It’s legal, and it may be easier than you might expect.
Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with warm, sunny Florida and want to buy a vacation home there. Or maybe you’re thinking about buying a condo in California as an investment property. But if you’re not an American citizen and you live in another country, is it legal to buy a home in the U.S.? What if you live and work in the U.S. with a green card?
Yes, it’s legal in both scenarios—and you may even qualify for a mortgage to purchase your new home. However, before you start scrolling through real estate listings, it’s essential to understand what goes into making a U.S. property purchase as a foreigner.
- Non-citizens buy U.S. property for many reasons, including investment, a place to live or vacation, or asset diversification.
- Many non-citizens buy property in America with cash, although mortgages may be available to qualifying non-citizens.
- A successful transaction depends on getting advice from legal experts in real estate, taxation, and possibly immigration.
Can Non-Citizens Buy Property in the U.S.?
People are often surprised by the answer. It’s legally very easy for foreigners to buy in the U.S., and the U.S. is very generous in many ways.
Residential purchases by foreign buyers added up to $59 billion between April 2021 and March 2022, according to a 2022 report released by the National Association of Realtors. Buyers are often from Canada, Mexico, China, India, Brazil, and Colombia. Florida is a leading destination, along with California, Texas, Arizona, and New York.
Why Do Non-Citizens Buy Property in the U.S.?
Top reasons to buy property in the U.S. often include:
- While living and working in the U.S., a family is looking for a primary or secondary home in a comfortable area with good schools and a welcoming community.
- A wealthy foreign investor is able to take advantage of timing and pricing to buy in areas of the U.S. they feel would be a good investment.
- A global company wants to invest in real estate for employees’ living needs.
- A foreign buyer wants to keep some of their assets in the U.S. to diversify their portfolio.
To learn more about FIRPTA, please feel free to reach out to us. It is the utmost importance that the right team of professionals assist in the process.