Can a UK citizen buy a house in the USA?

Buy a House in The USA | US Home Loan
US Mortgage, UK Citizens buying US Property

The only globally-based USA mortgage specialists, America Mortgages

Can a UK citizen buy a house in the USA?

With a mortgage from America Mortgages, any UK citizen can buy property in the United States.

The United States of America has no laws that specifically prevent non-citizens from buying or owning property in its states and territories, regardless of nationality. What was once limited to the ultra-rich and British rock stars has become more mainstream, with heaps of those living in the Home Islands grabbing their slice of the American Dream.

Our lending tiers start with residential units valued at a minimum property value of $200,000, with a minimum loan amount of $150,000 which is ideal for those seeking seasonal vacation units as a source of rental income. In addition, America Mortgages also offers commercial, portfolio, and bridge loans, all three of which require minimum loans of $1,000,000. 

Buy a house in the US

Buying property in the US for UK citizens can be just one step, however, because owning property in the US does not grant residency rights. If you are not a permanent US resident, the length of your stay is legally limited to the duration of your visa. Still, making substantial investments in American real estate is one path to permanent residency, and by extension, full citizenship (via naturalization).

US Green Card for UK citizens via Property Ownership

For example, the EB-5 visa can grant one conditional permanent residency, or a US Green Card, by investing a minimum of $900,000 (at the time this article was published), and while this does not offer instant citizenship, it can expedite US residency that might eventually lead to full citizenship. Although owning real estate in the United States doesn’t qualify as an investment into an EB5 program, it can be a factor in consideration when or if you decide to apply for residency. Please confer with an EB5 attorney or advisor.

US Property Market for UK Citizens

As the United States transitions to a post-pandemic economy, its housing market has heated up for several reasons, including an increase in home offices and those with the financial means motivated by a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Unlike many other nations, however, UK citizens investing in US housing need to remember that it’s not a homogenous market: its 50 states and one federal district (Washington, D.C.) offer as much diversity within themselves as they do as a whole.

Best place to buy house in USA

For example, $10,000,000 can get you a massive 7-bedroom, 9-bath 10,000 square-foot ranch house on a large piece of pristine forested land in Colorado, but that same ten million dollars in New York City is the going price for a luxury 3,100 square foot apartment with three bedrooms and four bathrooms. But as mentioned above, UK citizens need not be in the top 1% of earners to purchase a home in the US, get in touch with us today to start your path to American property ownership.

Financing US Housing as a UK Citizen

America Mortgages provides comprehensive USA residential mortgage services for those living abroad, including UK citizens who wish to invest in US properties, as well as Foreign Nationals and American expats residing anywhere in the U.K. — England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Our global team of specialists is ready to help you — As America Mortgages only focus is very specific, we achieve approval on 97% of mortgages for US citizens and foreign nationals applications submitted through a vast network of the top 150 US lenders.

Sources: Portal Hud, British Expats

U.S. Data Scientist living in U.K., purchases second home in Honolulu, Hawaii

Overseas Mortgage Lenders

The Client

Our client wanted invest in a second property. She decided to take advantage of rental yields by fixing up a single-family home and then renting it out.

How We Helped

After researching for days, she finally reached out to America Mortgages. Using AM Fix-’N’-Flip program for U.S. Expats, closed the deal in 15 days with a rate of 6.50%!

Loan Details

NationalityProperty ValueLoan AmountARVRate
U.S. Citizen$480,000$312,00065%6.50%
TermAddressProperty TypePurposeLoan Type
18 MonthsHonolulu, HawaiiSingle-Family HomeFix-and-FlipResidential

Reasons NOT To Buy In Cash.

advisor mortgage group

In today’s low-inventory housing market, Real Estate investors are looking for any way to get an advantage over the other buyers when putting in an offer on a property.

Part of that strategy is not to buy in cash. If you have the means, an all-cash offer is a great way to fast-track a deal. A seller, more often than not, will consider a cash deal over a mortgage. The deal’s success isn’t reliant on a lender’s approval following an appraisal, and you’ll own the home outright after the transaction with no mortgage.

“With two similar offers, all cash or financing, it’s likely that an all-cash offer would be the most attractive and less risky to the seller and seller’s agent.”

“For Non-U.S. citizens, cash transactions make up a majority of Real Estate investments due to what is perceived as the lack of access to consistent and affordable financing options. However, that is not true any longer. Our focus is being able to provide competitive, viable, and easy access to U.S. mortgage loans for non-U.S. citizens. And we’ve done it to perfection.”Donald Klip

BUT EVEN IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH LIQUID ASSETS TO PURCHASE A HOME WITHOUT A LOAN, IS IT ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA?

Here are several reasons not to buy a home with cash:

LIQUIDITY, LIQUIDITY, LIQUIDITY

You always hear the axiom in Real Estate – Location, location, location, and although that may be true, it’s not wise to purchase a home with cash if you have only just enough liquidity to pay for it. Liquidity issues at some point in time affect everyone.

The inability to move currency across borders to cover large expenses could also be a factor. It’s essential, especially as a non-U.S. citizen, to have access to available funds for any number of unexpected needs, from a new roof to other large repair expenses.
You may even want to have enough funds on stand-by to sustain the mortgage if the property goes un-rented.

ACCESS TO SOLID FOREIGN NATIONAL MORTGAGES ARE AVAILABLE

With a down payment of 30 percent or more for a foreign national mortgage loan, you don’t have to worry about additional mortgage insurance when it comes to a standard U.S. conventional loan. With a lower LTV (loan-to-value), a lower interest rate will normally be available due to the lower risk lenders perceive that you’ll default on the loan.

For the younger generations looking to invest in a market that doesn’t have a huge sticker shock, acceptable yields, and stable appreciation, obtaining a mortgage is a smart move.

“Unlike their parents and grandparents, Millennials in Asia are more comfortable with taking on a mortgage loan,” says Donald Klip. He notes the younger generations’ familiarity with the U.S. credit market from either extensive travel or schooling makes taking on debt an easier choice than for older generations that have built up Real Estate wealth over time but may not be accustomed to having mortgage loans.

Although interest rates may be on the rise, they remain low compared to previous decades. With 30% down, the rates are still favorable and fixed for periods of 5, 7, 10, or 30 years. America Mortgages is currently offering fixed-rate mortgages at slightly over 6% without verifying income, U.S. credit, or residency. Compare that to the 1980s, when a foreign national mortgage loan was almost impossible to obtain, and mortgage rates were at an all-time high of 18%, there is no question on why you should leverage up.

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Even if you’re looking to buy an investment property outside a pricey metro area such as NYC, San Francisco, Washington DC, or L.A., and if you have enough funds to pay outright, you’re likely sitting on a sizeable amount of capital. However, the decision isn’t necessarily between buying a property outright or keeping money earning very little in the bank. Consider other forms of investment to grow your wealth. Use those funds and your cash to “leverage up” by purchasing more than one investment property, increasing your portfolio and holdings quicker.

YOU’LL MISS OUT ON POTENTIAL TAX BREAKS

Although we suggest discussing any potential tax benefits with your tax advisor, most homeowners with a mortgage receive a tax benefit on the interest paid to the lender. The larger the mortgage, the bigger the benefit, increasing the yield potential of your investment.

ALWAYS WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS

In an extremely competitive Real Estate market, an all-cash offer can provide the edge you need to get the seller to consider your offer more seriously than others. Often your offer may not be the highest, but the seller knows an all-cash off will make the closing process easier.

If you want to obtain financing, keep in mind that the seller may consider an offer that allows for easier financing. Often larger down payments and smaller mortgages will also be considered easier to close mortgages as it’s less risky for the lender.

“We do it all day, every day. It’s not difficult if you know the terrain and have the right relationships, and in most cases, we can find a U.S. mortgage loan for every non-U.S. Citizen or Expat client. Most U.S.-based mortgage lenders look at a borrower’s U.S. credit history to determine their ability to repay a mortgage loan.

However, at America Mortgages, we understand that as a non-U.S. citizen, you normally don’t have a U.S. credit, and often can’t show income in a manner in which the lender will approve.If a borrower was attempting to search this for themselves, be prepared. Finding a lender in the U.S. to understand your situation becomes time-consuming, frustrating and often unobtainable, not to mention staying up late at night in Asia to answer questions or provide documents. Our job is simple; to understand the complexity of analyzing risk, calculating foreign income, and alternative sources of acceptable credit verification to find our client the best possible loan.”Donald Klip

If you’re a non-U.S. citizen looking to invest in U.S. Real Estate, we recommend sending America Mortgages an enquiry. Who knows, you may be on your way to Real Estate investing before you know it.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

U.K. Citizen living in Hong Kong expands his U.S. Real Estate portfolio with only 35% down using only the income generated from the property.

America mortgages

The Client

Our client is a British Marketing Director living in Hong Kong. He owns 15 small properties in the Atlanta area and wanted to add to his holding in U.S. real estate.

How We Helped

The client needed to release equity from two of his existing properties in Atlanta to get the down payment for the purchase of a new Orlando, Florida property (4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3200 sq. ft home with a pool).

The main challenge we had was the client was already in contract, and the loan was declined by an international bank two weeks into the process due to DTI (debt to income) issues.

Our Loan Specialists were able to immediately see the issue and discuss the client’s options on affordability. Once it was understood the client intended to use this property as an investment, America Mortgages was able to structure the loan using only the rental income to service the debt. The existing two rental properties were refinanced in sync with the closing of the purchase.

Loan Details

NationalityProperty ValueLoan AmountLTVRate
U.K. Citizen$1,690,000$1,098,50065%4.875%
AddressProperty TypePurposeLoan Type
15 unit portfolio, Atlanta, GeorgiaSingle-Family HomePurchase and RefinanceResidential