Can Foreign Nationals Buy Houses in the US?

Published on 03/03/2016

Hello, I’m Vaughan de Kirby. And today I wanted to answer a question that I hear often. That is whether as a foreign national you can buy American real estate. And the simple answer is yes, and we know that this question stems from the fact that many countries require government intervention or government permission in order to buy real estate, so in the United States, you’re free, even as a foreign national, to purchase any real estate.

Now another question that comes up is how can you purchase this real estate? The reality is most foreign nationals that purchase American real estate are purchasing it on a cash basis. However, talk to your realtor, because there is financing out there with a fairly high down, like 40-50%.

Another thing you’re going to need to consider if you own American real estate is real estate property taxes. Your real estate property taxes in the United States are based on its value. Every state, even municipality for that matter, has a different way of making that determination, so you are gonna talk to your realtor and you’re gonna understand what your real estate property taxes are, because you must pay those each year.

The last question is when you sell the real property, the tax consequences. This is something I want to defer to your CPA, or tax advisor, and your realtor, but you are going to have to pay probably some tax if you make a gain on the property. That’s something you need to talk to your CPA about. So bottom line: you can buy American real estate. And these are some of the things you need to consider. I hope that was helpful.

Please don't hesitate to contact us or call 415-221-3500 if you have any questions.

Vaughan de Kirby
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San Francisco California EB-5 Investment Immigration Attorney