Can a foreign national obtain a loan in the US to purchase a vacation home?
Yes you can! There are more lenders today working with foreign nationals than even a year ago. With recovery of the housing market, several lenders have opened up to this market.
The pre-approval process is fairly simplistic. Your pre-app is valid for 30-days, as time sensitive material a contract would need to quickly follow. The challenge begins when the lender begins asking for documents for the loan commitment. This happens once you are under contract for a home. However, it's best to know some of the requirements before hand for a smoother transition and quicker commitment.
Working closely with the loan officer and obtaining documents necessary prior to having a home in place is a proactive strategy. There are requirements which vary from lender and also vary depending on what country you reside in. The credit check in the United States is different than other countries and the US does not recognize foreign credit reports so the information has to come from the creditors themselves which you provide to the loan officer. Some lenders require you open a checking account with the local branch, you may also be required to be physically at the closing table. Some lenders will grant power of attorney so that you may assign some one local to handle the closing on your behalf. For more information or if you're looking for a lender for a home in Florida, please email Cathy Starkweather.