i live another country and i am not american can i buy a house ?

Asked by Filizarar, Civic Center, New York, NY Sun Dec 5, 2010

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Spencer Sutt…, , New York, NY
Mon Dec 13, 2010
YES! But, with some differences from the U.S. citizens.

Basic Requirements for Foreign Investors wishing to Purchase Real Estate in the US

1. FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real PropertyTax Act)
Foreign Investors must acquire a US taxpayer identification number (TIN) before purchasing property.

2. Capital Gains Tax on Sales
Income resulting from the sale of US Real Property is taxable. The Capital Gains tax is calculated by using the Sale Price today minus the Original Sale Price, plus Capital Costs, minus Depreciation. Since this tax is approximately 20% of the gain, Sellers may consider an exchange. The time to divest can become the time to reinvest.

3. Income Tax
Foreign Investors are taxed at a flat 30% federal tax rate on gross rental income, unless they take the "net election" on their income tax returns allowing them to take deductions for regular expenses before income tax is calculated. Furthermore anyone who collects income for a Foreign Investor is generally required to withhold 30% of the Gross Income such as rents.

4. Title Decisions
Decisions as to how title is taken should be address beforehand. Title can be taken as an Individual , a foreign corporation, a US corporation or trust, for example. In these and other matter it is advisable to seek out a competent accountant and or lawyer with international experience.

Spencer is available to assist you. Even if you are not ready to buy or sell and you just want to talk with someone about the area. Spencer would welcome the opportunity to talk with you.

Best regards,

Spencer Sutton

25 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone 212 792-9155
Cell:914 574-3279
1 vote
Rob, , New York, NY
Fri Jan 21, 2011
Wow! Great answers here. In short YES - but its always best to be prepared for the possible hurdles. You can click the link below for a 5-minute intro to the buying process in NYC. Feel free to click on my name if you have any additional questions and good luck!
0 votes
April Summars, , New York County, NY
Mon Dec 13, 2010
Good Morning Filizarar,

ABSOLUTELY! People from all over the world buy and sell property in NYC. When you are ready to buy in NYC please give me a call and we can find you the perfect place.

April Summars
25 Hudson Street|New York, NY 10013
212.792.9254 Direct |646.246.8476 Cell
“Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”.-
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Fri Dec 10, 2010
Hello Filizarar. Buying a house is easy. Perhaps you intend it as an investment to be rented. Perhaps a summer home. If your thought is a Condominium in Manhattan, that can happen as well.

For the most part, it will come down to your ability to show liquid assets and yearly income. You'll probably need to have funds on hand in a new york bank to cover your earnest monet deposit/downpayment, closing costs and some level of post-closing liquidity.

You will need an Attorney to purchase real estate in New York so please talk with one soon. Please feel free to contact me if you need an Attorney referral or have further questions. Good luck.

Joseph C. Hastings
NYS licensed associate broker
Prudental Douglas Elliman Real Estate
0 votes
Kathy Weber, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Sun Dec 5, 2010

Yes you can purchase a home.

We've dealt with client's from Canada, China, & England. They have always checked with their lender's in their current country first. That lender understands the currency issues, wiring of funds, and especially tax ramifications of the purchase in the U.S.

If it's a cash purchase, again, check with your banking institution and they will recommend a bank in the U.S. that would handle a wire transfer.

It may vary depending on what state you're interested in purchasing a home in.

Best of luck!
0 votes
Lyle Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sun Dec 5, 2010
As Anna said you need to consult a real estate attorney (in the state you are buying) concerning the legal issues with respect to your situation. Unless you are paying cash you must get preapproval for a mortgage before you can do anything. The best place to start is with your bank if it is international and has a branch in the USA (assuming you do not already have an account with a US bank.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Dec 5, 2010
Yes, you can buy--do consult with an attorney who specializes real estate beforehand.
0 votes
Joe Arnao, Agent, Sanwich, MA
Sun Dec 5, 2010
Yes. If borrowing money from a US bank it may take a bit longer than usual, but it can be done. Find a good real estate attorney and a lender that will work with you. Probably start with a local Realtor who can make recommendations,
0 votes
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