Having a home in the US is a dream for many. It will not be an easy journey, but it is possible. For foreign nationals, the story may be a bit different, but it still is viable. If you are a non-resident who has fallen in love with Miami and wants to live here for good, this is what you need to know about navigating your mortgage process:

The Challenges to Encounter

There is no citizenship requirement when buying real estate properties, so even non-US citizens can purchase properties on US soil. However, things are different if you need to qualify for a mortgage. As a foreign national, you might not have the usual documents required for applying for a mortgage. These include the following:

  • Government-issued IDs
  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns

Without these, loan providers might find it difficult to assess your financial capacity to keep up with mortgage payments. However, this is not the end of the road. There are still ways you can buy a home in the US through a mortgage. All you need is to find the right partner to help you strengthen your application. 

How to Purchase a Home With Mortgage

No matter where you are from, it is possible for you to acquire a home in the US. If you have the cash to pay the full price of the property you want, you will not experience that much trouble. However, if you need financial assistance or a mortgage, you would need to meet some requirements. Here are some things you need to do:

Step 1: Understand the Type of Borrower You Are

Since your case is unique, you are not considered an ordinary borrower. You can either categorize yourself as a:

  • Foreign National Borrower: This category means that you are a non-resident in the US looking to buy a property in the country.
  • ITIN Borrower: This category is for people who have an individual taxpayer identification number instead of the US Social Security number. People under this category have access to the full document loan options exclusive for non-permanent residents, but they need to have US tax returns. 

Step 2: Understand the Rules and Requirements for Borrowers

Next, you have to be aware of the rules and requirements that you need to meet. Usually, local American applicants would provide their credit score, tax documentation, and employment record. Not having any of these requirements does not mean you cannot secure a loan. As a foreign investor, you need to meet specific criteria to make you eligible for a mortgage application. 

The requirements would vary depending on the loan provider, but here are the standard conditions that lenders ask:

  • A credit score of 720 or better
  • Twenty percent downpayment
  • A valid ITIN
  • An existing US source of income that could last for at least three more years
  • At least two years of US work experience

Step 3: Check Your Options

Options vary depending on your circumstances. That is why it is ideal to work with a mortgage lender who can provide you with various choices. 

Here are some criteria that loan providers give:

  • Your mortgage should not be more than 75% of the appraised value of the property you are targeting. 
  • The assets you presented must be seasoned for at least two months and not simply appear when you needed it.  

For your loan option, you can get any of the following home types:

  • Townhouse
  • Condominium or non-warrantable condominiums
  • Single-Family residences
  • Two-to-Four Unit Properties
  • Other commercial properties


Many factors can affect your mortgage application, such as your debt-to-income ratio, visa type, and more. One thing is for sure: borrowing money is possible. In fact, you can explore possibly better options. You can discuss gift funds, seller concessions, and more with your loan provider. 

If you are looking for foreign national loans in Florida, we can help you. Halpern & Associates has been doing this for over 20 years. Let us help you find the right loan program for you. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you!

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