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Finance

How to Finance My U.S. Real Estate as a Foreigner

The United States is one of the best markets for investing in real estate. Its steady growth, stability, and the regulatory environment all lead to good conditions for investors. As a foreigner, you are able to buy real estate without restrictions; however, that does not mean it will be easy. There are many factors to consider, such as taxes, management, and financing.

By Maryline Lacorre 26 Mar 2021

Financing with a U.S. visa

It is easier for a green card or visa holder to secure a mortgage. Foreigners in the U.S. may even qualify for government-backed mortgages such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA); but generally, most lenders require that foreigners meet some of the following requirements:

- Credit score of 720 or better, ideally 780+

- Be able to make a 20% down payment

- Have a valid SSN or ITIN

- Have an existing U.S. source of income and expect that income to continue for at least 3 years

- You have been in the U.S. for at least 2 years

- You have at least 2 years of U.S. work experience

The different mortgage options depend on how long you have been staying in the country and your ability to establish your income. Indeed, your credit history is important—that’s why it is advisable to have at least two years of established residency in the country to provide enough information to the lenders about your credit history.

Financing while abroad

Paying cash is the best way to invest in U.S. real estate as a foreigner. But sometimes you need to borrow money, or you just don’t want to invest all of your capital in order to keep some cash flow. Generally, banks charge higher processing fees and higher interest on loans for foreign investment in U.S. real estate. As you are not eligible for conventional mortgages or U.S. government-backed loans, private lenders will most likely request a down payment of 30% to 50% of the property price. Moreover, as you don’t have any credit history in the US, they will ask for more paperwork: months of bank statements, tax returns from your home country, and more. To speed up the process, you can apply for a mortgage at a bank in your home country that is affiliated with a lender in the U.S., such as HSBC. Don’t forget to obtain your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for filing federal tax reports to the IRS.

If you need more information about financing your real estate in Miami, feel free to contact us.

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