% loans

full documentation

credit score of a minimal 700

Interest rates are approx. 8%

minimun finance $100,000

single family, condo, townhomes

primary and secondary/vacation homes only
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Yes, HSBC may be the way to go. They are a global bank and may even have a location where you are. I have info on one of their loan products if you would like it - just drop me a note. Below is a link to their site. Good luck on your search!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
You can certainly buy property here, although when you sell there is a withholding for foreign nationals as Rick pointed out. If you need a mortgage I would contact several lenders to see who can come up with the best program for you - happy to make some referrals.

The other issue you need to deal with is finding the right Broker to represent you. I would suggest interviewing a few and pick the one that works for you best. We deal with buyers from other countries all the time, and understand that there are extra things that need to be done for you that aren't required for local buyers. Always ready to provide a no-strings consult to discuss.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
You will want to connect with a local Realtor in the area you are planning to purchase property in. They can easily assist you with the process. Here is some information to assist you:…

Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 19, 2011
In the past I have used David Hager with BBVA Compass for all of my Foreign National clients. He does a wonderful job and it's a great program.

25% down up to $1 million
38% debt to income ratio
no credit score required
15,20,30 Fixed Rate Mortgages and 5/1 Year ARM

Give him a call 904-564-8657 or email him at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
There are several options to get a home loan in CA, for foreign nationals. The down payment required ranges in the 40-50%, and the interest rate may be slighly higher, however they are still attractive. It is quite easy to qualify.
Last time I checked, the HSBC option is only for a second home, and you have to have a deposit with them of over $100k. Their rate is very competitive though. If you are looking for a property in the East Bay or Sacramento,
contact us for further assistance Visit also for further info for foreigners buying a property in CA.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Here's a few questions for you, based on a similar scenario I had a few years, these were the issues I ran into:

- do you have any US based credit? That is, do you have fico scores as evidenced by the 3 major bureaus?
- do you have an established US bank at an exchange bank?
- can you verify your foreign national status as valid?

what part of CA are you interested in?

best, Jeff Marr
Stanford Mortgage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
Since you do not live or work in the US and are not here on an HIB Visa, you would be considered to be a foreign national. You can defiitely purchase an investment property in the States, but you would need to put down 50% if you were buying in the San Francisco Bay Area. Your foreign income would of course need to be verified.

Some other geographic locations in the US would require a down payment as low as 30%, but not the Bay Area.

Please contact me if you need further information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
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