Profile picture for NagarajanKM

Buying a Condo on H1B Visa

Hello Experts,

I am currently on a H1B Visa and have been in the country for almost 6 years. My Green Card processing is in progress but based on its stages I can get my H1B visa extended for every 3 years once. 

My wife and I are working. We are almost paying $1600 / month on rent currently. We are thinking of buying a condo for our personal use and planning to stay at least a minimum of 4 years there and may be think of moving to a better home or plan move to a different state based on the situations down the line. 

We can definitely afford a $300K Condo in a very good school district which would give us 3 Bed and 2.5 bath. Is it good to buy a condo if it is for personal use? I see lots of reviews on the internet to stay away from the condo. I do not want to go big at this point of time given our visa situations and would like to lay low at least for next 5 years. 

I need an opinion from the experts out there.

Thanks.
  • March 14 2014 - Bridgewater
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Answers (6)

Best Answer

Profile picture for Vibha Mehra
Hi,
    You have received a lot of good advice.  As long as you have maintained a good credit, getting a loan with an H1B visa should not be an issue.  Condo or no-Condo is a personal choice.  Condos are bought for personal use all the time.  "Stay away from Condos" does not appear to be a good advice wherever it is you are researching. In my opinion you should determine what your ultimate goal is with this condo. Would you want to sell or rent it and move out.  Accordingly you should research the market to see if the neighborhood has a good rental or sale prospect.  My first home was a condo and it gave me a foot in the door with owning Real Estate.  I bought it at peak and when I wanted to move out, the market was at its lowest.  Fortunately, with very little negative cash flow I was able to rent it and sustain it for many years to come.  I finally sold it last year.  The Real Estate Market is Cyclical in the US.
  • March 17 2014
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One particular mortgage option you should strongly consider that is for non-citizens is a Foreign National Loan. These loans are meant for non-residences/citizens seeking a home loan in the United States. Also, this type of loan usually requires about 35% down depending on the documents the borrower has available (such as ITIN, VISA, etc.). It can also be more if the borrower is seeking a high loan amount. The best thing for you to do is to speak with a knowledgeable lender to see if you can get started on financing a new home. If you need additional assistance, feel free to reach out. Good luck!
  • March 18 2014
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You will not have an issue getting financing providing you have decent credit scores (600 plus) and your H1B is current. As far as choosing a Condo over a SFR, it depends on your personal circumstances. If the only purchase you can afford in your particular area is a Condo, then do it. If you want to know what has the better selling feature, clearly a Single Family Residence. Mainly due to more buyers are looking for a SFR than a Condo.
  • March 15 2014
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From a mortgage prospective, having a H1B Visa is not an issue for a conventional loan.  It can also be done on a FHA loan but there might be a extra hoop to jump through.  As for whether a condo is good for you or not, like the other said it is a personal preference.  If you would like to discuss your options, please do not hesitate to contact me.
  • March 14 2014
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I agree with the poster below about your ability to buy. However, I highly suggest that you sit down with an experienced mortgage broker before beginning your home search. I work extensively in the Union, Somerset, and Middlesex county region and it is my experience that most people buy condos/townhomes for personal use and resale, especially in that price range, is strong. They are great for first time homeowners or people that don't have the time or inclination to take care of external maintenance issues that single family homes have.  Please feel free to contact me by clicking on my name and I will be happy to discuss your situation with you and the pros and cons of community living versus single family homes. 
  • March 14 2014
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Profile picture for user3751400
I am not an expert, but can share from my personal experience. You should not have any problem buying a house under H1B visa. As long as you have enough money to cover for the down payment and good credit and stable source of income to obtain the mortgage.

About whether to buy a condo, I think it's more of personal preference. There are pros and cons of condo vs. townhouse vs. single house.
  • March 14 2014
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