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Can a foreigner buy a house in the U.S.?

Hi.
My parents wants to buy a house in the U.S.
They don't have Social security number or Tax ID. They live in Korea.
They don't have a green card or VISA status.
They won't need to get a loan. They will pay cash in full.
Can they buy a house?

Thanks for taking time to answer my question.

Sue Lee
  • May 14 2012 - Staten Island
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Answers (10)

Yes and in fact, New York is a top destination for foreign buyers.  An all cash transaction also means the whole process can be done in as little as 2-3 weeks.  

 Here's an article on the details.  
 http://castle-avenue.com/Foreign-Buyer-Guide.html


Good luck.
Weimin
 
  • July 20 2014
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Profile picture for Jay Batra
Hi Sue, foreigner's can definitely buy a house/building in NYC. Both cash or financing work, but of course cash is preferable. Most international buyers usually buy a Condo, over a Co-op as there are/could be a lot more complications to get approved by the co-op board. Let me know if you have any specific questions. 

 
  • July 19 2014
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Any foreign citizen wishing to buy in NYC should know about the FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act), which applies when you're ready to sell. There are currently proposed changes to the 1980s tax policy called the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, that would exempt foreign pension funds from paying taxes on gains from real-estate sales. Purchasers of real property interests are required to withhold tax on payment for the property. Withholding may be reduced from the standard 10% to an amount that will cover the tax liability, upon application in advance of sale to the Internal Revenue Service. FIRPTA overrides most nonrecognition provisions as well as those remaining tax treaties that provide exemption from tax for such gains. Over the past year, Canadians accounted for one quarter of foreign home buyers, and buyers from China, Mexico, Great Britain, and India accounted for another quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors. Under FIRPTA, a buyer must withhold 10% of purchase price if the seller is a foreign person. No withholding is required if the seller is a U.S. citizen; green cardholder (lawful resident); or resident alien (meets either the physical presence test—present in the U.S. for at least 183 days in the current calendar year; or the substantial presence test—present in the U.S. for a weighted average of 183 days over three years). Foreign buyers must acquire a U.S. taxpayer identification number (TIN). Waiting until the time of sale to obtain a TIN may cause difficulty recovering money withheld pursuant to FIRPTA.
  • September 10 2013
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ABSOLUTELY.  You just have to be very liquid meaning a lot of money in the bank there is verifiable.  Cash is always KING!!
  • August 26 2013
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Profile picture for Trangglobenetrealty

  Yes, non US citizens are allowed to buy a property in the US. This applies to apartments, duplexes, condominiums and single family homes.

  In a lot of cases, foreigners will usually make cash purchases for properties in the US but mortgages are available to non US citizens.

Web Reference : http://www.globenetrealty.com
  • August 26 2013
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Profile picture for user0956726
What is a foreign national loan? Is credit history needed? How about an L1 visa employee, do we also go for foreign national loan? Thanks
  • November 06 2012
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Profile picture for MirzaMuhammadAslam
I ,m from Pakistan, want to purchase a house in U.S. I ,m coming to NY on 20th June. Can u advice me . How i, can proceed?
  • May 31 2012
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Of course.  There are no restrictions on foreign nationals buying real estate in the USA.
  • May 15 2012
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no problem if paying cash; i'm not sure about the tax requirements though...there is a withholding for foreigneres when they go to sell the house...i think it's like 33.333% of the sales price.
  • May 14 2012
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Yes. they can either pay cash or get a "foreign national" loan.
  • May 14 2012
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