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help with L1 visa and mortgage please

help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Old May 15th 2011, 1:29 am
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Default help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Hi, we've been in Mass, in the US, for nearly 2 years and have just had a massively painful breakdown of our prospective house purchase due to our mortgage provider not accepting our L1 visa at the last minute. I definitely do not want to go through this again!!!
I've been reading through a few threads and just wondered if I could confirm what I think I understand is the general advice:
It's worth us reapplying for a mortgage if we:
- have 3.5% deposit
- go through an FHA loan
- go through a credit union
- have at least 1 year left on our L1 (as bad luck would have it, this whole process has brought us to just under a year now, so will have to wait until we can renew)
I understand not all lenders will accept L1 but we have a reasonably good chance of finding one if we have over 1 year left on it, if we look around, is that right?
Thanks for any advice at this stage
Jan
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Old May 15th 2011, 1:49 am
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Originally Posted by fraj1906 View Post
- have 3.5% deposit
3.5% down is not very much in today's market. It's certainly the minimum down for an FHA, but I doubt you'll get any other lenders interested in playing ball with you in today's market with your risk in the transaction being so small.
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Old May 15th 2011, 4:53 am
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

In MA...generally looking to have 20% minimum to get any kind of decent loan these days...buying when you don't have a greencard is also a really bad idea.

Wait till you get the greencard, because it'll be an expensive mess if you get laid off or anything like that before getting the greencard.
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Old May 15th 2011, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Remember how ever hard is for you to buy a house it is even harder to sell one.....

All indicators show no improvement in the housing market. If you just put 3.5% down you will be "underwater" very quickly plus remember it costs a lot of money to sell a house if you have to.

Get your green card and save up for a bigger deposit
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Old May 15th 2011, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Thanks for all your responses. All makes a lot of sense! At any event when we come back to this we'll be in a much stronger position. Thank you
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Old May 22nd 2011, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

I'm curious...

... how does having, or not having, a Green Card affect the process of buying a house here with a US mortgage?

We've 2.5 yrs on our non-extended L1 visa, and are petitioning my employer for sponsoring our Green Card applications and thinking of buying a place in the next few years...

Cheers
HTS
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Old May 22nd 2011, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
I'm curious...

... how does having, or not having, a Green Card affect the process of buying a house here with a US mortgage?

We've 2.5 yrs on our non-extended L1 visa, and are petitioning my employer for sponsoring our Green Card applications and thinking of buying a place in the next few years...

Cheers
HTS
PR and USC are treated alike. Anything else is considered greater risk.
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Old May 22nd 2011, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
I'm curious...

... how does having, or not having, a Green Card affect the process of buying a house here with a US mortgage?

We've 2.5 yrs on our non-extended L1 visa, and are petitioning my employer for sponsoring our Green Card applications and thinking of buying a place in the next few years...

Cheers
HTS
Would you prefer to loan money to someone who is permanently living in the US, or someone who is only here for 3 years?
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Old May 22nd 2011, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
I'm curious...

... how does having, or not having, a Green Card affect the process of buying a house here with a US mortgage?

We've 2.5 yrs on our non-extended L1 visa, and are petitioning my employer for sponsoring our Green Card applications and thinking of buying a place in the next few years...

Cheers
HTS
It's tougher to get and unless you've a serious down payment, will get a higher rate, purely because you're a greater risk.

What are you doing to do if you get laid off etc? A big expensive mess and the bank doesn't need to deal with the hassle...plus you really shouldn't bother until you have the greencard, for the very reason of what will happen if you got laid off etc.
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Old May 23rd 2011, 3:14 am
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
I'm curious...

... how does having, or not having, a Green Card affect the process of buying a house here with a US mortgage?

We've 2.5 yrs on our non-extended L1 visa, and are petitioning my employer for sponsoring our Green Card applications and thinking of buying a place in the next few years...

Cheers
HTS
because they know if the l2 holder is made redundant (and that happens a lot) they are leaving within a few weeks and the house will NOT get sold that quickly etc etc.... Its also true that a visa holder typically has a poorer credit score as they have typically been in the country less time than a citizen or gc holder and thus is a poorer risk. (and im not saying your a bad credit risk - just havnt had the time to build a good score yet).
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Old May 23rd 2011, 3:18 am
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Thanks for those perspectives everybody...

... so not being PR or USC => greater perceived risk => higher interest rates/deposits charged, if they will even do business with you...

Cheers

HTS
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Old May 24th 2011, 4:22 am
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

I won't disagree with any of the posts regarding needing the security of GC before plunging into home ownership in the US but we did buy as L visa holders last year.

We were lucky enough to have a good percentage deposit (not hard in Houston where it's very affordable) and this will have helped us get a better (not best) rate. During the process it certainly didn't seem that it would have been impossible if we'd gone down the <20% FHA route and so I don't think this is out of the question.

We used a Wells Fargo broker (based in Houston) who is very experienced in getting expats mortgages. They (and I'm sure other banks too) have a specialist mortgage for expats with no to little credit history (we nearly didn't qualify because we had too much credit history by the time we applied and so you may or may not be in that boat). If you would like the details of this broker, feel free to PM. You don't have to be in Texas to go down this route. No physical meeting with her is necessary.

Good luck and, as others have said, think carefully before you jump in.

Doug.
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Old May 28th 2011, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Hi David,

Could you please help us with the Wells Fargo officer details? I have just joined this forum and i cannot do a PM before 3 posts.

my email is <deleted>
Thanks,
Meera

Last edited by meauxna; May 28th 2011 at 8:21 pm.
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Old May 28th 2011, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: help with L1 visa and mortgage please

Originally Posted by svijayar View Post
Hi David,

Could you please help us with the Wells Fargo officer details? I have just joined this forum and i cannot do a PM before 3 posts.

my email is [deletedl]

Thanks,
Meera
Or you could just participate in the forum and share some of your information.
We request that you don't post emails or ask people to email strangers. Thanks.
(I think you were replying to Doug, not David)
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