With a growing economy, diversity, and abundant opportunities for everyone, the U.S. is a great option for purchasing a secondary, vacation, investment, or retirement home. Curious about what the process looks like? We dive into all the reasons it makes sense for non-U.S. residents to buy a home in the States.
Why Buy a Home in the U.S. as a Non-U.S. Citizen
There are several benefits to owning a home outside of your home country. For one, it means you won’t have to worry about lodging in when you travel. You have a space designated for you and your family, and, even better, you know it meets your standards and is well-maintained. No more sifting through hundreds of reviews and guest photos; know you’re getting the best of the best in lodging by purchasing your own home in the U.S.
Even if you don’t travel to the States yourself, plenty of others do. Around 80 million people visit the U.S. internationally each year, you can bet most of them are not interested in navigating the home buying process in the country. Maybe they don’t have the financial means to do so, or maybe they don’t visit often enough for it to be worthwhile. So, why not take on an investment rental property?
Whether you use the home or not, the rest of the year, you can list it as a vacation rental, and if it’s in a popular destination city, you can more than pay for the home in rent. Sites such as Airbnb make it easy to list your rental, connect with reliable renters, and handle everything you need from afar.
There’s also the possibility of tax benefits, such as those that come with being a homeowner or having a home-office. Whether you’re working or playing while you’re in the U.S., there are options to help lower the amount you’ll have to pay annually in taxes by owning property in the country. Another bonus: Owning property in multiple areas around the world means you’re diversifying your investments, which assists with financial stability overall.
How to Purchase a Home in the U.S.
Purchasing a home in the U.S. as a non-resident is not quite as simple as TV shows might make it seem; it involves a lot of paperwork.
The first step is acquiring an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN. As a U.S. homeowner, you must submit an annual tax return; you must have an ITIN to complete this process. You’ll also want to know your credit score (and improve it as much as possible) to secure a mortgage. While the financial logistics can be quite convoluted, this is an important first step. Securing financing takes time, so we recommend tackling these steps early.
Next, research. There’s a possibility you may be purchasing your new home unseen, so your home search process might look a bit different. It’s best to utilize a combination of listing services (such as NewHomeSource.com) as well as local resources – think about those who live or have experience in the area you’re looking to purchase. Connect with residents and professionals electronically or via social media to get a better sense of the community, but know that nothing is better than paying a visit to the community yourself. Plan ample time to explore the community and surrounding areas, and don’t forget to prepare questions beforehand for the builders and sales reps.
As the process can be overwhelming for those not familiar with the U.S. market and system, it might be a good idea to call on the help of an expert. Hiring various professionals throughout the process to help you search for and purchase a new home will also protect you from challenges, including those you didn’t even think to anticipate.
Should you Purchase Property in the U.S.?
While only you know yourself best, there are a few questions to help narrow down the answer:
- Do I want an overseas investment property in the United States to diversify my investments?
- Do I frequently travel to the U.S. for work, or to visit family and friends?
- Am I interested in retiring in the United States?
If you answered yes to the above questions, it’s likely you’re ready to purchase a new home in the U.S. and begin reaping the benefits. Visit NewHomeSource.com for all of your home buying needs, and for more information on purchasing homes as a non-U.S. citizen. And don’t forget to follow us on social media!
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.