Real Estate fundamentals
June 12, 2024
5
min

Frequently Asked Questions: Investing in U.S. Real Estate as a Foreigner

Waltz
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The U.S. real estate market attracts investors from all corners of the world. Whether you're seeking stable investment returns or looking for a way to diversify your portfolio, understanding the process is crucial. 

As you consider your options, you may be confronted with a list of questions about how to get started, how property ownership plays into citizenship, and whether or not you can buy property in the first place as a foreign national.

In this blog, we’ll explore a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) to guide foreign investors like you who are investing in U.S. real estate.

How can a foreigner buy property in the USA?

On paper, the process for foreign investors buying property in the U.S. is similar to that of domestic buyers. You can purchase the property outright with cash or financed through a U.S. mortgage. There are no restrictions on location or property type. 

However, foreign investors may face stricter lending requirements, higher down payments, and other challenges related to financing an investment property. That’s why foreign nationals like to use a service like Waltz when looking at mortgage options for their overseas property. We provide a U.S.-based bank account1, an LLC with an EIN, and other tools you need to verify your financial standing and secure financing. 

Who can invest in US real estate?

People from many countries are able to invest in American real estate. However, citizens from certain countries are not able to invest in U.S. residences*.

Assuming you are a citizen of a country that is approved to buy U.S. real estate, securing the financial resources is just the first step.  Navigating U.S. tax laws for foreign investors can be complex, with considerations like federal income tax, state and local taxes, and potential tax treaties.  Waltz can help you understand these nuances and ensure your investment is structured for optimal tax efficiency.

Can I buy a house in the USA without residency?

Yes, you can absolutely buy a house in the U.S. without being a resident. There are no residency requirements for foreign ownership of U.S. investment property. This means you can enjoy the freedom to live and work anywhere in the world while earning rental income from your U.S. property.

However, navigating the purchase process as a non-resident can present some hurdles. Securing proof of income that meets U.S. standards and physically visiting a bank branch to sign documents can be challenging for those abroad. With Waltz, these obstacles disappear. We streamline the process for non-residents, eliminating the need for visas or in-person visits.  Sign everything remotely and focus on the exciting possibilities your U.S. investment holds.

Can I get a green card if I buy a house in the USA?

There's a specific program called the EB-5 program that offers a path to a green card (permanent residency) through investment. However, this program requires a substantial investment (currently $800,000) funneled into a U.S. project or business that creates jobs for American workers. Purchasing a residential home for personal use or investment purposes does not directly qualify you for a green card. 

If you are interested in buying an investment property in America, regardless of green card considerations, talk to the experts at Waltz. We can help you determine the best path forward, keeping all of your top financial considerations in mind. 

Can I get US citizenship if I buy a house in the USA?

As we’ve mentioned above, U.S. citizenship is a more complex process than obtaining a green card. While there are various paths to citizenship, simply owning property does not directly qualify you for U.S. citizenship. 

Many people pursue U.S. citizenship through other avenues. Common options include family sponsorship, employment-based visas, or serving honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers comprehensive information and resources to guide you through these paths.

Waltz Simplifies U.S. Investment Properties

Investing in U.S. real estate offers exciting opportunities for foreign investors. By understanding the process, potential benefits, and considerations, you can make informed decisions and embark on a successful real estate journey in the U.S.

Waltz was designed to make this process as stress-free as possible for foreigners who want to buy American real estate. We’ve digitized and streamlined a process that can be notoriously difficult and confusing for non-American citizens. To date, we’ve helped people in South America, Europe, and Asia purchase U.S. investment properties.

When you work with Waltz, you’ll get started on the right foot when it comes to investing in U.S. real estate as a foreigner. Contact us today to receive: 

  • Waltz Investor Kit: An established LLC business tailored for Real Estate investment, with an EIN, operating agreement, and assigned Agent. All this can be yours within just 20 minutes!
  • US Banking through Waltz: Digital bank account insured by the FDIC1, with foreign currencies and competitive currency exchange rates 2.
  • Waltz Financing: No need to shop around for a US lender if you are looking for a mortgage or refinance. Waltz helps with mortgages for foreigners and refinancing mortgages for foreign nationals by providing funding at up to 70% LTV1

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