I have always wanted to rehab a rental villa in St. Barts which is a French island in the Caribbean. At the moment I am working on getting dual citizenship. I plan on living there for at least 9 months which would qualify me as a French citizen. Does anyone have experience getting financing as a dual citizen?
Hi @Account Closed , not sure whether there is something specific to the islands but you don't have to be french citizen to obtain a loan in mainland France (just like you don't have to be US citizen to obtain a loan in the US). There are brokers such as CAFPI with staff specialized in loans for foreign nationals (typically British but they also work with US). Some large banks also offer loans to foreigners. Small banks and credit unions typically don't anymore because they don't want to deal with the mandatory reporting to the US government of their US resident customers.
You can get a 15 or 20 years fixed at less than 2% interest these days... You can sometimes include the amount of the rehab into the loan and basically borrow more than 100% of the property value although there are some restrictions.
As a side note, living in St Bart 9 months a year means you will be a french resident (not citizen). It also means that if you are US citizen, you'll also have to file your US taxes which I understand is a real headache when you live abroad... That will be in addition to filing for french taxes... so plan ahead...
@Denis F. this is a big help getting started. The initial idea was to utilize the low interest rates and bundle rehab into the loan like you mentioned. However, I am seeing that French taxes are considerably less favorable than in the US. Thank you for clearing that up.
Hi Mason Lareuse. My wife is a dual citizen of the U.K. and US. We purchased a home here near my Duty station RAF Lakenheath U.K. 3 years ago. We are still living in the home so I can only tell you how he purchase side of things went.
Firstly we qualified for home buyers help because my wife is a British citizen. If I were to attempt to purchase the home on my own I would have had to put down a hefty down payment of 20 sometimes up to 30%. This was a huge factor for us getting on the market. Second, due to myself being in the US military I don’t have to pay annual “council tax” on my property like locals.
Unfortunately the rest I need to read up before I sell the house which we don’t plan to anytime soon as we would love to keep as a rental due to the high volume of military personnel. I’m not an expert in the matter but have a little experience, so let me know if I can be of any help!
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