I'm not a US Citizen. Can I still get a mortgage?

Mortgage and Lending with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

I'm not a US Citizen.  Can I still get a mortgage?



Yes.  YES.  YES.  You can.


     Last week, I received a referral for a buyer that didn't think she could get a loan.  She has great credit, good income, not a lot of debt, savings, and a good job history, and over the past several years has been renting (at increasingly higher costs) because she didn't think she could get a loan.




     Because she's in the US on a work Visa.


     With acceptable documentation, buyers with 'non-permanent resident alien', or a work/student Visa can certainly purchase a home, provided they meet lender requirements, which aren't much different than those placed on citizens.



     Here are some things non-permanent residents will need to qualify for financing terms and programs similar to :


- A valid Visa showing they are lawfully in the country (Visa should be renewable)

- A social security number or tax ID number (TIN)

- Credit history (very helpful if the borrower has FICO scores & history with all 3 US credit bureaus)

- Stable, sufficient income with a 2 year work history and a reasonable expectation of continuance.

- Acceptable assets to cover any down payment/reserve requirements


     With the above items, a non-permanent resident alien can qualify for many of the same financing options that citizens can qualify for, including low down payment options at favorable interest rates.



Can a foreign citizen working in the US buy a home without a credit or US residence history?



     YES again, with NO US credit history required.

     While other lenders guidelines may vary, we require a 3 year job and residence history, as well as a valid passport and social security number (SS # must be provided prior to funding, typically employer sponsored).  This program does have restrictions not typically seen with conventional financing, such as a larger required down payment and stricter debt/income ratio caps, but is a great option for US working foreign citizens interested in home ownership in the states.


Can a foreign national purchase a home in the US?



     YES.  Non-residents interested in buying a 2nd home or investment property in the US can take advantage of foreign national financing.  Again, these programs traditionally have stricter LTV requirements, but are a great option for foreign citizens that would like a vacation property in the US or would like to invest in income generating property here.

     Foreign national buyers must have documentation showing all foreign income/assets, and reserves must be properly sourced.  Prior to funding, we require a borrower have a social security number or unique tax ID.



Who CAN'T qualify for a loan?



     Though options may be out there somewhere, we cannot currently offer financing to foreign citizens with a tourist Visa, or those with diplomatic immunity.



     My recent referral made me wonder how many others out there would love to achieve the dream of home ownership but don't think they're able to.  It is our duty as industry professionals to make others aware that foreign citizens do have financing options to purchase real estate here.  Whether here to make a living and pursue the American dream, or simply looking to invest or purchase a vacation home, there are financing options available.


     Every situation is different, so it's important to speak with a mortgage expert to find the best type of financing available.  The most important thing is to not assume you CAN'T get a mortgage loan prior to speaking with an expert.



Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lynn B. Friedman 05/22/2014 12:11 PM
  2. Bill and MaryAnn Wagner 05/22/2014 11:13 PM
  3. Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI 05/24/2014 01:05 AM
  4. Les & Sarah Oswald 05/25/2014 03:12 PM
  5. Winston Heverly 01/08/2015 12:08 AM
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Anyone who wants to buy a home should make an appointment to talk to a great mortgage professional to find out -- there could be a lot of surprised people out there!

May 23, 2014 05:44 AM #30
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

This is great news, John, and will be helpful to a lot of buyers. Thanks for sharing it!

May 23, 2014 06:58 AM #31
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

Thanks John.  Great information to have.  I will bookmark your post. 

May 23, 2014 07:49 AM #32
Rosie Moore
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX

Excellent post! I'm glad she is working with you so she can get out of the rental rut. It's good to know that even without US citizenship, you can still qualify if you have a work Visa and your credit and finances pan out.

May 23, 2014 10:02 PM #33
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I did this once a long time ago.  It was not as hard as I thought it would be.  Thanks for the post.

May 24, 2014 01:05 AM #34
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Our country is one of the very few in the world, where you do not need to be a US citizen to purchase property. That is the biggest reason why that question would be asked, since the person asking the question knows that would be a negative in their own country.

May 24, 2014 01:13 AM #35
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Lender guide lines always go to the bible

May 24, 2014 02:37 AM #36
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Good post, one thing to remember in PA is the FIRPTA rules that require when a foreign national sells that a certain amount is transmitted by the title company to the federal government for taxes. However, my understanding is that if they have a Social Security number this is waived.

May 24, 2014 03:57 AM #37
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Very nice post.  Lot of really good information here and really glad that you have shared it with the community here on active rain.

Keep the good posts coming.

May 24, 2014 04:20 AM #38
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I've worked with many international buyers and it's becoming easier and easier. LTV is key, but other than that, they seem to go very smoothly.

May 24, 2014 04:40 AM #39
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

What about if you're a U.S. citizen but you want to buy a home in a foreign country? Can you use foreign financing to do it?

May 24, 2014 06:05 AM #40
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

That's why we have applications to determine eligibility and qualification, so, yes to exploring every opportunity to determine outcome.

May 24, 2014 07:10 AM #41
zeta cross
Smart Green Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Getting Greener Makes Your home worth more!

I'm so glad you posted this. I thought wrong.

May 24, 2014 07:21 AM #42
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

great blog...this issue just came up last week with a client from Kiev, Ukraine. Thank you for posting

May 24, 2014 10:52 AM #43
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

This is timely advice. I am meeting with someone this week just here from China and his brother is serving as translator. It will be interesting to see if he has any credit history.

May 25, 2014 04:03 AM #44
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Thanks for the comments all, appreciate them all and I'm glad that this post shed some light on ways to help foreign buyers.



May 25, 2014 12:17 PM #45
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Thanks John,

I just had a prospective buyer ask me the same questions last week. This blog is very informative and helpful to a lot of foreign buyers.

May 25, 2014 03:07 PM #46
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

This is great information that I really don't know a lot about. I typically do not have deals that involve non-u.s. citizens, but this could always come up. Thanks for sharing.

May 26, 2014 02:23 PM #47
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Good information. I am sure many of our Canadian owners here in Florida have gotten mortgages.

May 29, 2014 08:46 PM #48
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Good info to know for the San Diego marked. Lot's of foreign investors here.

Jun 01, 2014 01:50 AM #49
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