Buying a home on a Native American reservation

3 Replies

Is it possible and does anyone have any experience with buying homes on a reservation? I have a motivated seller who owns the home but this is a first for me. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 

Originally posted by @Ryan Ray :

Is it possible and does anyone have any experience with buying homes on a reservation? I have a motivated seller who owns the home but this is a first for me. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 

 When I was buying properties in Seattle I looked at a couple of properties on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. In those particular cases you could own the house but not the land under it unless you were part of the tribe. Rules are different on reservations. They are governed by the tribe and overseen by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If a crime occurs the Tribal Police respond and sometimes the law tilts in favor of the local tribe member. The auto dealerships in the surrounding area would not allow tribal members to "test drive" a car because it could disappear into tribal property never to leave again and there is no easy mechanism to legally retrieve it. They are unique and technically their own nation. I'd talk to the BIA and tribal headquarters so that you at least know what the laws are. How the laws are interpreted and enforced may be a different matter.

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