First investment for an international kid !!!!!!!!

8 Replies

Hello everybody, 

I am new to real estate and I haven't bought my first house yet. The reason why is that I am not even in the US yet since I am from a small island in the caribbean. I am not American but I felt in love with the USA and also with real estate! I will have a chance to come and live the next year and I was already trying to plan what I would do once I get here. Because I am not from the US I do not have a credit history (so I will have to build one really quickly) and I found out last week that on top of a 20% down payment the bank also ask for you to show that you have been working for the same employer for more than 2 years! I was surprised by that and the problem is I don't want to wait 2 years before I get the chance to make my first investment. I know there are a lot of investors on this forum with a lot of knowledge and I would love to get your insight on my situation. Any advice on how to get started early or what else I could do would be really appreciated. If you know any other way I could qualify for a mortgage please let me know! By the way I am 25 (I don't know if this has any importance but hey you never know). 

Thanks a lot

Allan 

@Allan Saint-Gelais   you sound like you have a lot of enthusiasm which is great!

Just watch out, however for anyone who would like to scam you.  There are a lot of great people around, especially on the forums here, but sometimes when people learn you are from out of the country, they want to take advantage of you.

When you are hunting for real estate to invest in, you have a great resource here on Bigger Pockets which is the Deal Analysis forum.  You can post information about a deal you're looking to invest in and people will offer up their opinions on it for no charge.

@Dawn Anastasi thanks for you answer and advices but what do you think I should do? Do I have to wait the two years or is there another option for me to get started? 

@Allan Saint-Gelias... Sounds like you are looking to buy and live in this house. Is that correct? If yes, then you can buy a house under an LLC. Banks usually require you to put down 20-40% for foreign buyers, but it varies in different states and bank rules. For both, consult with an attorney and a mortgage broker in the state you are looking to buy.
You can also rent out your rooms to students (if available in the town) or young professionals, and that should be able to cover your mortgage and utilities or more. Of course, that's if you are looking not to pay yourself. This is a great way to start investing in real estate. Please make sure you check their credit score, job verification/co-signer and run a background check. 

Good luck!!

@Allan Saint-Gelais  

Welcome to BP!!  You've come to the right place to get all the advice you can handle on real estate :)

Before I go any farther, let me say "cash is king."  More of it is better for you.

The items you mention are for someone who is looking to buy an investment property using conventional financing.  Banks are all about lowering their risk while making money.  Everything about a foreign national is risky from a financial point of view, unless you have lots of cash, then every bank is your best friend :)

I'd start with getting a credit card from a US bank.  I have no idea if you can actually get one, but that is the beginning of a credit history which would start as soon as you apply.  You might even get rejected, but it would start the process.

Your best bet for real estate investing is the LLC route that @Parish Pradhan  mentions.  It is fairly easy, though paperwork intensive, to invest with large down payments via  business.  Almost every bank is going to require some sort of personal guarantee, so be prepared for a lengthy process either way. @Albert Bui  - can you shed some light on loaning money to foreigners?

Another good way is to partner with someone you trust here in the states.  Building that trust takes time, effort and a fair amount of due diligence.  I wouldn't go all in your first partnership until both sides are comfortable with each other.

Happy Investing!!  I like forward to reading about your Success Story in the appropriate section of BP :)

@Aaron Montague There are programs for FN foreign nationals but it depends on what type of FN you are and if you have a visa at all. If you have a Visa and social assigned and have taxable income you could just use conventional or FHA financing. If you no taxable income or tax returns in the US or Visa then that is a pure FN and convention FHA options will then not be available and you can go to a portfolio lender to get 50-70% LTV financing depending on terms.

Originally posted by @Allan Saint-Gelais :

Hello everybody, 

I am new to real estate and I haven't bought my first house yet. The reason why is that I am not even in the US yet since I am from a small island in the caribbean. I am not American but I felt in love with the USA and also with real estate! I will have a chance to come and live the next year and I was already trying to plan what I would do once I get here. Because I am not from the US I do not have a credit history (so I will have to build one really quickly) and I found out last week that on top of a 20% down payment the bank also ask for you to show that you have been working for the same employer for more than 2 years! I was surprised by that and the problem is I don't want to wait 2 years before I get the chance to make my first investment. I know there are a lot of investors on this forum with a lot of knowledge and I would love to get your insight on my situation. Any advice on how to get started early or what else I could do would be really appreciated. If you know any other way I could qualify for a mortgage please let me know! By the way I am 25 (I don't know if this has any importance but hey you never know). 

Thanks a lot

Allan 

Hi Allan,

Welcome to BP.

It is great to read that your jumping right into the mix of US Real Estate. Something I did 4 years ago.

Please see a few blogs I wrote below for Bigger Pockets that I hope you find useful.

http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2014/07/26/sight-mind-real-estate-investing-afar/

http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2014/08/17/found-freedom-real-estate/

Thanks and have a great day.

@Aaron Montague, thanks for your help it really makes sense to me! I will definitely find out more about the LLC and learn how to use it. For the credit card and the FHA loan I don't think it is going to be a problem because I will have a green card (so i will be a legal resident with the right to work so I will also pay taxes). Also thanks go @Albert Bui  

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