Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Elaine Yeoh, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

If I am not a US citizen, can I purchase?

Asked by Elaine Yeoh, Austin, TX Sun Apr 29, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


If you are a foreign national BBVA Compass bank has the best program out there if not the only one. I think they require 25% down. You may check them out if you're not paying cash.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
Can you purchase a house with cash if you don't reside in the USA? I think of that like an investment for the future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 15, 2013
If cash yes, no need to do anything. If you are getting a loan, could be a little more to it..I would suggest working with a lender that is great with out of the country transaction, and also a Real Estate Lawyer. Keep in mind your Realtor will help you with your buying process.
Hope this helps!!

I do not just sell homes I sell memories.
Johnie Borgeson Realtor Zip Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Short answer would be yes; however, it very much depends on your visa (do you have one) are you a permanent alien resident in the US; do you have employment and, if so, for how long.... do you have a down payment? Do you have cash? Best to talk with a Real Estate Broker (agent/Realtor) and a lender in your state to determine what you are able to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Hi Elaine,

Do you have a Visa? If so then yes you probably can. I am doing a purchase loan for a client with an L1 Visa currently and the process is as smooth as for a resident of the United States.

If you would like to talk about this please give me a call.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 30, 2012
Elaine, under certain circumstances you can buy a home here. I can connect you witha couple of great Lenders to assist you if you'd like some free, expert assistance. Feel free to contact me and I will connect you with them! Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty (512) 261-4415
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
Yes you can with cash. If you need financing, and you are a permanent resident, you can get conventional financing assuming you otherwise qualify based on income and credit. Best to talk it over with someone who can go into greater detail. I am both lender and Realtor so I can cover a couple of bases for you if you would like to contact me.

Jeff Harris
512-917-8142 direct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
The short answer is, yes, you absolutely can. With cash, it's no problem However, there are a few things you will need if you want to take out a loan. First, you will need to have proof of employment and your immigration status will have to be in order (you can, for example, get FHA loans if you are a permanent resident alien). You will also need a credit history. My husband and I ran into precisely the credit history problem when we moved back here from France. Because I am an American and had a credit history prior to living abroad, I could take out a loan based solely on my income. However, he wasn't even able to co-sign for it because he had no American credit history. Accordingly, his income could not be factored into our monthly salary. Once he started getting credit cards, he started building up a credit history and now, four years out, he could probably get a loan if he were to apply and he could definitely co-sign for one with me. But it does take some time to build up a credit history.

Depending on where you are coming from and what your finances are, it is possible that a bank in your own country will give you a loan if you present this as an investment opportunity. A lot of people from abroad began investing in the US real estate market--especially during the real estate slump, so it is possible to take out loans. My sense, however, is that in that case you would need to have the collateral that was going to stay in your home country (so, for example, you would have to have property or assets that were staying in the country as a caution). But, again, this will likely vary from country to country, and from bank to bank. In any case, if you haven't yet established a credit history here in the US, you would need to cast the net wide and have someone to help with researching some of these 'non-standard' options.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. My profile can be found at: http://thegillagency.com/about-us/karen-pagani
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
The FHA allows for a Permanent Resident Alien to be approved for FHA Insured Mortgage Financing. If you are here on a Work Authorization, then you may---under very specific conditions---be approved for FHA financing.

Consult with a Local Mortgage Banker for a thorough prequalification.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
thanks for help =)
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
Hi Elaine,
My wife, Alice, and I have just been helpng some friends with that same issue.
We have an in house lender here that specializes in that type buyer.
If you choose an experienced person to do your loan, it will go smoothly.
You qualify with credit and income, but the othdr details are critical, too.
We're a small, personal service team with the most trusted company in Austin.
Check us out at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
thanks for help
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
Yes, I just sold a hom to a lady who was here on a green card, I have a lender who knows exactly what you need to do next. John Simpson. John is one Great lender!

Call me and I will hook you up with Mr. Simpson.

512-762-5896 Tim Sweeney Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
thanks for help
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
Yes if paying cash it is easier. A Real Estate Lawyer can help you as well.
Keep in mind if you are working with a lender you will need to show work and credit
With that said the answer is Yes!

Johnie Borgeson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
thanks for help
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
Yes, Elaine, you can purchase a home. Do you reside in the USA? Do you work here? Do you have a green card or a work/student visa? I am asking because in order to get a loan, you need to have work and credit history. If you paid cash, that wouldn't be an issue, but if you need a mortgage, you need to have established credit and income in the United States.

I'd be happy to answer more questions you probably have and see if I can help you buy a home.
Contact me by email or phone.

Vivianne Dordea, Realtor
Sierra Homes Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 29, 2012
thanks for Help
Flag Sun Apr 29, 2012
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