If there is anything I can help you with I am a member of FIABCI/International Real Estate Federation and can be reached at email@example.com
My buyer from the UK is going to be here on Thurs to see me. If you would like to talk with him I will ask him if he wouldn't mind. He is going skiing in Mammoth before he goes back home. Perhaps he can speak with you when he returns and let you know about his experience. Just pop me an email if you would like that and I can speak with him Thurs about it.
Do you have cash or are you planning on financing? I just sold one last week, the couple was from the UK. They had cash so there were no restrictions on them at all. They are however going to rent for 10 years at which point their plans are to move here. So after sale, they needed to get a tax id number due to the fact that they will be renting.
Here is a link to my recent sale for this couple.
If you are not a US citizen I would recommend that you talk with an accountant to ask them these questions. I believe US allows all to buy property. There are no restrictions to foreigners owning property anywhere in the USA, but it would be unwise to assume that, because it is an English speaking country the buying process is the same as in the UK. Taxes and requirements vary from state to state and it is essential to seek out the services of local professionals who understand the procedure.
There are many websites that can help you explain the taxes and contracts. If you need further information please visit my website at http://www.encinitasproperties.net for more local information of San Diego County. San Diego is a beautiful place to live.
Hope this helped,