The Current Real Estate Landscape Part II Buying Basics

What do you need to know before you start the process of buying U.S. property?

Who Can Buy?

Anyone may buy and own property in the United States, regardless of citizenship. However, property owners may face more complex tax laws or face hurdles in obtaining a mortgage as non-U.S. citizens.

What Can You Buy?

Non-citizens can own or buy single-family homes, condominiums, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhomes, multi-unit residential buildings or commercial properties such as shopping malls. However, various U.S. laws may impose restrictions or requirements applicable to foreign investors in certain cases, such as through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Patriot Act, and the Committee on Foreign Investment, to name a few. It is advisable that non-citizens seeking to buy real estate in the U.S. consult their legal advisor about any restrictions or requirements that may be applicable. Additionally, in certain metropolitan areas, such as New York City, housing cooperatives, or co-ops, often require a buyer’s source of income to be from the U.S. and the majority of the buyer’s assets to be kept in the U.S.

How Can You Buy?

Non-U.S. citizen investors may purchase property directly – in their names – or through a business entity, such as a domestic corporation, international corporation, limited partnership, joint venture, real estate investment trust or limited liability company.
Depending on the state and how you are purchasing the property, various legal and personal documents may be required for non-U.S. citizens to purchase property in the U.S.

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