I need some information on buying house in California, more specifically in San Diego or Riverside.

Asked by Emma Caroline Fernandez, Moreno Valley, CA Thu Jan 20, 2011

Hello there, Im Icelandic citizen, mentioning this since it might be important. Im planning on buying single home in San Diego or Riverside county but im not familiar with USA rules and regulation for buying properties regarding foreign investors. As non American, would i be able to buy or finance property? I would pay 20-30% down payment but about the rest, would i get mortgage loan? i heard that in USA you have credit system and you must have good credit to be eligible but in my condition i would have not credit good or bad because i dont live there or work so what would be the scenario in my case?

Thank you in advance. Have great day and hope to hear from you soon.

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Ernie Reyes, , San Diego, CA
Fri Jan 21, 2011
I can be reached at 619-466-9942. I have been in the real estate business in San Diego since 1978.
I am also bi-lingual English and Spanish. Call me anytime for more information. or you may email me at "rilter4u@yahoo.com".... Espero su llamada.

Ernest Reyes
0 votes
, ,
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Emma, you've gotten great info from those before me.
Credit is only part of the equation. You also have to have a source of income that is verifiable and funds that are in the U.S.
Those of course are general guidelines and it will take a mortgage professional with experience to gind the right match. It won't be cheap but there may be options for you.
Web Reference:  http://firsttimehome.us
0 votes
Ben Altman, Agent, Mercer Island, WA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
As you probably have already figured out people from outside the United States can purchase property in California with little difficulty. There is no difference between being a US citizen or not when purchasing property in California. However, non U.S. citizens need a valid US Visa and proof of residence for country of origin to get a loan and visit the U.S. legally. Banks will typically require 30% or more down and will charge about 1% more on the interest rate. Your local bank might offer a better deal.

I know you did not ask but there are many types of Visas, from work Visas to student Visas. A permanent Visa can take years to obtain, however, foreign nationals looking to invest $500,000 to $1,000,000 may be eligible for the fast track to obtaining a permanent US Visa.

Click the link below to read about the buying process in California.

Benjamin Altman
Century 21 All Real Estate
0 votes
Marcell Zamo…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Hello there Emma!

As Daniel mentioned there are programs available for non-American buyers. The qualifying is a bit more difficult as you must go through more than typical verification of your funds as well as be required to have larger down payments. Some lenders may require up to a 50% down payment so it's even more important for you to choose the correct lender. I would suggest that you speak to your local bank in Moreno Valley as well as two other sources to determine who will best suit your needs.

I recently worked with a Chinese buyer who actually came from his country to find a retirement home in San Diego. The problem we ran into was that he wanted to buy a home rather quickly but didn't have his financing set up and it took much longer than expected. He was ready to buy the first day I spoke with him and after time went on he realized that my advice of situating his financing was the most important first step.

I commend you for reaching out to the community for help. Continue to do so and I'm sure you will find the right people to work with toward your goal. Feel free to get in touch or email any other questions you may have. Daniel works for a great company in Century 21 Award and I'm sure he has great contacts who can help with your financing. I would be the happy to do the same for you.


Marcell Zamora
SD Upside Down Inc.
0 votes
Rina Podolsky, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Hi Emma,
There are actually two parts to the answer. First part would be regarding the loan itself, there are a few lenders that have programs specifically made for non residents, in most cases they do require a 30 to 40% down payment one of these lenders would be able to look at your specific case and give you an answer pertaining YOUR case.
Now regarding owning a property as a foreigner, there is no problem at the time of purchasing it however, you should be aware that tax rules at the moment of selling, transferring or inheriting the property are different that those that apply to residents.
If you have any further questions or if you want me to give you the information of a reputable lender that can take a look at your situation, feel free to contact me.

Best to you

Rina Podolsky
Widermere Exclusive Properties
0 votes
Daniel Di Ma…, Agent, Chula Vista, CA
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Hi Emma,
you are correct about the credit system.
However there are certain programs available for foreign citizens which would allow you to get a loan for the purchase of a property. Depending on the purchase price the downpayment would be between 30 and 40%.
I'd be more than happy to get you in touch with a lender who can accomodate you.

Daniel Di Matteo
Century 21 Award
Web Reference:  http://www.DiMatteoGroup.com
0 votes
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