A foreign investor looking to buy Florida real estate has to consider more than just price and location in order to make the best decision. Depending on their country of origin, foreign investors can be eligible for several loan programs or other investment opportunities designed specifically for them, but they also need to understand what’s required of them when it comes to owning property in the U.S., including state and local taxes, legal issues and more. Here are some things foreign buyers need to know when buying real estate in Florida.
What does foreign investor mean?
If you’re a foreign investor or non-resident, you’ll likely be looking for one of two loan types when it comes time to buy your property: Foreign National Mortgage Association (FNMA) loans or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.
Are foreign investors eligible for the same financing options as U.S. citizens?
It’s quite common for foreign investors to buy property in Florida and finance their real estate with a non-U.S. citizen loan, also known as a Foreign National Loan. What is not well-known is that different financing options are available based on citizenship status—and these differences can have a dramatic impact on your ability to qualify for an investment loan.
When it comes to taxes and regulations, non-US citizens buying real estate in Florida must be careful. In case you are intending to purchase a property for leasing purposes, the real estate will be subject to taxation on rental incomes.
In this sense, foreign buyers need to be aware of the guidelines provided by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for determining what constitutes a US-resident for tax purposes.
How do I obtain a mortgage from my lender?
First, you’ll want to be sure you qualify for a mortgage before shopping for real estate. The lender will review your finances and credit history and decide if they can safely lend you money. Lenders will also check your citizenship status, as most require that borrowers be permanent U.S.
When you apply for credit, lenders determine your credit risk by examining your credit scores. This way, before applying for a US mortgage as a foreigner, the buyer must first establish credit and earn a good credit score.
Any buyer interested in mortgage options for financing a property in Florida should consider banks with global operations. These well-established financial entities will have the necessary expertise to verify credit established abroad and to provide the process’ guidelines.
Do I need any special certification or background checks to buy real estate in Florida?
Yes, depending on where you’re from and whether you’re a US citizen. The first thing foreign buyers need to know is that different countries have different laws regarding real estate ownership. If you are purchasing a home in Florida as an individual who isn’t a US citizen, there are several forms you will need to fill out and special certification requirements.
Non-US citizens interested in buying real estate in Florida can do it in their own names or through a legal entity. In this case, the term legal entity includes limited partnerships, corporations, joint ventures, trusts, or limited liability companies.