Legal Guide

How to buy a house in the USA if you are not a US citizen

We all want to live a lavish life with a big house in the USA. But, is it so hard to get a dream come true? If you are an immigrant and you have moved your life to the US, there are a few things you may want to know before you turn over a new leaf. It’s a little bit harder to buy a house if you’re not a US citizen. This can be a result of structural discrimination against immigrants. Also, for this big step you may need an immigration lawyer Chicago.

Here are a few things you’ll need to consider before buying a house in the USA:

  • How much can you afford to spend on a house?

There are a few ways of paying for a house as an immigrant. You can use cash or a mortgage. Depending on how much money you can set aside for this big step, maybe that same money will help you narrow down your choices.What will definitely interest the lender is down payment. In general, lenders in the USA require at least 20 percent of the total value of the house, as a deposit. But, here is the thing- if you are able to give more than that, it will be more than tempting to a lender. 

  • How to get a mortgage?

Foreigners with permanent residence without a green card, but who have a social security number, have a right for a housing loan if they own a work permit or visa sponsored by the employer indicating that they will live and work in the USA for at least 3 years. Also, you need to know about many types of fees with getting a mortgage. Some of them are rate lock services, inspection fees, loan origination fees and others. In most cases, you can’t dodge them.

  • Know your rights 

The FHA (Fair Housing Act) protects people from discrimination if they are buying or renting a home, and it will help you if you are an immigrant. The FHA prohibits discrimination housing because of race, skin colour, sex, disabillity or religion. Based on this, it’s illegal to refuse to:

  • Rent or sell housing\
  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan or provide other financial assistance for a dwelling
  • Refuse to purchase a loan 
  • Set different terms and conditions for sale or rental of a dwelling 
  • Shop for a home

For this, various websites would be helpful. Many people in the USA are using different websites to see available houses. You should start with one of these:

  • Homes.com - Can connect you with local agents
  • Realator.com 
  • Zillow.com - Here you can buy,rent or sell a home
  • Get a home inspection

Home inspection should be taking into structural elements like the roof or air condition system. Home inspectors need to discover if there are any issues with your house. It can cost you between $300 to $600. Also, if there is any problem with your septic tank, septic tank services Miami can help you.

  • Shop for homeowners insurance 

Insurance will help you cover the damage caused to your home. Some of popular brands are Geico, State Farm and Progressive. With this insurance your property is covered even if you are on vacation. It covers you from damages resulting from fire, vandalism or theft, wind or hail, weight of ice and more. But, it can not protect you from damage from floods, earthquakes, or rodents and domestic animals. 

  • Close the deal 

This is the final step of buying a house. You should bring a trusted advisor, and don’t forget that you can ask any question any time. Of course, it may be better to have someone with you if you are not quite sure of your knowledge of English. When you sign that papers- the house is yours. 

It is not impossible to buy a house if you are an immigrant. Yes, it is much more complicated if you are not a citizen of the US, but not impossible. Fight for it, know your rights and you are on a good way to live your dream. Just follow those rules and aim for your goal. 


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