Can Nonresidents Buy a House in the USA?

The US property market is one of the most sought-after in the world and with rising inflation real estate is even more appealing to investors. As such many are looking to purchase property in the United States including nonresidents & international property investments.

This can be due to the growth and stability of the US property market in comparison to other countries. Another reason for nonresidents to seek property in the US could be the diversification of investments. In total, close to 3% of the $5.8 trillion in existing home sales in 2021 were bought by international investors according to the NAR.

Nonresidents & Financing

Despite nonresidents and internationals being major buyers of property in the United States, most lenders do not know how to cater to them. Many banks and financial institutions in the United States won’t approve a home loan to those who don’t have an established credit history within the US. Many nonresidents may have an amazing credit history and score in their country of residence, but don’t have a banking history in the US.

This forced many international investors in the past to purchase property in full as a cash offer. Today with specialized lenders such as USA-Mortgages, international investors can access financing at competitive rates. This evens out the playing field for international investors and nonresidents in comparison to local buyers.

Nonresidents & Finding Property in the US

Locating a property can be a major issue for nonresidents as most are not physically in the USA. While it is recommended to view properties physically, travel has been somewhat difficult in recent times. Many different websites that deal with buying/selling property now offer virtual tours. For those that wish to invest in property from afar, this may be a suitable option.

International investors can also contact CIPS certified realtors in the area they are looking to invest in. CIPS stands for Certified International Property Specialist. They are certified property specialists that specialize in properties for international investors and tend to cater to British, Australian, Chinese, Israeli and Mexican investors.

Language Issues & Nonresidents

Not every international investor lives in an English speaking country. This isn’t a problem for British, or Australian property investors. It may however be an issue for Chinese, Israeli, and Mexican investors.

Not being able to fully articulate their wants and needs in English can typically complicate the process of buying a home. International investors that don’t fully speak English shouldn’t be discouraged from buying a home in the United States. A CIPS certified realtor could assist with many aspects and tends to cater to certain communities. As such, international investors can probably find a realtor who speaks their language to assist them.

The Bottom Line

With international investors and nonresidents comprising a large percentage of US property buyers, the answer to the question: “Can a nonresident buy a house in the USA?” is a big yes. Despite this, some may encounter difficulties in the process. The key to surpassing those issues is to seek specific solutions that are designed to help international investors and non-residents. This can be a CIPS certified realtor or a specialized lender like USA-Mortgages.

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