The Differences between a Foreign & U.S. Home Buyer’s Process:
Before a Foreign National Citizen even considers buying a home here, a few things should be considered first.
First, an agent would recommend you stay away from developers or new construction. Instead, focus on searching for a resale property as this greatly reduces your risk. Search for newer homes, and this could also reduce your insurance costs.
Second, you should be aware that lenders will require more conditions on your loan if you are a foreign national. Be prepared to provide more documentation and proof of financial stability and even a higher down payment. For these reasons, we recommend you begin the pre-approval process with your lender before you even begin your property search. You should not assume your mortgage will be structured the same, so ask for a foreign national mortgage specialist. You will want to ask them about the probate process of transferring your property to beneficiaries and how to record your deed, there are ways to be exempt from Florida probate and U.S. filing requirements. Also, know that the buying process could take several weeks.
Lastly, are you purchasing the property for rental purposes? In this case, you will have to file a federal tax form as income from the property is taxable. Are you purchasing the property for a second home? Be aware that spending more than 6 months per year in your home may affect your taxes.