Foreign Buyer’s Guide: How to Buy a House in the U.S.

Flags on globeDid you know housing cooperatives and co-ops often have rules prohibiting foreign ownership in the U.S.? Or, have you heard many banks require foreign buyers to have $100,000 or more on deposit to be eligible for financing, and may limit loans to $1 million or $2 million?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you’re not alone. For international investors, first-generation immigrants or foreign vacationers, buying a home in the U.S. can be daunting.

To help you get started, Zillow has released a new Foreign Buyer’s Guide in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish. From determining how the property will be used to working with local real estate agents and finding financing — the guide covers every aspect of the home buying process for internationals. It also answers some of your most frequently asked questions including:

  • Do I need to become a citizen to buy a home in the U.S.?
  • Will I need to hire a real estate lawyer?
  • Can I pay for my property in cash?
  • Are there additional fees I need to pay at closing?
  • What is FIRPTA?

Check out the Foreign Buyer’s Guide today to learn how to buy real estate in the U.S.


Catherine Sherman, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers real estate news, industry trends and home design. Read more of her work here.