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5 Tips for Foreigners Who Want to Buy a House in the U.S.

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Buying a house is a significant milestone in a person’s life. Hence, it is evident that it can be a challenging task that can lead to anxiety. However, if you are to purchase a property being a non-citizen in the USA, the process can be more difficult. The rules and regulations for buying a house can be different in your country. Nevertheless, you can still make it hassle-free if you know how to proceed.

Anyone regardless of citizenship can buy and own a house here as there are no such rules for property sales in the USA. People usually purchase vacation homes, and some investors even purchase properties like single-family homes and condominiums.

Like every other country, the USA has its process of buying and selling properties. Here are the five tips you need to know:

1. Pay in Cash

Buying a house in the US can be much easier if you pay the total amount in cash. Paying the amount through a loan can be a bit complex as you might have to find someone who can trust you and lend you the money. Many lenders do not lend money to foreigners due to the complexity of analyzing risks. If you find the right mortgage company for a loan, the process will become a lot easier. It may take some time, but eventually, you will find someone.

Getting a mortgage in the USA requires you to prove your residency status. Thus, you must be a permanent resident with a green card (authorization to live and work in the United States permanently), also called a permanent resident card. However, a non-permanent resident can be eligible if he/she has a valid work visa or is a refugee who has been granted asylum. You can also buy a home with FHA (federal housing administration) loans with residency proof.

2. Hire Real Estate Professionals

As an international buyer, you might face problems dealing with complex transactions. Hence, you need to hire a professional who holds a valid license and has local expertise in dealing with properties. The team of professionals will make the entire process less tiring.

Make sure your real estate team have:

  • A real estate attorney to look after the documentation or an agent depending on the regulations of the states
  • Buyers’ agent with a CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designation who holds expertise in real estate transactions to help navigate different rules according to the place
  • A lender who works in global operations to help you to navigate various issues when it comes to currency exchange rates, taxation, and credits
  • A tax attorney who can advise you in providing the correct proof to the lender or pay various taxes while and after buying the property
  • An accountant who specializes in working with international clients

3. Build Credit History

If you do not have one, make a credit card account and grow your credit history in approximately five to six months. Like purchasing a property, opening a bank account, and getting a credit card would require you to provide additional documents. But it would be necessary as you must have a good credit score to get any loans as a foreigner. The more your credit score, the more favorable interest you can expect to receive.

You will also have to show your income information to ensure the lender that you can pay off the mortgage. Additionally, your employment status will also be examined.

4. Shop for the Lender

Shopping for the lender can help you out with many legal things, but consult an advisor that will help navigate circumstances such as your terms of stay and your permanent residency proof while getting a loan.

5. Documents Required

To begin with, you will need a Social Security number (SSN). However, if you are not eligible for an SSN, you can also get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You can get ITIN with the help of a CAA (certifying acceptance agent). You can also have an ITIN if you do not plan to stay in the United States and get a foreign national loan.

You will need a valid foreign passport, US visa, or a drivers’ license will do. The financial records of your previous bank in your country or the bank statements must be there with you. Along with it, you will also need proof of reserves, tax return, and credit score.

Buying a property in the USA being a non-citizen can be a long process. However, following the tips mentioned in the post can ease and make the purchase hassle-free. Hence, if you are willing to buy a property in the United States, make sure you follow all the rules and tips.