Conventional mortgage, income earned abroad. Have you done this?

10 Replies

Hey guys!  Question -- would a traditional bank give me a conventional mortgage for my first investment property if I live outside of the US and earn income outside of the US? 

I'm a US citizen, file taxes in US, have credit history in US (FICO 700+). I'm just not physically present in the US and likely would not be when I apply for the mortgage. 

Anyone done this before? Would love to hear how it went / any hurdles you faced. 

Cheers from New Zealand. 

Originally posted by @Diogo Alves :

Hey guys!  Question -- would a traditional bank give me a conventional mortgage for my first investment property if I live outside of the US and earn income outside of the US? 

I'm a US citizen, file taxes in US, have credit history in US (FICO 700+). I'm just not physically present in the US and likely would not be when I apply for the mortgage. 

Anyone done this before? Would love to hear how it went / any hurdles you faced. 

Cheers from New Zealand. 

 When Fannie Mae doesn't claim to have a firm grasp on something, she just throws it into the "self employment" income bucket. So it'll depend on what you've been telling the IRS that you've been making for the last couple years.

Fortunately, NZ speaks English, so no translations of bank statements should be needed.

If you are buying in a market where any Realtor, or anyone else, asks the question "how fast can you close?" then you need to go ahead and move the down payment and closing cost funds into a US bank account two months before even visiting zillow or redfin. 

Hey @Diogo Alves ! I am kind of doing the same thing at the moment. I have a pre-approval from one bank but I too am worried what the hurdles will be to actually close.  I think I'll follow your advice @Chris Mason and try to move everything into an account for the down payment and closing costs. Would they need pay stubs?. They didn't ask with this first pre-approval though.

Originally posted by @Chinyere Okoli :

Hey @Diogo Alves ! I am kind of doing the same thing at the moment. I have a pre-approval from one bank but I too am worried what the hurdles will be to actually close.  I think I'll follow your advice @Chris Mason and try to move everything into an account for the down payment and closing costs. Would they need pay stubs?. They didn't ask with this first pre-approval though.

 "Need" is a maybe, but they probably wouldn't actually be used to calculate your income, unless such a calculation comes in lower than what your tax returns indicate. 

Originally posted by @Chris Mason :
Originally posted by @Diogo Alves:

Hey guys!  Question -- would a traditional bank give me a conventional mortgage for my first investment property if I live outside of the US and earn income outside of the US? 

I'm a US citizen, file taxes in US, have credit history in US (FICO 700+). I'm just not physically present in the US and likely would not be when I apply for the mortgage. 

Anyone done this before? Would love to hear how it went / any hurdles you faced. 

Cheers from New Zealand. 

 When Fannie Mae doesn't claim to have a firm grasp on something, she just throws it into the "self employment" income bucket. So it'll depend on what you've been telling the IRS that you've been making for the last couple years.

Fortunately, NZ speaks English, so no translations of bank statements should be needed.

If you are buying in a market where any Realtor, or anyone else, asks the question "how fast can you close?" then you need to go ahead and move the down payment and closing cost funds into a US bank account two months before even visiting zillow or redfin. 

Thanks @Chris Mason -- to clarify, you mention the 2 month transfer into a US bank account so that the most recent statement cuts show that funds as already being there? 

Will they want anything to prove my current employment in New Zealand (pay stubs, NZ bank account statements, etc..), or will they solely look at my recent US tax returns? 

Originally posted by @Chinyere Okoli :

Hey @Diogo Alves! I am kind of doing the same thing at the moment. I have a pre-approval from one bank but I too am worried what the hurdles will be to actually close.  I think I'll follow your advice @Chris Mason and try to move everything into an account for the down payment and closing costs. Would they need pay stubs?. They didn't ask with this first pre-approval though.

Hey Chinyere, good to hear the pre-approval went through. What did you need to submit for that? And was it with a large bank like Chase, Citi, etc..? Let me know how closing goes! Good luck! 

Originally posted by @Diogo Alves :
Originally posted by @Chris Mason:
Originally posted by @Diogo Alves:

Hey guys!  Question -- would a traditional bank give me a conventional mortgage for my first investment property if I live outside of the US and earn income outside of the US? 

I'm a US citizen, file taxes in US, have credit history in US (FICO 700+). I'm just not physically present in the US and likely would not be when I apply for the mortgage. 

Anyone done this before? Would love to hear how it went / any hurdles you faced. 

Cheers from New Zealand. 

 When Fannie Mae doesn't claim to have a firm grasp on something, she just throws it into the "self employment" income bucket. So it'll depend on what you've been telling the IRS that you've been making for the last couple years.

Fortunately, NZ speaks English, so no translations of bank statements should be needed.

If you are buying in a market where any Realtor, or anyone else, asks the question "how fast can you close?" then you need to go ahead and move the down payment and closing cost funds into a US bank account two months before even visiting zillow or redfin. 

Thanks @Chris Mason -- to clarify, you mention the 2 month transfer into a US bank account so that the most recent statement cuts show that funds as already being there? 

Will they want anything to prove my current employment in New Zealand (pay stubs, NZ bank account statements, etc..), or will they solely look at my recent US tax returns? 

Assume: All of it. As a LO, the charity case client who wants to nickle and dime me over paperwork isn't going to close anyways, and so isn't worth working with.... sorry, but that's the reality. 

I've had a few clients in similar situations. They al thought they could get lending as they were basically Americans. Not one of them has ever been able to close. All have gone through our hard money or regional bank set up to get started.  Hopefully your situation will have a batter outcome!

Originally posted by @Dean Letfus :

I've had a few clients in similar situations. They al thought they could get lending as they were basically Americans. Not one of them has ever been able to close. All have gone through our hard money or regional bank set up to get started.  Hopefully your situation will have a batter outcome!

What kind of blockers did you clients face that prevented them from closing with a conventional mortgage? 

@Chris Mason ok thanks!

@Diogo Alves   I'm still looking around for a good property and I want to shop around my loan to get a good rate but when it comes to closing I will let you know! n Thanks! ... I did everything online I think maybe it is one of the big mortgage corps although I had never heard of it before, McLean Mortgage Corp.  I simply wrote in my various income, how much I'll put down, my social security number, etc. He hasn't asked for anything else so far so I'm thinking when it comes to closing he'll want everything. Yikes! Cause I havent moved things over yet.

@Dean Letfus :( oh no!  I am curious like Diogo, what prevented them from closing?