Blog / Real Estate / We Speak Real Estate

We Speak Real Estate

We Speak Real Estate

At Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, we have a diverse team of agents fluent in many languages and familiar with many cultures. We work with foreign born clients living in the US, as well as clients outside the US, to help them meet their real estate needs. We will match you with the agent best suited to make this an exciting and stress-free experience. To help you get started, here is information that answers the questions we encounter most often.

Eligibility. You don’t have to be a US citizen to buy real estate here, but you will need to be able to establish your identity and, if taking a mortgage, your credit history. You will need a Taxpayer Identification Number, assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a valid foreign passport or two forms of current photo ID. If you are not a US citizen, be sure to understand US visa requirements, in case there are restrictions on the length of time you are able to stay in the country.

Financing. If you want a mortgage, you have options, including those which are sharia compliant. Special requirements may apply to the amount of deposit required, rates, terms and conditions. We suggest working with lenders that have global operations – they’ll be better at handling international transactions and verifying credit established outside the US. Opening US bank accounts and reporting all of your income when you file your taxes will help you establish credit in the US, which will help.

Home Search. Working with a realtor is common practice and makes navigating the buying process easier. Share with your realtor how buying property works in your native country; your agent can clue you in to differences here. Communicate your “must haves” – insight on desired home features, neighborhood demographics and amenities will help your agent find the best options, saving you precious time. A converter app like ConvertPad (android) or Convert Units for Free (iphone) will be useful, as home specs and costs are stated in US standards/dollars. When you find a home that interests you, it is acceptable to ask questions about the cost of living in the home; taxes, utilities, and amenities vary by municipality and sometimes by neighborhood.

The Purchase. When you want to make an offer, we can guide you. While official documents will be in English, you can request to see them in your native language. During the closing, choose home inspectors, lenders and attorneys who are fluent in your language, familiar with cultural nuances, and experienced in working with foreign born clients.

Resale. If you later choose to sell the property and are not a citizen, your buyer may be required to withhold 10% of the gross sale price and pay it to the IRS; this is a preventive measure required by the IRS in case a seller does not pay the appropriate sales tax. Because there are exceptions, we refer back to our recommendation that you seek guidance from an experienced tax advisor.
As the sole local Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate combines local expertise with global reach and resources. We put the full array of those resources at your fingertips, whether you are foreign born and looking to buy in the US, or a US citizen looking to buy property abroad. In all cases, our goal is to deliver an experience that delights you.

Choose a professional that speaks your language from our directory. Call 888-467-6683 or email to find for personal assistance.


Published June 27, 2017 in Real Estate