You live in the United States, and you’ve been renting for a few years. Your life is fairly stable, you have a good job, and you realize that renting is costing you a lot of money. You decide you would rather buy a house so that you can at least spend your monthly mortgage payment buying an asset, rather than just paying a landlord.
However, you’re not yet a citizen. As an immigrant who is here on a work visa or as someone who has a green card, are you able to buy a house just like a citizen? Or do you have to become a citizen first in order to put your money into real estate in the U.S.?
Non-citizens can still buy homes and other real estate.
The good news is that you do not have to be a citizen to buy real estate in the country, and there are no laws restricting your ability to do so. You can purchase a house, you can purchase a business and you may even be able to buy something like a second home or vacation house.
What is more complicated is simply the financial process of doing so. The easiest way is to just buy a home with cash that you have on hand. There’s very little red tape to jump through if you have enough money to buy the house outright. You still have to go through the legal process of making an offer, closing on the house, and everything else, but you don’t have to worry about the funding.
If you do need to get a mortgage, it is absolutely possible, but it may be harder. For instance, many American buyers use FHA Loans. You can get an FHA loan as a non-citizen, but you have to be buying a primary residence, and you have to show that you are a permanent citizen. Other types of loans are possible for those who are not permanent citizens or who want to buy properties that they don’t plan to live in full time, but the FHA loans are not permitted.
You also have to consider how stable the lender thinks your situation is and whether or not they’re willing to give you such a loan in your position. Each lender has its own rules and regulations that will be followed.
Starting your own American Dream
If your dream has always been to own your own house and create a permanent life in the United States, it’s definitely possible, even when it gets complicated. Just make sure you know what steps to take.