We specialise in offering mortgage advice to foreign nationals purchasing property in the United States of America, whether this be for main residence, second home or investment. We act as mortgage brokers to find you the most suitable and competitive mortgage program.
When considering the purchase of a property in the USA, preparation is the key. The first thing that should be established is the budget available. Deposits required, current and future exchange rates, total cost of finance, legal fees and tax obligations, should all be calculated before viewing any potential properties. Mortgages can be pre-approved well in advance, and this could save both time and money. This can be done by going to at Am I Eligible or Contact Us. One of our representatives will contact you within 24 hours.
Our Buying Guide will give you a breakdown of the whole process of purchasing a property in the USA, who is involved and the timescales.
Many realtors will not accept an offer, unless it can be proven funding is in place or has been Pre-Approved. For the purchase of a re-sale property, the closing date will typically be set at 30-45 days after the signing of the sales contract, and most contracts will impose financial penalties for late closing. Appointing a lawyer, who is preferably qualified in US law, may pay dividends at this stage. Many transactions are carried out without a lawyer, using a Closing Agent or Title Company. HUD Settlement Cost booklet in our download section fully explains their roles.
Mortgages are normally available to a maximum of 70% loan to value and for up to 30 years. There are not normally age restrictions on mortgages on US property (see Fair Housing download). Mortgages are normally based on affordability and suitable proof of income will be required. As a rule, the debt to income ratio should not exceed 36%, although there are exceptions to this. For some loans, limited documentation is required. To see what is currently available, please go to our Mortgage Programs page.
The mortgage secured against the US property, can be in either US Dollars or other currency. The currency in which the mortgage is arranged would normally be determined by the currency of the income being used to fund it. A qualified representative will go through the options and advise which was most suitable from the Mortgage Programs available. A US Dollar Bank Account will need to be opened, to enable the payment of local, taxes, utility bills etc. Some lenders also require six to twelve months mortgage payments to be held in your account before closing. You may also require to have your deposit and closing costs seasoned. This means that you will need to show where the funds have come from, usually covering the last 60 day period.
Exchange rates can greatly affect the cost of an overseas property purchase. Deposits and closing fees would normally be converted from your home currency to US Dollars. Registration with a Currency Exchange company would be prudent, as funds can be booked up to 18 months in advance. This is particularly useful should the purchase be off-plan, as it allows these cost to be “fixed”.
Closing fees are costs associated with the purchase, such as taxes and insurances, and would initially be listed on a good faith estimate and at closing on a HUD1. As a rule these would be approximately five percent of the purchase price for a newly built property and four percent for a re-sale.
It is possible to purchase a property in certain States without a lawyer, by using the services of a title agent. A lawyer would normally cost around one percent of the purchase price and should be seriously considered, especially if the purchase involves a number of parties, such as other family members. There is booklet HUD Settlement Costs available for download, which gives comprehensive information on these costs.
Finally, we come to Tax Obligations, which is payable not only on income, but also on capital gains. Mortgage interest and other costs can be offset against this, however a tax advisor should be consulted, or you could employ the services of a US accountant. For a free Mortgage Pre-Approval, please go to Am I Eligible or Contact Us pages.
Information on other countries we offer mortgages, can be found at www.internationalmortgages.net
Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it. Be sure that you can afford the repayments before entering into any credit agreement. Any quotation supplied is not an offer of mortgage and may be subject to a change without notice. Exchange rate movements may increase the US Dollar equivalent of your liability under a foreign currency mortgage.