How to Buy a House in the U.S. as a Non-U.S. Citizen
5 minute read
July 6, 2021


If you recently moved to the U.S., are planning to in the future, or just want to purchase property there, you might be apprehensive about what it will take. The good news is anyone can purchase property in the U.S., with or without a green card, citizenship, or U.S. Credit.

However, if you don’t have the legal right to stay in the country, it will be challenging to get a mortgage loan through traditional means. Traditional lenders, such as banks, will need to see that you have credit established here and that you can repay the loan.

If you don’t have the time or resources to establish credit prior to moving here, how can a non-U.S. citizen buy a house? Fortunately, private money lenders can help. These lenders specialize in unique situations that banks can’t wrap their heads around. For private lenders, it’s all about the deal.

Why should you find a private money lender?

Private money lenders — also known as hard money lenders — are individuals or funding groups, not banks. They don’t require the same types or amount of documentation as traditional lenders do. Instead, hard money lenders focus on the merits of the deal above all else. 

If you don’t have a green card or work visa, many traditional lenders will either immediately deny you a loan, or enact stricter requirements and high down payments. Regulations for traditional lenders are driven by Congress-created mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Hard money lenders are not driven by these companies, so the requirements are vastly different. Your lender will want to know your situation, plan, and exit strategy in the form of an executive summary. Rather than basing your approval on strict requirements, they will use their industry knowledge and experience to make a decision.

What do hard money lenders require from non-U.S. citizens?

Hard money lenders are focused on the property you want to purchase more than your ability to repay the loan. While they will require some documentation, it won’t be anything like the requirements from a bank. 

Traditional lenders are focused on credit score, employment, income, tax returns, debt, and down payments. Hard money lenders want to understand your unique situation and your goals, and they are interested in building relationships with their borrowers.

While buying a house is simple for non-U.S. citizens who are paying in cash, acquiring a mortgage loan is a whole other story. Traditional lenders view these borrowers as too complex. For hard money lenders, these complex deals are common.

What makes someone a foreign buyer?

Regardless of citizenship, anyone can buy property in the U.S. Generally, non-U.S. citizen buyers include:

  • Foreign nationals who don’t have permanent residence
  • Permanent residents with a green card
  • Non-permanent residents with a work visa

Non-citizen buyers may have recently moved, or plan to move, to the U.S. and purchase a home to use as a permanent residence, business, or rental property. 

They also may still be living in their home country but are interested in purchasing a vacation home or investment property. Many foreign buyers choose to purchase investment or vacation properties in California.

Investment property examples include everything from single-family homes to apartments and condominiums. Business properties might be anything from a single business to a shopping mall.

Benefits of owning a home in the U.S.

Besides the satisfaction of owning your own home in the U.S., there are many other reasons purchasing a home or property can be beneficial.

Rent it out when you’re not there

If you’re not planning to live in the home year-round, you can rent it out or use it as a vacation rental. In vacation hotspots like California, you won’t have a problem with people wanting this space. The state has many popular cities, beaches, and tourist attractions.

Add to your investments

Whether you’re already an investor with properties around the world or just digging into the opportunities, investing in property in California will increase your overall financial stability. A strong job market and pleasant climate year-round draw many people to California to live, work, and play.

Safety and security while you’re in town

Sometimes, foreign buyers will purchase a home for their children who are living or studying abroad. And if you don’t live in the U.S. but frequently visit, you’re always guaranteed to have the safety, security, and familiarity of your own space while you’re in town.

What Marquee Funding Group offers to non-U.S. citizens

Marquee Funding Group is a full-service mortgage banking firm that specializes in hard money loans. Located in California, Marquee offers many options to non-U.S. citizens buying a house or property, including:

  • Loan amounts from $50,000 to $20 million
  • Commercial, industrial, construction, and land loans
  • Single-family, multi-family, and condominium loans
  • Fix-and-flip or fix-and-occupy loans
  • Owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied, consumer-purpose and business-purpose loans
  • Loan-to-Value up to 70% (deal specific)

Perhaps the greatest benefit of hard money loans, besides the flexibility and common-sense approach, is the speed. Private money lenders have the ability to provide same-day approvals, and can close on deals in as quickly as seven to 10 days.

When you’re a non-citizen, it’s even more important to have a lender you can trust. Marquee Funding Group is the ethical standard of the hard money loan industry. You can expect honesty, respect, and transparency from any deal. Submit your loan scenario today or contact us to get started. We look forward to working with you.

Image by Muntzir Mehdi from Pixabay 


More on Hard Money Loans