Can Foreigners Buy Property in the U.S.? The simple answer is yes. Foreigners are buying a lot of property in the U.S. in this real estate recession, and the laws of the United States welcome buyers from almost anywhere.
One of the challenges can be financing. If you are a foreigner and want to buy property in the the U.S., you may be required to put down a larger down payment, but in these challenging times for real estate financing, it is not uncommon for buyers, local or foreign, to put down 20% or more. Depending on your financials, you may be required to put down as much as 50%. If you’re a cash buyer, this simplifies everything.
Foreigners Buy Property Across U.S.
As a nonresident, you will still have to pay U.S. real estate taxes. If you do not have an individual taxpayer identification number or U.S. Social Security number when you sell the property, you may be subject to 10 percent withholding tax. There are some rules and procedures for buying and selling if you are a foreigner, but it is not bad.
Property can be searched in the entire Northwest region of Washington state at: Search Real Estate Listings.
Last Updated on August 11, 2022 by Chuck Marunde
Foreign residents can buy and own USA property directly, but many investors prefer to own through a holding company, an LLC (limited liability company) usually set up in a tax friendly state like Texas, Delaware, or Nevada. In order to own property and collect rents or proceeds from sales, foreigners need to obtain a US Tax ID number and set up a bank account – both of which are easy once you have your LLC. Further, an LLC provides liability cover along iwth asset protection, and generally is considered the best for tax efficiency. The LLC is a very simple holding company with you as the owner and title to all property is purchased in this name.
Having American property in a holding company also allows you to easily sell, pass through inheritance, or bequeath your portfolio (or part) without having to transfer the actual property title, avoiding taxes and fees. It also avoids probate complications in the event of the demise of the owner. You should not consider buying real estate in the USA without forming an LLC; it is simple and something that can be accomplished in a few days.
We are in the process of buying houses and condominiums for foreign investors, especially Indians, using this investment structure. I have a lot more information on my blog with pertinent economic data and trends.
The main factors making the US so attractive to investors at this time are the incredible prices available, particularly for foreclosed houses, condominiums and apartment complexes – bought from banks for cash. As a result we are able to buy real estate for you at a fraction of normal price — 40%, 50%, or even more off prices from the past few years. US citizens are being excluded largely by the banks from obtaining mortgages and loans, where credit policy closed down options and is showing no signs of changing. Cash buyers of USA houses, condominiums, flats, apartments, and commercial real estate are getting once-in-a-lifetime prices. Even smaller investors with $60k and above can invest effectively.
The low prices are not reflected in rental returns. In fact, the rental market has strengthened! Rents have remained strong, because homes are a necessity even when people walk away from a mortgage or are evicted by foreclosure. They still have to live somewhere. Net rental returns of 6-8% after all management expenses are not uncommon, making the opportunity even more compelling for international investors. With the global uncertainty destined to continue for quite a while, most prudent international investors recognize the benefits of diversifying country risk, asset risk, as well as currency risk.
Property prices in America will rise again when Americans can access mortgage lending and when existing home stocks are filled and new construction takes place. The growth of US households particularly is strong enough to deplete reserves of housing stock and reduce vacancy rates within the next 2-3 years.
The credit market is not likely to bounce anytime soon though. We expect excellent buying conditions throughout 2012 and see this as a once in life time opportunity for savvy property investors.