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Saturday, November 5, 2011

What foreigners need to know when purchasing a home

What should foreigners need to know when they wish to purchase a home in United States?  I tell you, in this business, I learn something new everyday.  In this blog, a foreigner is someone who does not hold a US residency or US citizenship.

A foreigner from Asia emailed me asking on a property I have listed.  The man inquired how much down payment he needed to put on a home as he would like to finance.  Since I am not a loan officer or a mortgage officer, I had him get hold of a loan officer I work with.  The response of the loan officer was as follows:

"Unfortunately we do not have any programs available to a borrower who doesn’t have a valid work visa. The other challenge would be with receiving foreign income and your current physical address. We are now required to run automated underwriting using our borrower’s actual physical address. No PO Box or friend or family’s US address may be used unless the borrower actually resides there, and the automated system will not accept a foreign address." 

I asked an escrow officer or a title company staff if a foreigner is able to purchase property in the United States if they paid cash.  The escrow officer said that if they have the funds to purchase a property to pay cash in full, they are able to purchase property.  BUT, she addds, when it comes to sell the property, they have to provide this information to IRS and that they have to withhold taxable income from the sale.

I thought this was interesting information to our foreign investors.  If you are thinking of investing here in United States, please let me know by emailing me at so that I can see if I can assist you in purchasing a home in Central Austin,  Texas or any parts of the country.