I'm moving to Irvine, CA from Singapore. Are foreigners eligible to purchase properties?

Asked by Missyfiona, Lakewood, OH Sun Sep 8, 2013

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Jamie Tian, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Hi Fiona,

Thanks for contacting us here on Trulia.

Yes, of course foreigners can purchase properties in California. I just helped a buyer from China purchase a property in Irvine.

Are you looking to purchase all cash or are you looking to take out a loan? If you are taking out a loan, it may be a little more difficult, but I would be happy to recommend a few lenders that work with foreigners to you if you are interested.

Feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns.


Jamie Tian
Rodeo Realty
(310) 717-1321
DRE #01920120
Web Reference:  http://www.jamietian.com
1 vote
Paul Youssef, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sat Nov 15, 2014
Yes. But there are rules that may restrict you from obtaining financing as well as rules on tax withholding.

I specialize in seller financing. I can help you get financed with 10-15% down payment. This usually works out great for the international community for that reason and others.

More info on my website.
0 votes
moxiejudge, Home Buyer, Irvine, CA
Thu Feb 27, 2014
looking for 10 bed room penthouse in singapore municipal bc judge has money her email address in municipalmelissa@gmail.com
0 votes
Brian Nguyen, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Mission Viejo, CA
Mon Feb 24, 2014
Yes, there are certain programs that allow foreigners to obtain a loan to purchase a property in the United States. Someone in this situation should consider looking into a Foreign National Mortgage. These loans are meant for non-residences who are seeking a home loan in the United State. The minimum down payment for these types of loans are usually around 20%. Lenders, like myself, can give out these types of loans for non-residences who want a mortgage in the United States. I have personally given out loans throughout California and I would be more than willing to help you out.

Well I hope this helps! If you have any further questions or if you need a loan, feel free to contact me. Also, if you found this helpful please leave me a recommendation if you can!

Good Luck!

Brian Nguyen Sr.
Mortgage Banker
NMLS # 659743
Phone: 949.667.2887
0 votes
david, , Irvine, CA
Fri Sep 13, 2013
Yes of course, purchasing is no problem obtaining finance is a little more difficulty but can be done with a little work.

Let me know if you can any help.

David Siddall
Realtor BRE #01750934
0 votes
Nicole Fedor…, Agent, Santa Ana, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
I would be happy to you some listings of properties that are currently available!

Please contact me!
Nicole Fedorchek, Realtor
Tarbell, Realtors
0 votes
Nica Chen, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Wed Sep 11, 2013
Yes. You can purchase property with foreign passport. I have worked with many buyers that holds foreign passport and purchases properties in Irvine. I would love to help you find a home you desire to have.
0 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Yes they are.

J.R. Thrasher
0 votes
Thierry Abel, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Corte Madera, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013

You can buy and you can get financing.

Obtaining a loan for a Foreign National or a Non-Permanent Resident Alien (NPRA) is not much different than doing a loan for a US Citizen or for a Permanent Resident. We require credible documentation for 2 yrs. + year-to-date Income, credit report or alternative credit to demonstrate ‘A’ quality credit worthiness, and seasoned funds in a known financial institution (does not have to be seasoned in a US bank account). Translation of documents may be necessary if the originals are not in English.

Foreign Nationals:
You have no Green Card and no VISA.
No Credit required…but four credit references required – alternate credit from country of origin is okay…international credit reports are also acceptable. (We usually Google your Country of Origin to determine if they have credit reports & tax filing).
Max 50% Loan-to-value.
Minimum loan amount of $300,000.
We require 2-years income verification history but it is not necessary to have U.S. tax returns…Tax documents from country of origin are okay. If your country of origin does not require to file the equivalent of tax returns, then we need an employment letter on your company's letter head explaining compensation. If the employment letter is in a language other than English we need to get a statement from a tax preparer or equivalent that can provide evidence of your credentials by translating the documents…it must be on letterhead so that we can verify the company through 3rd party sources.

We must be able to source seasoned assets in a known verifiable worldwide financial institution (i.e., Credit Suisse, HSBC, UBS, Bank of Tokyo)…the funds may not be in an Institution which cannot be verified. The main reason for sourcing the income and assets is for OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) which monitors foreign countries, regimes, known terrorists, etc.

Tax Preparer or Equivalent – Financial Analysis:

If the income and asset documentation is in a foreign language, we might have to hire an Accountant/CPA (tax preparer or equivalent) to analyze, interpret, convert and present the information in such a way so our Underwriter can easily understand. That is, have a comprehensive summary and accounting of your financial position. (Tip: All U.S. Embassies provide translation services).

You must have a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number (TIN) which can be easily acquired through an Accountant/CPA or visit the IRS website that explains what and how to get a TIN. As long as you have applied for the TIN, we can proceed….
Passport and second form of ID required.
Power of Attorney (POA) is not allowed. You, if not present in the US, will have to go to an American Consulate to sign and have loan documents notarized.

Reserves of 12-months full debt service required (including all payments, cars, etc.).

Feel free to call me.


Thierry Abel
Senior Loan Consultant
By Referral Only
All California Mortgage, Inc
P: (415) 464-8261
C: (415) 378-7508
F: (415) 464-2367
E: tabel@allcalifornia.com
0 votes
Shane Etemad, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
You are allowed to buy properties cash. I also know one bank that give you 50% loan. Call Shane Etemad 949-400-4677 for information.
0 votes
Mike Kashani, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Hi there,
Yes, foreigners are eligible to buy. I have had a few clients from China whom bought in Irvine. I may also help you get financing to buy your home as a foreign national. You may receive 60% loan to value loan on your purchase with a local bank here in Irvine.

Let me know when you will be in town and I will meet with you to chat details.

Warmest Regards,
Mike kashani
Beach Cities Real Estate
Newport Beach Real Estate
Cell: 949-533-7030
0 votes
Severcan Nam…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Hi Missy Fiona,

Yes you can buy a house in Irvine.

I work with foreigners and made it happen for them.
Currently I am borking with investor from France.
If you are a cash buyer it is easy or if you are planning to get the loan there is a special loan available for foreigners I can send you all the information . Irvine is a beautiful and safer city to live ,I lived
27 years in Irvine and enjoyed it.
Please let me know your search criteria (price, how many bedrooms , baths,) and I'll send you all available properties to see online.

Please let me know if you would have any questions.

Best Regards,
Severcan Naman Realtor
Tarbell Realtors, Irvine
(949) 690-2174
0 votes
Kevin Keenan, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Good Day, Missy Fiona!

Absolutely yes! A person coming to the US with a Foreign Passport, who legally enters the US is allowed to purchase Real Estate! With that said, if you are planning to purchase Real Estate by paying Cash, the process is quite "straight forward"; however, if you are seeking to purchase with Financing, it is still absolutely possible, just a bit more difficult as you will need to secure the requisite Financing but it is still absolutely possible and it would be my pleasure to introduce you to an extremely well-qualified Mortgage Broker, with whom I've worked with and enjoyed great success in the past, who I am confident would be able to assist you in this regard.

As a person who formerly lived in Singapore as a requirement of a position I held with a US Company that had operations in both Singapore and across the Causeway in Malaysia - I lived in a rented "full service apartment" called the "Rain Tree Apartments", not too far from the Orchard Hotel - and it would be my great honor to assist you in your search for Real Estate, whether it be as your Primary Residence or Investment-type Property(s), I would welcome the opportunity to "catch-up" on the "goings-on" in Singapore and ensure that I help you find the right property, in the right location at the right price and terms! And as one who just moved from Irvine about 3 weeks ago, after living in Irvine for > 10 years, I feel very well qualified to help you navigate the various communities that make-up the terrific City of Irvine - from it's excellent Schools and Parks, to their well-regulated Traffic, to the Social Activities and Amenities that are available to all Irvine residents!

I hope this finds you and yours well, Missy Fiona and know that I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience and especially meeting with you to assist you in your search!

Best always,

Kevin Keenan, MBA, GRI, SFR
Broker / Owner
Millennium K2 Realty
4410 East Casselle Avenue
Orange, CA 92869


1-949-651-1188 [Office]
1-310-345-2110 [Cell]
0 votes
Ingrid Ski R…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Yes you can
You will need what's called a tin number and lots of information will be needed for a loan if you want to get a loan. I can help you through the process and it is a process.
Talk to you soon

Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes
Kinney Yong, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
HI Fiona,

Yes, you can purchase real estate here the United States.
If you plan on renting out the real estate, you should consult with an accountant about obtaining a Taxpayer Identification Number(TIN). You'll encounter additional taxes whenever you decide to sell the US real estate, unless you obtain a permanent US residency status or citizenship.
I have a client that moved to Singapore and has property here in Irvine. I recently submitted an offer for Singaporean with proof of funds from Australia. I also have a buyer from China that purchased an Irvine home back in January.
If you're considering a loan, then you will need to get pre-approved by a lender with about at least 50% downpayment. Need to check with the lender about the current downpayment requirement. I have a lender that can get you started in the overseas loan process to get pre-approved, just let me know if you would like me to send this contact information to you. Be ready for extensive documentation for the loan.
If you're paying with cash, then you'll need current bank statements when you submit the offer to purchase. So much easier if purchasing by cashla'.

Kinney Yong
skype: Kinney.Yong8
REMAX Premier Realty
0 votes
Jennifer Gong, Agent, Orange, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Hi Missy Fiona,

First of all, welcome to Irvine. That is a great choice!

The answer to your question is Yes. I, as a real estate agent living and working in Irvine, have helped a lot of foreigners bought properties for the past few years. You can buy with cash or get a loan. Some local banks have special loan program just for foreigners. I can show you more details if you like.

By the way, our team is ranked #1 in closed sales in the city of Irvine since 2001. I speak both Chinese and English. So if you need any help in real estate, please do not hesitate to contact me at 714-814-4664 or email me at jgong2k@yahoo.com. You will hear from me within an hour.

Warmest Regards,
Jennifer Gong
Aspero Realty
cell 714-814-4664
email: jgong2k@yahoo.com
0 votes
Alexander Gr…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Let me know if you need a purchase loan for the property or want to get pre-approved (this will increase the chances of your loan being accepted) because I can certainly help you out there. You can call me at 408-352-5147 or email me at AGreer@themortgageoutlet.com. You can check us out at http://www.TheMortgageOutlet.com. I will look at your situation and present you with some options.

Alex Greer
NMLS #1056079
0 votes
Joe Van Foss…, Agent, Fullerton, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Hi Fiona,

Yes, absolutely. I've helped several foreign buyers buy properties in Southern California. I'm currently helping a buyer from China purchase a home in Irvine. I'd be happy to help you as well. Please get in touch to further discuss your options.

Best Regards,

Joe Van Fossen
Keller Williams Realty
(714) 584-7154
0 votes
Joe Homs, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Sun Sep 8, 2013

Yes you can. Cash works, but you can also get a loan with some difficulties.

Joe Homs Realtor
Web Reference:  http://Www.thehomsteam.com
0 votes
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