Is it possible for a person from the UK to purchase in SF instead of rental whilst on a study visa?

Asked by Christine Pearson, UK Sat Mar 22, 2008

What are the implications on resale?

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Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Yes! You can buy property here while studying in the San Francisco area or any area of our Country. I currently am using Wachovia for my lending purposes as they do many “Foreign national” loans. They usually require 30% down payment, have low documentation options, monthly payment options, and Jumbo loan availability and credit scores and social security numbers are NOT required. These are sometimes subject to the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Patriot Act. Obviously proper identification is a must.
But before you buy you should speak to an attorney who works with Foreign Nationals and understands the various tax codes for acquisition and sale of real estate here in the states. This is VERY critical to a successful transaction. As a CIPS (Certified International Specialist) I have specific training in working with the International client. This designation is awarded by the National Association of Realtors. I studied for this designation in Paris 2 years ago and have a fantastic network of equally educated and qualified Realtors throughout the world should you need help in ANY country.
Here are a couple of conversion tables you might find useful!
1(one) Square foot for every 0.0929 square meters.
1 acres = 0.404685642 hectares

And If I can be of any further assistance feel free to contact me at
+1 011 800.959.7244 or
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Sally Rosenm…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Dear Christine,

Of course you can purchase property while on a study VISA. Anyone can buy property. I strongly believe in keeping real estate as an investment. But if you do decide to sell, part of your money will be held by the IRS for tax purposes to make sure you pay what you owe. This money, about 3.3%, is held until you pay taxes for the year in which you sell the property. Any money left over is refunded to you.

Purchasing property can be done quite quickly or not - depending on how long it takes you to find the "one" for you. Escrow can take as little as a few days or as long as 30-45 days. Most Sellers prefer the faster escrow period of 2 to 3 weeks.

Would you be getting a loan? With the banking problems these days, it can take longer ot get a loan and most Sellers realize that. You should be talking to a lender now if you are planning to buy in the near future.

Are you looking at new construction? If you are, each developer has 3 banks from which to choose and you must use on of them. Not to worry, they are major banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase etc. If you are not buying new construction, hook up with a mortgage broker as good ones have their fingers on over 100 different loans.

I have a First Time Buyers booklet which helps explain the whole process. I can also give you referrals of clients from England and Scotland who I am sure would be willing to talk to you about the whole process of buying property as a foreign national. They also can give me a reference (19 years in the business) if you want to ask about me.

I welcome your call. If not, I am sure you will hook up with a good realtor!


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M, , Florida
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Home Buyer in UK,
There is no reason why you can not purchase in the US as an investment instead of renting. America has long been a favorite destination for UK property buyers looking overseas. California, along with FL has always remained at the top of the list due to its popularity as a tourist destination, meaning that a good rental income is achievable. Buying here in the US is usually a lot easier than in the UK. Most purchases can be completed without involving a lawyer and most sales can be completed in less than 90 days. Lets work together and locate the ideal property for you.
Location in SF (where are you attending school)
When are arriving (when do you need the property)
Price range
How long will you be in the US with a study visa?
Do you plan to purchase something you can continue to visit or will this become rental property?
Please email me at
The Schaffer Realty Group
We work with a really great agent in SF that we trust competely.
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