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Buying a house without US credit history?

Buying a house without US credit history?

Old Mar 17th 2013, 4:33 am
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Default Buying a house without US credit history?

I am moving to the US this year on a temp work visa which may turn out eventually to be a full time work visa (sponsorship etc...)

I have a colleague who's mom is a realtor and she has shown me a few places to buy and rent.
My heart is more towards the buying for a few reasons.
I have easily, in cash if needs be, a 25-30% deposit for a house.
I have no US credit history but an excellent credit history in the UK and also use my AMEX card alot (does this help for a US credit history?)

I probably won't be getting an SSN given the nature of the visa in question.

My question is: is it possible for non US citizens to buy a house in the US without an SSN and credit history?

what is the best way to start building a credit history in the US?
what about buying a home - do you NEED to have a mortgage? I can provide alot of evidence in terms of my income and whatever else is required. I have no debts or anything at all.

Do US banks allow mortgages to non US citizens?
Can a non US citizen open and maintain a bank account even on a B1/B2 visa? (this visa status will be changed later).

thanks for the insights.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 4:40 am
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
I am moving to the US this year on a temp work visa which may turn out eventually to be a full time work visa (sponsorship etc...)

....

Can a non US citizen open and maintain a bank account even on a B1/B2 visa? (this visa status will be changed later).
Are you telling us you're planning to move to the United States on a B visa? That is probably not a good idea.

In the past you've asked about fiance visas, also H1-B ...
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 4:40 am
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

the past is the past. the past is not the future. and no it is not on a B visa.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 4:51 am
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
the past is the past. the past is not the future. and no it is not on a B visa.
So what visa is it then? The answer will determine things like whether you can have a SSN. In fact, if you have the right to work in the U.S. you can normally get a (restricted) Social Security card.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 4:55 am
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

all you need to know is that I WILL have the right to work in the US. I consulted an immigration lawyer and has given me the right details and information.
I just need info in regards to the mortgage and houses - many thanks
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 5:14 am
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Without a SSN it is unlikely you will be able to get a regular mortgage. It is possible that a mortgage broker might find finance for you at a relatively high interest rate, or a small bank may be willing to finance a house for you. If you find such a deal expect to pay at least 6%.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 6:31 am
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
all you need to know is that I WILL have the right to work in the US. I consulted an immigration lawyer and has given me the right details and information.
I just need info in regards to the mortgage and houses - many thanks
OK ...

You can certainly buy a property in the US, but getting a mortgage from a US lender will be extremely difficult.

Not having a US credit history would make things difficult but not having a social security number will make it close to impossible -as far as most US lenders are concerned you fall so far outside of their normal requirements that they would have no idea how to deal with you. Without a social security number they can't even run a credit check on you to determine that you don't have a credit history ...

By the way, I know that you think that you have all of this sorted out but I hope that you understand not only the immigration issued involved but also the tax implications of whatever it is that you are planning on doing ...
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
all you need to know is that I WILL have the right to work in the US.
There is no "right" to work in the US. There is only "permission" to work in the US. Will you also have permission to live in the US? If you choose to give inexact information, you will receive inexact information. It's the nature of the beast.


I consulted an immigration lawyer and has given me the right details and information.
Good. If you need info on mortgages and houses, I suggest you contact a real estate agent. Any agent worth her salt should be able to tell you what to do in the event that you don't have a US credit history. Have you considered the tax implications of what you plan to do?

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Old Mar 17th 2013, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
I am moving to the US this year on a temp work visa which may turn out eventually to be a full time work visa (sponsorship etc...)

I have a colleague who's mom is a realtor and she has shown me a few places to buy and rent.
My heart is more towards the buying for a few reasons.
I have easily, in cash if needs be, a 25-30% deposit for a house.
I have no US credit history but an excellent credit history in the UK and also use my AMEX card alot (does this help for a US credit history?)

I probably won't be getting an SSN given the nature of the visa in question.

My question is: is it possible for non US citizens to buy a house in the US without an SSN and credit history?

what is the best way to start building a credit history in the US?
what about buying a home - do you NEED to have a mortgage? I can provide alot of evidence in terms of my income and whatever else is required. I have no debts or anything at all.

Do US banks allow mortgages to non US citizens?
Can a non US citizen open and maintain a bank account even on a B1/B2 visa? (this visa status will be changed later).

thanks for the insights.
My advice would be to wait for the visa to come through, as with all things immigration, nothing is certain until you physically have that visa that allows you to live there in your passport.
I will give you my abridged version so that you dont make the same mistake as I did:
Boyfriend in the US on H1B, I was offered a position with an Int. Investment Bank for an H1B and onwards to GC. This was March 2006. We decided to design and build our house, broke ground in March 2006. Put up 40%. Boyfriend got the construction loan. Got COI for house Dec 1 2006. Boyfriend and dog moved into our gorgeous house. I didn't get the H1B as it was a lottery that year, they moved me to London for a year so I could be eligible for L1. Long story short - the Investment bank was bought for pennies on the dollar Oct 2008. No L1 visa. I finally immigrated Dec 3rd 2010!

You can certainly buy a house without a mortgage if you can afford it. Although boyfriend got the construction loan without any issues, he then had to convert to a mortgage and then they asked him for his GC. As he was at the prelim stage for GC application - they said they couldn't go through with the mortgage and gave us 30 days to pay the note!:eeg:

Without a SSN, US tax returns and credit history you will find it very difficult to get a mortgage. You can open a non interest bearing account at most banks though. I would definitely recommend renting first, but more importantly get a visa and don't leave things to chance.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

My question is: is it possible for non US citizens to buy a house in the US without an SSN and credit history?

Answer: yes. You can buy whatever you like. If you have the money

Will you get someone to give you cash in the form of a mortgage to help you buy the place with (at this point it seems) questionable residency and work status, a foreign credit history and a credit card?

Answer: not a bloody chance.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Originally Posted by Alan17 View Post
..... Will you get someone to give you cash in the form of a mortgage to help you buy the place with (at this point it seems) questionable residency and work status, a foreign credit history and a credit card?

Answer: not a bloody chance.
With enough down payment, a hard money lender probably would.

With deposit rates below 1% and bond rates around 3% (and a collapse in the bond market predicted) for wealthy individuals hard money loans can be an attractive alternative investment.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Just finished the mortgage process myself (well, next week hopefully) and can barely sit down with the financial investigation that they want. So while someone might, I'd wonder if they'd really be the type that you'd want to do business with.

But as you say, anythings possible.
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Old Mar 17th 2013, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

Try LloydsTSB or HSBC offshore mortgage services for expats. They will probably want between 30-40% deposit on a US property depending on which state you are buying in.
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Old Mar 18th 2013, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

You may be able to get a mortgage from a US lender without much of a credit history, but that one would have 99% likelyhood of being a subprime mortgage with funny fees and high interest rates. In order to get our regular mortgage at the local credit union, we had to have two years' worth of W-2s for me and I had to have 2 years of US work history.

Personally I don't think that buying somewhere you've never lived before makes a lot of sense without at least renting for 6-12 month so you can get the lay of the land and figure out which areas you'd like to live in, which areas aren't that great etc etc.
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Old Mar 18th 2013, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house without US credit history?

thanks all. I appreciate it.
yes I understand the tax implications and the whole setup process.

reason for me wanting to buy is because I plan to make a deal of it and not just for the short term. But also because apperently the houses are affordable in the state of texas. so for a 2 bed... that is around $110-140K and that is cheap in comparison to the UK for sure.
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