Foreign Nationals

5 Frequently asked questions as a Foreign National loan consultant

By Colin McMahon

August 31, 2023 4 min read

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5 Frequently asked questions as a Foreign National loan consultant

As someone who regularly advises foreign investors seeking U.S. real estate financing, I'm often asked similar questions about the mortgage process. I wanted to personally address some of the key topics that frequently come up, hoping to provide straightforward guidance to international buyers exploring their options.

Do I need a U.S. Social Security number or credit history?

One frequent myth is that a Social Security number and U.S. credit score are necessities for qualification. However, this is not the case with our loan products at Milo. We offer both income-based and debt coverage ratio (DSCR) loans that can be obtained without established domestic credit. Approval is based primarily on the property's value and projected cash flow.

Can I close the loan under a corporation name?

Foreign nationals sometimes prefer to purchase in the name of a holding company rather than personally. The good news is you can close under a U.S.-based corporation, which provides extra separation between your identity and the property. While not a requirement, it can be a helpful option.

If you intend to purchase your investment property under a U.S.-based LLC, be aware this entity must be established and the tax ID received prior to applying for financing. The entire process can take 4-6 weeks, so I suggest allowing sufficient time for this preliminary step.

Do I need a U.S. bank account?

A U.S. bank account is required before closing for seamlessly transferring funds. I recommend opening one approximately 2-3 weeks in advance to ensure adequate processing time.

What property types qualify for these loans?

We can finance nearly any residential or commercial real estate, including single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, multi-family properties, mixed-use buildings, and more. For a DSCR loan, the property should be under two acres. However, acreage limits are less strict when applying through an income-based loan. Reach out to discuss the specifics of your situation - our team is happy to provide personalized advice on how to best position your application. Simply create an account, and our team will be in contact at your earliest convenience.

Do I need a tenant when purchasing?

Regarding tenant requirements when purchasing, the presence of a lease generally leads to better loan terms. However, for a DSCR loan, the appraiser will estimate market rental income that can be used even if vacant. On a refinance, an active tenant is strongly preferred to support rental income verification. Reach out to discuss the specifics of your situation - I'm happy to provide personalized advice on how to best position your application.

My goal is to make financing easy to understand for international investors. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions that come up. I enjoy helping clients navigate the mortgage process and am here to guide you every step of the way.

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The opinions expressed in the Blog are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product.


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