Foreign Buyers Mortgage Guidelines

One of the questions home owners ask their agent when they list their home is “What about foreign buyers?” Ah, yes, the foreign buyer’s whose money is worth gobs more than American currency after conversion. The foreigners simply must be snapping up real estate hand over fist just to take advantage of any positive exchange rate and Bonita Springs real estate bargains.

Don’t misunderstand me. There are a lot of foreign nationals purchasing real estate in Bonita Springs; they’re simply not coming in mass as anticipated. Just because the exchange rate and the math on paper looks attractive doesn’t mean that foreign nationals are clamoring for a square of sandy loam just for the sake of owning it.

Keep in mind that CNBC isn’t exactly a local network. People all over the world watch it. It doesn’t take more than twenty minutes of watching news to scare the mess out of me and I love America and understand the language.

Add to that the satirical comedic stylings of Colbert and Stewart and anyone on either side of the pond should be scared stiff. I do have to admit, however, I thought it quiet clever when Stewart said, “If only I had followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars… provided I had started with a hundred million dollars.”

Look, in this market and less than stellar economy, a foreign national would have to be bold enough to look beyond the barrage of dreadful news and find a deal that they deemed to be good enough of a value to purchase. They’re not going to fall for buying Mr. Flipper’s overpriced “investment” without doing the research. Just because someone is from another country doesn’t mean they’re not equipped to find professionals to ensure that they get the best possible deal.

After the foreign national does find a real estate value the hiccup in that plan is securing the means to pay for it. Much like anyone else buying a home it could be a cash transaction, however, for those foreign national home buyers with a desire to own a piece of Bonita Springs, Florida but not the cash means with which to purchase it, it becomes a challenge.

Lending guidelines for foreign nationals has really tightened. Gone are the days of swift, easy mortgages for anyone and that includes citizens of foreign countries.

Depending upon which mortgage broker you’re talking too, the rates are steep for foreign buyers, generally 1.5% higher or more than the rate of a conforming loan. Add to the higher interest rate, a higher down payment requirement; anywhere from 30-50% of the purchase price down depending upon the program. In addition, some lenders are requiring anywhere from six months to three years of payments held in an account, to be auto-debited for payments.

If you’re a home seller and you’ve wondered about the possibility of selling to a foreign national consider doing the math on the price of your own home. Seeing the upfront cost of what it takes for a non-citizen to get into your home may surprise you. At the very least you’ll know that there are challenges for foreign national mortgages that aren’t customary to conforming loan requirements.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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