Foreign Real Estate Mortgage
What is a foreign-real-estate mortgage?
If you’re interested in purchasing real estate in Florida or the United States as a whole, then you may be interested in a foreign real estate mortgage loan program. Foreign nationals have the power to make real estate purchases in the United States as long as it’s for personal use. They can do this under their own name, or they can make the purchase under an eligible corporation or limited liability company (LLC).
It’s generally easier for someone to apply for a foreign-real-estate mortgage if they are a permanent U.S. citizen with a green card. However, if you are a non-permanent resident with a valid work visa, then you might also be able to make a purchase. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may offer foreign-real-estate mortgage loans to non-U.S. citizens. These loans generally use about the same conditions and terms as with other U.S. buyers. However, you might also want to inquire about ITIN programs as well, as it’s important for non-U.S. citizens to work on their credit score in America, generally requiring 2 credit tradelines that are 2 years or older reporting, as it might be separate from their home country.
Qualifying for a foreign-real-estate mortgage
The biggest factor that will determine your mortgage eligibility is your legal residency status. Borrowers tend to fall into one of these three groups:
1. Permanent U.S. residents that possess a green card (Form I-551)
2.Non-permanent residents with a valid work visa (E1, E2, H1B, H2A, H2B, H3, L1, or G1-G4)
3. Foreign nationals whose primary residence is outside of the U.S. (No green card, no social security number)
If you fall within the first two groups, then you have the same options as other U.S. citizens when seeking a mortgage. This is because the government-sponsored mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have similar guidelines for permanent U.S. residents and non-permanent residents with a valid work visa as regular U.S. citizens. As long as you’re able to verify your legal residency, you should have no trouble qualifying for a foreign-real-estate mortgage
For the third group, foreign nationals won’t be able to seek out a mortgage from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. As such, the lender might keep the loan in their own books. Since the bank assumes more of the risk, the guidelines might be different. If you’re a foreign national that wants to purchase a home in the United States, then it may be beneficial if possible to become a U.S. citizen or obtain a relevant work visa to open up more options.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is documentation. For a U.S. citizen, this should be a simple process due to all of the forms and paper documentation that you should have. For a non-permanent resident, this may be difficult since you’re often required to provide employment history information, credit history, and also proof of income. One way that might help is to have an existing relationship with an international bank that has a branch in the U.S. The bank will likely have a record of your finances already.
If the lack of a credit report is your biggest concern, then some lenders may be willing to order international credit reports in place of a credit report from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Unfortunately, this process is usually only offered to residents of certain countries, but it’s worth considering it as an option. Alternatively, some lenders may have programs for you. You may be eligible for a credit conversion depending on your situation. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to request a nontraditional credit check by providing documentation based on your credit history in another country. Inquire further with us as conditions change all the time.
Should I consider a foreign-real-estate mortgage?
The bottom line is that a foreign-real-estate mortgage can be a great option depending on your individual situation. If your financial situation can support buying an additional home for investment purposes, then we may be able to help. If you’d like to learn more, Mortgage Quote would be more than happy to assist you in finding your ideal second home or an investment property in and around Florida.