Morty the Mortgage Guy - U.S. Citizenship and Home Ownership
If you are not a U.S. Citizen and are not in possession of a green card, you probably think your chances of owning a home are slim to none….wrong! This is America folks….the land of opportunity!
From a lender’s perspective, a major concern with such borrowers is how long they will be able to remain in the country. As such, you may need to provide a statement from your employer/sponsor attesting to the expected duration of your employment. However, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer mortgage programs that are available to non-permanent resident aliens who are here on a temporary work visa (H1B or H2B). Down payment requirements are higher than the minimums allowed on other Fannie and Freddie loans and other restrictions may apply.
Non-permanent resident aliens may also be able to go outside of the Fannie/Freddie structures for what are called non-agency loans, which have fewer restrictions but also have higher interest rates and down payment requirements.
What about undocumented, or illegal immigrants? Many are surprised to learn that even here, it’s still possible to get a mortgage and buy a home.
A standard loan application will require the borrower to provide a Social Security number and indicate their citizenship or residency status... But those requirements aren’t established by law—those are requirements imposed by the agencies backing those loans, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the FHA. Also, there are certain types of non-agency loans that don’t have those requirements.
For some loans, a borrower may use what is called an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number. This is an alternative form of taxpayer identification that is issued to foreign nationals working in the U.S. who are ineligible for Social Security.
So don’t lose hope….there are certainly options for you if you have the dream of becoming a homeowner in the United States.