Foreign Nationals are allowed to own real estate in the US. In fact, there are very few differences between a foreign and US buyer when purchasing real estate. It is important that the Foreign Buyer understands the buying process and understands basic information about US real estate practices that may vary greatly from a buyer’s home country. Below please find a brief overview on buying in the US as a Foreign National.
US REAL ESTATE PRACTICES
Transparency – In the US, real estate is very transparent. A new listing for sale is required to be posted to the listing service within 24 hours so that active listings are available to all agents. This is unlike in many other countries, where buyers have to go from agent to agent to find a property. East Egg Realty is a member of all recognized real estate boards throughout Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons, including REBNY, Manhattan MLS, LIBOR, and NAR. We have access to all the listings in New York and can assist you in the sale of any one of them.
Commissions – The sales commission is usually paid by the seller (and then divided between both the buyer’s and seller’s brokers), so buyers normally do not need to pay anything to have a buyer’s agent working on their behalf. It is always advisable for a buyer to work with an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent who will protect the buyer’s interests in the transaction.
FINANCING IS READILY AVAILABLE FOR FOREIGN BUYERS
Most qualified Foreign Buyers can obtain financing for properties. Below, please find an example of terms that may be available. We recommend that you speak with a mortgage specialist to learn about the latest programs, rates and terms:
- Two years of income from their country
- CPA letter translating income in English
- International credit report if available, if not (4) vendor reference letters
- TIN (tax ID number) if they have one, if not, an application is required
- Assets in an internationally recognized financial institution like, HSBC, Chase, etc.
- Max Loan to Value is 50%, however, can be as high as 90% with Pledged Assets
- Real Property can be purchased in LLC, Trust, Sub S Corp or Corporation - as long as it’s a US entity
- 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages
- 5/1 and 7/1 adjustable rate mortgages
- Rates to be confirmed by Mortgage Lending Specialist
To learn more, please reach out to one of our agents and we would be happy to guide you through the real estate purchase-cycle. Feel free to ask your agent for the full Foreign Purchaser Guide.