I am a foreigner looking to buy property in the USA.

Asked by Kobie, Florida Fri Jan 29, 2010

I would like to know what does it entail? Do I get a USA residence when buying a house? Can the property be financed?

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David B. Lev…, , Longboat Key, FL
Tue Apr 6, 2010
no problem at all with a non US citizen getting a property and no you do not have to be a US residence. You can get financing but more than likely you will have to put 30% down and provide income and all. Depending on where you are coming from also and the erxchange rate involved will also influence your purchase.
Lastly, i would get you in touch with an international account to help you.
Buying a property in the US is easy, however when you sell as a Non US citizen you will be dealing with a FIRPTA tax, This is a long story so when you are interest let me know, or if you buy anything talk to your agent and ask them about this. Only effects you when you sell property not when you buy but want you to know all the facts before you do anything. just the way I am.
Check out sarasota though it is a wonderful area, great beaches, theatre, restaurants, etc..
visit my website and see what our area has to offer
Let me know if i can help
The Leventhal Team
1 vote
Ann_globenet…, , Westminster, CA
Wed Aug 21, 2013
There are number of steps involved when looking to a buy a house in the US, these are as follows:

1. The buyer will make an offer to the seller for the property, your offer will usually require you to also provide the following:

• A Check Deposit, also known as an ‘Earnest Money Deposit’
• A Pre-Approval Letter from your lender (The Bank)
• A Proof of Funds Available (Bank Statement)
• Identification Documents

It is normal practice for both the buyer and the seller to have a real estate agent or broker working on their behalf; the offer for purchase will be made by the buyer’s broker to the seller’s broker.

2. If the seller accepts the buyers offer to purchase the property, the buyer’s broker will then deposit the check deposit into an escrow account.

3. Once the money has been deposited into the escrow account, the buyer will then make arrangements to have the property inspected for such things as structural damage, termite infestations, roof damage etc., etc. Once the buyer is satisfied that the property meets their approval they can remove any contingencies to the offer. It is at this stage that the ‘Earnest Money Deposit’ becomes non-refundable.

4. The buyer will now need make a loan application to his bank or mortgage company for the balance of the purchase price. Before approving the loan application, the lender will perform an appraisal and valuation of the property; if they are satisfied with the property then the loan underwriter will approve the loan.

5. The buyer will then sign all the necessary paperwork in front of a notary public witness at the escrow company. This will include such documents as the loan application from the bank as well as documents from the real estate agents and the seller. The loan will then get transferred by the bank, the seller will pay off any monies they currently owe to their own lender and then the seller will transfer the property ownership deeds to the buyer. This grant deed will then be recorded by the County Clerk Recorder service and the buyer becomes the legal owner of the property.

Web Reference: http://www.globenetrealty.com
0 votes
James Tan, Agent, elk grove, CA
Fri Aug 12, 2011
I believe, my colleagues already addressed most of your questions.
However, do visit http://www.BuyHomeInUS.com for more info on buying US properties for foreigners.
Web Reference:  http://www.BuyHomeInUS.com
0 votes
Lindsay Buck…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Sat Mar 13, 2010
I would be happy to help you. I am from the UK and have been living in Sarasota for 10 years.

Please email me at lindsaybucknell@gmail.com
0 votes
Elizabeth He…, Agent, Agawam, MA
Tue Feb 16, 2010
Are you going to be living here full-time? Financing is easiest to obtain when there is some kind of residency established. Your first step should be contacting an immigration and/or real estate attorney before you start looking for property.
0 votes
Alex Lisnevs…, , San Diego, CA
Mon Feb 15, 2010

Buying a property in the US does NOT give you any leverage when applying for a US entry visa. You can own millions of dollars of real estate in the US and still be denied a visa. So make sure to get your visa first, and only then fly here to look at properties.

Can it be financed? Yes it can, but you will need at least 25%-35% downpayment and proof of stable income. Sometimes you are better off getting financing done from a foreign bank that has established branches in the US, such as HSBC, some Korean and Japanese Banks, etc.

See a more detailed response to a similar question here:

Good luck.

0 votes
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Fri Jan 29, 2010

Most of your questions have already been answered. Buying a Florida property for foreigners is rather stress free in the USA. It seems that the majority of buyers these days are foreign! Florida offers many wonderful reasons to consider property ownership- great cliamte, great values and a constant demand for "preferred real estate".

A major consideration is LOCATION. Florida is a BIG state, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, St. Petersberg, Orlando, Naples, St Augustine, Madeira Beach, Deerfield, etc.

Locate the place you really want to be- determine a price that you are confortable paying, decide if you want a condominium, townhome or single family residence.

If you are planning to make a cash purchase (most buyers are paying all cash these days)- the will be no need for bank or lender approval and documentation of assests, income, employment and more.

Now, once you've covered those steps- find a real estate professional that you are cofortable with and one that is competent. The agent/broker that you choose should be very familiar with that community- a LOCAL EXPERT....

The link below will open to our South East Florida Inventory...

≈≈≈ Mott Marvin Kornicki, REALTOR® ≈≈≈
Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach
≈≈≈≈≈≈ "★” This is the House “★" ≈≈≈≈≈≈
0 votes
Darla Schroe…, Agent, Madeira Beach, FL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
-- Hi Kobie. What a great time to buy Florida property! This is especially true in Pinellas County where home values have decreased more than 50 percent in some areas and there are bargains galore! U.S. residence is not required to purchase property. Depending on your planned use of the property and how it will be titled, there are tax considerations to be aware of before you purchase and preliminary planning can save you a bunch.
There are many lenders who specialize in foreign national loans. I know of one that will provide up to 80 percent financing. My team also includes an International Business Attorney, Immigration Attorney, International Accountant, and Monetary Intermediary.
There is also a very useful Transnational Referral System in place where we can put you in touch with a Real Estate Professional in your Country who can work with the Realtor you choose to work with in the U.S.
to facilitate a smooth buying process. If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to call me on my cell anytime. My SKYPE name is darla.a.schroeder

Darla Schroeder, Realtor, GRI, e-PRO
Certified International Property Specialist Candidate
Transnational Referral Certification (TRC)
Century 21 Real Estate Champions
4350 Duhme Road
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Cell (727) 541-3743

Search the MLS like I do at http://darlaschroeder.listingbook.com
0 votes
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
Hi Kobie,

I help foreign nationals all the time. It's really pretty easy to buy in the USA. You will find few restrictions.

If you want to pay cash, then all it entails is provdiing your identification, usually a copy of your passport. If you want to get a mortgage (yes you can easily finance), then most US lenders will only lend 60 to 70% of the purchase price to the buyer. Some will require that you have a valid VISA as well.

No, you do not get US residence just becuase you own property here. You still have to follow the rules that apply to citizens of your country.

Let me know if I can help you with this. I specialize in the Greater Orlando Area.

Good luck,
Mark LeMenager
Find your next house with the click of a mouse.
Search the MLS without obligation or registration from my website.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
Hi Kobie,

As a foreign national you may purchase property in the US with relatively few restrictions. The US government welcomes foreign investment in real estate.

To answer the second portion of your question about financing, it becomes considerably more difficult for foreign buyers to find financing from US banks. There are a few resources but the intrest rates and large down payments are not attractive to many buyers.

We recommend that our foreign national buyers explore the option of arranging financing in their native country and then transferring these funds for the purchase.

If you are interested in southwest Florida property or would like to find out more about this location, we would be happy to provide you with additional information.

Good luck,
The Eckler Team

Michael Saunders & Company
0 votes
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