How to Buy Property In Florida for Non-US Citizens & Immigrants
It’s no secret that Florida is a popular destination for retirees and vacationers alike. What may be less well-known, however, is that Florida is also a great place to purchase property – especially if you’re not a US citizen or don’t have a green card. In this article, we’ll take a look at the visa requirements and process for purchasing property in Florida as a non-US citizen or immigrant.
1. Apply for a tourist visa (B-2)
The first step in purchasing property in Florida as a non-US citizen is to apply for a tourist visa (B-2). This type of visa will allow you to stay in the US for up to six months and is relatively easy to obtain. You’ll need to provide evidence of your ties to your home country, as well as proof that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in the US.
When applying for a tourist visa, be sure to indicate that you intend to purchase property in Florida. This will help streamline the process and avoid any potential problems down the road.
2. Find a property you're interested in and make an offer.
Once you have your tourist visa, you can start shopping for a property in Florida. Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, make an offer to the seller through a real estate agent.
When finding a property, it’s important to keep in mind that you may not be able to get a mortgage as a non-US citizen. As such, you’ll need to have the full purchase price available in cash.
3. Apply for a real estate investor visa (E-2)
If your offer is accepted, you’ll then need to apply for a real estate investor visa (E-2). This type of visa allows you to stay in the US for up to two years and can be renewed indefinitely.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, you’ll need to show that you’re investing a significant amount of money in the purchase of the property. You’ll also need to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in the US.
4. Get a mortgage
If your offer is accepted, you’ll need to get a mortgage to finance the purchase of the property. You can do this through a US bank or financial institution. You may be required to provide proof of income and assets, as well as a down payment of 10-20%.
To get the best mortgage rate, it’s important to compare rates from multiple lenders. You can do this by shopping around and getting quotes from different banks and financial institutions.
5. Close on the property
Once you’ve been approved for a mortgage, you’ll need to sign the purchase contract and closing documents. You’ll also need to pay any remaining fees and taxes due at this time. Once the property is officially yours, you can start making plans to move in!
6. Obtain a visa extension (if necessary)
If you plan to stay in Florida for longer than six months, you’ll need to apply for a visa extension. You can do this by proving that you have ties to your home country and showing that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in the US.
Purchasing property in Florida as a non-US citizen or immigrant is a relatively simple process. Just make sure you have all the necessary documentation in order and you’ll be on your way to owning your very own piece of paradise!
What to Keep in Mind When Searching for a Property in Florida
As a non-U.S. citizen, finding and purchasing the right property in Florida can be both exciting and daunting. While there are many beautiful places to live in the Sunshine State, there are also some important factors to keep in mind while searching for your perfect home away from home. Here are a few things to consider while looking for a property in Florida:
- Location, location, location: as with any property purchase, it’s important to carefully consider the location of the home or condo you’re interested in. In Florida, this means taking into account factors like the proximity to beaches, shopping and dining options, and entertainment options.
- The type of property: are you looking for a single-family home, condo, or townhouse? each option has its own pros and cons that you’ll need to consider.
- The size of the property: how much space do you need? Keep in mind that larger properties will likely come with a higher price tag.
- The condition of the property: is the home or condo in good condition? If not, are you prepared to make any necessary repairs or renovations?
- The age of the property: newer properties will likely have more features and amenities than older ones, but they also tend to be more expensive.
- The HOA fees: if you’re considering a condo or townhouse, be sure to find out how much the monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees are. These fees can add up, so it’s important to factor them into your budget.
- The property taxes: all homeowners in Florida are required to pay property taxes. The amount you’ll owe will depend on the value of your home or condo.
- The insurance: be sure to budget for both homeowner’s insurance and hurricane insurance. These are both mandatory in Florida, and the costs can add up if you’re not prepared.
- The utilities: find out how much the monthly utility costs are for the property you’re interested in. This can vary widely depending on the size of the home and the type of utilities (electricity, water, gas, etc.) that are required.
- The closing costs: when you purchase a property in Florida, you’ll be responsible for paying several closing costs, including the broker’s fee, title insurance, and stamp tax. These costs can add up, so be sure to factor them into your budget.
When you’re ready to start searching for a property in Florida, keep these 10 factors in mind.
Need Help Finding the Perfect Property in Florida?
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen or immigrant and you’re interested in purchasing property in Florida, we can help. Our team of experienced Immigration Advisors and Real Estate Professionals will work together with you to find the perfect home or condo that meets your needs and budget. Contact us today to get started!