Some Rules for Foreigners Buying Property in USA (see full list)

What Rules Should Foreigners Follow When Buying Property in the USA?

Every country has its own set of rules, and in the US, some of these are made at the federal level, while others are different from state to state. 

So let’s look at the essential rules foreigners need to follow when buying property in the USA.

1. You Need a Sponsor

Unless you have a close relative who is a citizen of the United States, you’ll need to find a sponsor willing to help you with the property purchase. 

This person will ensure you follow all the rules and regulations associated with buying property in the USA.

2. You Must Have a Valid Visa

To buy property in the USA, you must have a valid visa that allows you to live and work in the country. 

Without a valid visa, you cannot complete the purchase process. Your visa needs to allow you to stay at least three years. 

3. You Cannot Use All-Cash 

If you’re a foreigner looking to buy real estate in the USA, your money will come from an account outside the US. 

The only exception is if you want to acquire property through cash value life insurance policies or annuities.

Still, there are restrictions on how much money can be withdrawn from these accounts each year without paying penalties.

4. Look for Condos, Not Co-ops.

If you’re a foreigner looking to buy property in the USA, there are some important rules to keep in mind. 

One of the most important is to look for condos, not co-ops. Co-ops are much more difficult to finance as a foreigner, so condos are generally the better option. 

Here are some other essential things to keep in mind 

  • You must have 50% or more equity if your mortgage includes private insurance. 
  • Lenders will only give out loans with 20% down payments on new construction homes; this includes condos. 
  • For FHA and VA loans, lenders typically require a 10% down payment on new construction homes, including condos. 
  • Properties with less than 20 units can be financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac even if they don’t meet these requirements (but banks often won’t provide financing for these properties).

5. Spend at Least 183 Days in the Us Each Year

Unless you’re a full-time student or have a work visa, you’ll need to spend at least 183 days in the US each year to maintain your status as a legal resident. 

That means if you’re planning on buying a property here, you’ll need to make sure you can spend enough time in the country to make it worthwhile.

6. You Can Only Own One Home

Owning more than one home as a foreigner in the United States is strictly prohibited. 

If you’re caught, you could face severe penalties, including jail time. So if you’re thinking of buying a second home, think again.

7. You’ll Need to Purchase Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is essential because it protects your home from damage or destruction. 

It also covers your personal belongings in case of theft or vandalism. 

You’ll need to purchase homeowner’s insurance before closing on your home, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

Here are seven essential rules to keep in mind when purchasing homeowner’s insurance:

1. Make sure you’re covered for the replacement value of your home, not just the market value.

2. Choose a policy with a high enough limit to cover the cost of rebuilding your home.

3. Make sure your policy covers additional living expenses if you need to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

4. Be aware of what is and isn’t covered by your policy. For example, fire damage caused by faulty wiring may not be covered. 

5. Beware of people who offer policies at lower rates but provide few details about coverage. This could indicate that they don’t offer as much protection as other companies. 

6. If you have questions about how your policy works, talk to an insurance agent or company representative – they should be able to answer any questions you have and help find a policy that fits your needs. 

7. If you want more than $300 worth of daily coverage for living expenses during the rebuilding process, ensure you get enough coverage under the loss-of-use part of your homeowners’ insurance.


If you’re a foreigner looking to buy property in the USA, there are a few essential rules to keep in mind. 

First, make sure you have the proper visa. 

Second, consult with a real estate agent familiar with foreign buyers. 

Third, get pre-approved for a mortgage. 

Fourth, be prepared to put down a larger down payment. 

Fifth, be aware of any taxes and fees that may apply. 

Sixth, be prepared to show proof of income and assets. 

Seventh, consult with an attorney to ensure everything is above board. 

By following these simple steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful purchase.

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