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Qualifying for a mortgage while working abroad.

I'm a US citizen who lives and works abroad. I'm thinking of buying a condo in Las Vegas next year. My credit is good-excellent (750+). My revolving debt utilization is 0% (with a fairly high limit on my credit cards) The only debt I have is student loans, which are all up to date. 

What's the best way to qualify for a mortgage? I've been at the same job for over 2 years, but since I live abroad, some lenders won't even talk to me. 

I've heard my proof of income is simply the US taxes I file (which shows how much I make). I've also read that I might need to go through a lender that usually deals with international buyers - but most international buyers are looking for larger investment properties. 

All I want is to put 20-30% down and get a 15 year fixed mortgage for less than $100,000. 

What I'm asking: How do I find a lender that will work with me? What kind of terms can I expect, considering the uniqueness of my situation?
  • July 27 2012 - Las Vegas
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for Jenwil1999
Thank you all for your answers. I'm a first-time buyer and trying to navigate a very large field of unknowns.

I expected it shouldn't be too difficult, but last year when I was in town, I visited a couple lenders who wouldn't even talk to me. 

This year I've been carefully checking my credit and other details (including back filling taxes because I've skipped a couple years). You have all reassured me greatly and I will definitely move forward with this purchase in the near future.

Thanks!
  • July 28 2012
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With 20-30% down you can buy property as an investor. Would need to qualify to carry both your housing expenses overseas (if not company paid) and total mortgage payment including condo fee on property purchased. You might need to do a 30 yr loan to help you qualify but go to Professionals tab above and find a Zillow listed loan officer in your area/state to discuss options.
  • July 28 2012
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As long as you file your tax forms I believe that is what you need to show income. You would be a normal buyer just working outside the US. Some people who work abroad do not file their taxes because their income is not taxable in the US. This is a mistake as they then have no verifiable income. I try not to answer lender questions as that is not my expertise. I do have a great lender that I have worked with for over 16 years. You will need to contact me for her contact information as I am restricted from entering it in this post. I hope I have helped answer your question. I am always available to answer any questions you may have.
Thank You
Suzie Marquardt
  • July 28 2012
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I don't think you should be running into a problem. You basically stated that you are a perfect borrower.

You claim your taxes
You are putting over 20% down
You have great credit
Your employment is over 2 years

That is the best situation I have heard in a while. You could probably do it as a second home if you are not going to live there, but you could definitely do it as an investment property.

I don't see what the problem is.
  • July 28 2012
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UPDATE - Realize I mis-spoke about my revolving credit. I have 1-10% utilization with a slightly above average total credit limit. 
  • July 28 2012
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