Tips for a foreigner to invest in American Real Estate World

After the strong signs of recovery in the real estate market in the U.S, few of the outside of the country have started to venture into American real estate investments. For those who wonder whether a foreigner can purchase real estate in the U.S and any special laws or taxes that abide such transactions, below find the detailed answer.

Unlike other countries where foreign nationals purchasing real estate are prohibited, the U.S considers both sales of real estate made to the foreigner as one and same to citizens. The only restrictions are generally obligatory by condominium associations, homeowners associations or other type of community associations.

A community association is a legal entity that is incorporated for managing real estate property in a specific neighbourhood or building. If a person buys a property in such area incorporated with the community association, it becomes mandatory to obey its rules. To avoid absentee owners to whom enforcing association’s rules become impossible, few states permit associations to have control on sales of property.

Procuring Finance

A foreigner can get obtain financing for their real estate buying, still they have to pay a higher rate of interest and larger down payments. Due to the relative risk held with a foreign buyer, impossibility of them to serve legal process, and their assets may not touchable; they are quite often expected to make at least 40% or more of purchase value as down payment. Whereas, a domestic buyer is not levied with such higher limitations as they can be easily tracked legally in case of any default.


Travelling Cost

Travelling, to and fro becomes quite too costly for a foreigner while dealing with each step of land buying experience. Still, it becomes inevitable for negotiating and closing a transaction. However, they can give “Power of Attorney” to a certified agent in the U.S who will take care of making appropriate arrangements and signing the necessary documents.


Foreign nationals involved land transactions are slightly more complicated with respect of taxes being levied on real estate, as the transaction is being abided to two country tax laws. Distinct nations will have distinct tax treaties with the U.S; hence, it is must prior to finalizing a deal, to consult with a professional local tax practitioner and preferably in the U.S also. At times, the foreign national has to make specific tax payment in the U.S apart from making separate payment in their home nation. Also, taxation rates may vary with countries.

  • Related to the above note, a foreign buyer can avoid paying income tax on the income gained through letting out the property purchased for first 10-15 years if he or she makes 40% to 50% as down payment while buying the property. This consequence from the sorts of expenses the U.S Government permits taxpayers to take away from their income during income tax filing.


  • Expenses such as common charges, mortgage interest, depreciation and property taxes are considered for income tax calculation that often leads to “negative income” calculation, in the sense no need to pay any tax. This will be ultimately changing if one owns the property for a long run as few of these deductions may run out. But, it’s a better means of tax evasion on real estate properties for a consistent number of years.

While a foreigner sells the U.S owned property, they will be applicable to capital gains taxes, in the sense out of their gross purchase price of the owned property they will automatically levied with 10% tax withholding by U.S Internal Revenue Service. In a few cases, this flat 10% withholding may be too much or too less. Based upon the U.S tax returns filing for that particular year, a foreigner may be levied with further payment or refund for other items.

There are furthermore other considerations that a foreign investor should investigate before investing in the U.S real estate. But, it is not so difficult but relatively so easy and entirely possible for a foreign national to make a purchase of real estate in America. For more information regarding the process of real estate transaction and for more tips regarding legal protections, taxes and other factors to be considered while making an American land purchase or selling, one can contact reputed Law Firms.


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