Who Can Buy Land in USA? A Foreigner’s Guide to Buying Land in the USA

Fenced Plot of Land with For Sale Sign

If you’re interested in purchasing land in the United States, you may wonder who can buy land in USA. The answer is that both American citizens and foreign nationals can purchase property in the United States.

However, foreign purchasers have some restrictions when it comes to owning a parcel of land. In this article, we’ll explore who can buy land in USA and whether or not you can own a parcel of land as a foreigner.

Read on to learn about who can purchase land in the United States.

Who Can Buy Land in USA?

Generally, about anyone with the financial means and who meets certain eligibility criteria can purchase land in the USA.

US Citizens and Permanent Residents

US citizens who are 18 years or older and have a credit score of at least 650 can buy land in the United States. Additionally, permanent residents who have lived and worked in the US for at least two years may be eligible to purchase a plot of land.

Companies and Corporations

Companies and corporations authorized to conduct business in the US may be eligible to buy land. Additionally, they must meet certain requirements set by lenders who will review their financial situation and credit score.

International Investors

Non-US citizens looking to purchase a parcel of land in the United States must have a valid visa and meet certain requirements set by lenders.

This includes having a certain credit score, proof of residency in the US for at least two years, and providing any other documents that may be necessary depending on who you are buying from.

Additionally, you might have to pay additional taxes or fees, so it’s best to research all of the relevant laws and regulations before signing any contracts.

Are There Additional Rules and Regulations for Non-Residents?

Foreigners interested in investing in the land may also be subject to additional rules and regulations depending on the state they wish to purchase the property.

For example, Florida has specific laws that must be followed regarding foreign real estate purchases. Additionally, certain types of land may require approval from certain government agencies before a sale can happen.

It is also important to understand that various other taxes and fees you might incur when buying land in the United States.

These may include transfer taxes, title insurance costs, property taxes, and other closing costs. Before entering into a contract to buy land in the United States, it’s important to consult an attorney familiar with international transactions, as well as the laws and regulations in the state where you wish to purchase the property.

Does Buying Land in the US Automatically Grant Me Citizenship?

Purchasing land in the US can be a great opportunity for investors who have the means to do so.

However, it’s important to know that purchasing land in the US does not automatically grant you citizenship.

In order to become a citizen of the United States, you must go through a rigorous application process and meet other criteria set by the US government.

Where Are Foreign Buyers of US Land From?

Foreign purchasers who are interested in buying land in the United States typically come from the region of Asia, which makes up 22% of the total number of foreign land buyers.

People from this region tend to invest in properties because the US real estate market is more stable than in other countries. The sales price of land is also more affordable.

Where Do Foreigners Buy Property in the USA?

There are many desirable states for foreigners to buy property. Some of the most popular destinations for international real estate transactions include Texas, California, and Florida. Each state offers unique opportunities to buy land with stunning scenery, a warm climate, and thriving real estate markets.

  • Texas is an attractive choice for non-resident buyers looking to invest in land due to its low taxes and business-friendly regulations.
  • California offers stunning scenery, climate, and culture and access to some of the US’s most desirable real estate markets.
  • Florida is another popular choice due to its year-round warm climate and relatively affordable real estate prices.

Ultimately, who can buy land in the USA will depend on the individual’s financial situation and ability to meet the various requirements set by lenders and government agencies.

It’s important to research all of the applicable laws, regulations, taxes, and fees before entering into a contract to purchase land in any state. With proper planning and guidance, foreign investors who meet the requirements can own a piece of the American dream.

Top Things to Consider Before Buying Land in the USA

When considering who can buy land in USA, there are a few important things to remember.

Why Do You Want to Buy an American Property?

Your primary objective should be to determine the purpose of your purchase. Are you looking for a vacation home, an investment property, or something else?

Examine the regions and property kinds that have historically performed well and provided solid returns. Look for upcoming events that might increase demand for real estate, such as major festivals, sporting events, or even specific construction projects, such as a new harbor or shopping center.

Can You Stay in the USA?

Despite the fact that the USA has long been a favorite destination for foreign property searchers, most people can only enter the country for up to 90 days per year for either business or pleasure.

Therefore, you must possess a B-2 visa if you want to spend more time maximizing your property. The holder of this visa may stay for up to six months.

Additionally, those applying for a B-2 visa must demonstrate that they have enough money to maintain themselves abroad.

Have You Thought About Where Your Land Will Be Located in the US?

It’s good to visit any property or development in person. That way, you can see for yourself what the neighborhood is really like, get a sense of the surroundings and the actual property, see how close it is to local amenities, any extras like beaches or outdoor adventures, and check out public transportation options.

Do You Have a Set Budget?

While you can easily find cheap land for sale across the country, it’s crucial to estimate how much your property will ultimately cost you and how you plan to pay for it. You may use any finances more effectively to identify the ideal property if you clearly understand your budget, enabling you to set particular goals.

You might need to convert your local currency into US dollars if you purchase real estate in the US.

Early on in your research, get in touch with a currency expert so you can stay on top of exchange rates and prepare for how changes in the currency will influence your guests. This way, you may incorporate your overseas payments into your total spending plan and maintain control of any less obvious costs.

Prepare for Extra Charges and Hidden Fees

You could be pleasantly surprised to learn that there aren’t too many additional costs while purchasing in the US, despite the possibility that there will be. Since US property taxes and levies are among the lowest in the world, you should normally allow them in the purchase price.

However, if you own a property in a resort, you may be responsible for additional expenses.

It is also important to remember that you can encounter unforeseen expenses here if and when the time comes to sell your US property. The seller frequently covers the cost, for instance.

The American tax system is famous for being complicated; for help, contact a financial or legal professional.

How to Buy Property in the USA as a Non-Citizen?

Foreigners can easily buy land in the USA without a green card, a specific kind of visa, or even USA citizenship. As we mentioned earlier, they are ought to have a valid visa and proof of residency in the US for at least two years. Here are some important things to know for a smooth buying process.

Understand the Tax Implications

It’s important to understand the tax implications of buying property in the US while living abroad.

The Real Property Tax Act 

The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) dictates who is eligible to buy real estate in the US, who pays taxes on it, and other related matters. The Act requires foreign buyers who sell their property to pay a 10-15% capital gains tax.

Every foreign land investor is given a taxpayer identification number. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses this individual taxpayer identification number to track rental income and other taxes associated with owning property in the United States. Failure to obtain this number can result in fines, penalties, or even having your property seized by the government.

Non-resident owners planning to spend more than 180 days in the country over a 12-month period need to register for a tax identification number.

Tax Treaties

There are numerous international tax treaties that the US has signed. These agreements are made to limit the possibility of double taxation.

The tax treaty may lower the taxes you would ordinarily pay on income from a US property if you are a resident of a nation having a US tax treaty.

Tax Rates

In general, the government taxes any income from real estate in the US that a non-resident owns that is not actually tied to a US trade or enterprise at a 30% rate. This rate might be lower if your resident country and the US have a tax treaty.

How Your Property Income Is Treated

A non-resident immigrant may treat all income from property that generates income in the US as being inextricably linked to a US trade or enterprise if they own it or have an interest in it. This is known as the Section 871(d) election.

If you choose this option, you can deduct expenses related to real estate income, making the net income taxable. This will apply to all income derived from US-based real estate.

Financing Options as a Foreigner

Cash payment is the simplest method for foreign investors. Typically, you can request an international wire transfer via your local bank. That way, you wouldn’t have to be concerned about currency conversion.

Can Foreigners Qualify for a US Mortgage?

You will face a much more difficult process if you’re looking to get a conventional loan from an American bank. For foreign national mortgages, you can expect to come up with a 50% down payment for the property.

If you’re living in the US, you’ll face many issues, and the bank’s decisions could be based on whether or not you are a citizen or a green card holder. This is not going to be an easy route.

What’s the Easiest Way for Foreigners to Buy Land in the USA?

The easiest way for foreign people to buy land in the US is to pay for it in cash. Paying for the property in full means that the title transfers to you immediately, and it’s a done deal.

If cash isn’t an option, then the next best thing would be to attempt owner financing. Owner financing is a great option for foreigners purchasing property without the hassle of securing a traditional mortgage. Here’s where DiscountLots can help immensely! 

It allows buyers to make payments directly to the property seller rather than through a third-party lender who approves mortgages.

By taking advantage of Discount Lots’ owner financing options, you can save money by taking advantage of discounted rates.

This can help to reduce the overall cost of buying land in the United States, making it more accessible and attainable for any non-US citizen who wishes to purchase real property here.

With Discount Lots, you can easily find owner financing options that are right for your budget and needs. We don’t require credit history checks, there are no prepayment penalties and you can learn more about our owner financing process here.

Do Foreign Buyers Have to Pay Extra Stamp Duties?

Foreigners purchasing real estate in the US are not subject to any additional stamp duty, as opposed to Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne, which all increased the tax paid by foreign buyers from 7% to 30%.

There are no restrictions when foreigners purchase real estate in the United States. In reality, many affluent overseas investors buy investment properties, including single-family homes, multi-unit apartments or condos, and even commercial properties like shopping centers. They also buy residential lands and vacation homes in the United States.

Foreigners and Americans each pay the same amount in stamp duty. Additionally, you might add the stamp duty (property transfer tax) to the cost basis of the property when you sell it, lowering your future tax liability.

How Long Does the Land Buying Process Take in the US?

The purchase process for real estate in the US can take anywhere from four to eight weeks. This largely depends on the complexity of the transaction and who is involved—i.e., individuals, lenders, corporate entities, or trusts.

It’s important to remember that if you’re a foreigner purchasing land in the US, you’ll need to set up a U.S.-based bank account prior to closing the transaction. This will ensure that you can wire the funds for your purchase in a timely manner and that everything remains secure.

Who Can Buy Land in USA: Final Thoughts

Foreigners who want to buy land in the United States of America can easily do so. The easiest way for a foreign buyer to purchase land is by paying for it in cash. Though, the most convenient option available is through owner financing. Additionally, foreign buyers who purchase real estate in the US pay the same stamp duty as domestic buyers and can expect their transaction to take four to eight weeks to complete.

Discount Lots has access to a wide range of land and owner financing options that make buying property in the US easier for foreign buyers. We sell land directly to you, so there’s no need for a real estate agent or any third-party involvement.

Contact us today for more information about purchasing land in the USA!

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