How Venezuelan Nationals Can Get Mortgages in Florida
Getting a home in Florida when you're from Venezuela can seem tough if you're not familiar with how the process works in the United States. If you're thinking of moving to Florida, you might be wondering how to go about buying a home there.
This guide is made just for you. It will walk you through all the steps you need to know to buy a house in Florida from Venezuela.
From the beginning to the end, we'll cover what you need to know, so you can make smart choices on your journey to becoming a homeowner in Florida.
Table of Contents
- Can Venezuelans Buy Homes in Florida?
- Rules for Venezuelans Buying Property in Florida
- Documents Venezuelans Need to Buy Property in Florida
- Step-by-Step to Buy a House in Florida from Venezuela
- Visa Requirements for Foreigners to Buy a House in the United States
- 9 Tax Tips for Venezuelans Buying Homes in Florida
- Pros and Cons of Venezuelans Buying Homes in Florida
- Bottom Line
Can Venezuelans Buy Homes in Florida?
Can people from Venezuela buy a home in Florida? Yes, you don't have to be a U.S. citizen to own property in Florida.
Whether you're interested in a house to live in, a place for your business, a vacation home, or even just land, you're allowed to buy it.
The rules are pretty simple and let you become a property owner in Florida and enjoy the advantages of owning real estate there.
This guide will explain what you need to do, step by step, to buy a house in Florida from Venezuela. It will also tell you about the taxes you'll have to pay and other important things you should know.
According to the National Association of Realtors, people from other countries bought homes in the United States worth $59 billion from April 2021 to March 2022. This was an increase from $54.4 billion the year before. In 2017, the number was even higher at $153 billion.
Out of these foreign buyers, 57% had recently moved to the United States or were holding a visa. The other about 40% were not living in the U.S but still bought property.
During that one-year period, 98,600 homes were sold to people from other countries, and the total value of these sales was $59 billion. This was an 8.45% increase in the amount of money spent compared to the year before.
The growth in home buying by people from other countries happened partly because the world was opening up again after COVID-19. Experts think this trend of more people buying homes will keep going up in the next few years.
If you're from Venezuela and thinking of buying a home in Florida, now could be a good time to consider it.
Rules for Venezuelans Buying Property in Florida
People from Venezuela can buy property in Florida without any special restrictions and have the same rights to own property as U.S. citizens.
However, there are certain steps and considerations you should be aware of:
To buy a property in Florida, you'll need to get a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
You'll also need to secure financing from a U.S. bank or another financial institution to buy the property. This usually involves showing paperwork like proof of income, your work history, and your credit history. In Florida, there are mortgage options specifically for people from Venezuela and other countries that don't require U.S. credit history.
Generally, you may be asked to make a larger down payment, around 20-25% of the property's price.
The taxes you'll need to pay as a property owner in Florida are the same as what U.S. citizens pay. There are no special tax rules just because you're from Venezuela.
- Whether you want to buy a home to live in or an investment property, there are no extra rules or restrictions for people from Venezuela.
By being aware of these points, you can better prepare for the process of buying a home in Florida.
Documents Venezuelans Need to Buy Property in Florida
If you're from Venezuela and want to buy a property in Florida, the documents you need might vary depending on the mortgage lender you choose.
However, here are some common documents that are often required:
A valid foreign passport is usually needed to prove your identity.
A U.S. visa or a driver's license may also be required. Some mortgage lenders may specifically ask for a B1/B2 visa, which is a visitor visa, especially for people investing in property.
For those coming from visa waiver countries, a U.S. visa may not be necessary. Some lenders might not require a visa at all.
A Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is often needed for tax purposes.
Bank statements are usually required, and you may also need to show financial documents from your bank in Venezuela.
Evidence that you have enough money set aside (reserves) to make mortgage payments.
Pay stubs to prove your current income.
Tax return documents from either the U.S. or Venezuela, if applicable.
- A credit score may be required, although some mortgage programs in Florida allow Venezuelans to get a mortgage without a U.S. credit history.
Even if you don't have a credit history in the U.S., there are mortgage options in Florida that can enable you to buy a property. Being prepared with these documents will help make the home-buying process smoother.
Step-by-Step to Buy a House in Florida from Venezuela
Step 1 – Choose Your Florida Location - Anyone from Venezuela can buy a home in Florida; there are no special rules just because you're not from the U.S. Think about what's important to you, like how far the house is from work, or if there are good schools for your kids.
Step 2 – Get a Florida Realtor Who Knows International Sales - Find a real estate agent in Florida who has experience with buyers from other countries. Make sure they have a CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) title. This means they know how to help people from Venezuela and other countries buy homes in Florida.
Step 3 – Understand How Agents Work in Florida - When you pick an agent, you'll sign an agreement that says they'll help you find a house. Make sure to read this paper carefully. In Florida, the person selling the house usually pays the agent, not you.
Step 4 – Know Your Taxes - There are no extra taxes just for people from Venezuela or any other country. You will need to pay property tax like everyone else. If you rent out the home, you'll also pay tax on the money you make.
Step 5 – Begin Home Search with Your Agent - Tell your agent what you're looking for in a house. If you can't travel to Florida yet, your agent can show you homes online. Your agent will also tell you what things come with the home, like the kitchen stove.
Step 6 – Make an Offer - Once you find a house you like, your agent can tell you what price to offer. The seller can say yes, no, or offer a different price. If they say yes, you're almost a homeowner!
Step 7 – Check the House Carefully - Before you buy, hire someone to check if everything in the house works like it should. Your agent can help you find someone to do this.
Step 8 – Sign Contract and Pay Deposit - After checking the house, you'll sign a contract and pay a deposit, usually 5-10% of the price. The contract will have a special rule that lets you cancel if you can't move to the U.S. or get your mortgage.
Step 9 – Check the House's Title - Your agent will help you get a Title Report. This tells you who owned the house before and if they owe money on it.
Step 10 – Get a Mortgage in Florida - You can get a home loan in Florida even if you don't have a U.S. credit history. Some banks specialize in giving loans to people from other countries, like Venezuela.
- Step 11 – Become the Owner - On the last day, you'll sign lots of papers. You'll get a deed that shows you own the house. Then, the keys are yours, and you can move in!
If you're paying with a loan, you'll usually own the house about 60 days after you sign the contract. If you need more or less time, your agent can help set that up.
You can follow these steps from Venezuela or anywhere you have internet. Now, you're ready to buy your Florida home!
Visa Requirements for Foreigners to Buy a House in the United States
Green Card Holders
Individuals who hold a U.S. green card are generally treated similarly to U.S. citizens when applying for mortgages.
They are eligible for various types of loans including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Fannie Mae loans, and Freddie Mac loans.
A down payment may be as low as 3%, and applicants usually need a minimum of two years of tax and work history in the U.S.
Temporary Non-Resident Aliens
Individuals who are in the U.S. on temporary work visas can also apply for FHA loans.
Documentation typically required includes an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a Social Security Number (SSN).
In some cases, lenders may require proof that the applicant has the ability to live and work in the U.S. for a minimum of three years.
Refugees and Asylees
Those granted refugee or asylum status in the U.S. can apply for home loans under the same terms as U.S. citizens.
To verify eligibility, applicants must provide a valid Form I-94 with an "Employment Authorized" stamp or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
For international investors who do not reside in the U.S., a B1/B2 visa may be required depending on the lender's stipulations.
However, individuals from countries that participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program are generally not required to have a visa for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage in the U.S.
Different lenders may have varying requirements and eligibility criteria, and it's advisable to consult with mortgage professionals familiar with international borrowers for the most accurate and personalized advice.
9 Tax Tips for Venezuelans Buying Homes in Florida
IRS Guide 515 - IRS Guide 515 is a helpful booklet for Venezuelans who want to buy a house in Florida. This guide talks about the kinds of taxes you might have to pay when you buy a house, like withholding tax, profit tax when you sell, and even inheritance tax.
Withholding Tax Rate - If you're Venezuelan, 30% of the money you make from renting out the Florida house gets held back for taxes by the U.S. government.
Picking How Your Rent Money Gets Taxed - You get to choose how the U.S. government taxes the rent money you make. You can have it treated like regular business income, and then you'll pay the same tax as Americans. If you don't pick this, the 30% withholding tax will apply.
Two Choices for Your Tax Style - You can make two special choices about how the rent money you make is taxed.
First, there's the "Net Choice", you can subtract costs like your mortgage payment or house repairs from your rental income before taxes.
Second, there's the "Gross Choice", you don't subtract any costs, and the full rent amount gets the 30% withholding tax.
Tax Agreements - Sometimes, taxes can be lower because of agreements between the U.S. and other countries. You should look at IRS Guide 515 to learn more.
Profit Tax When Selling - If you sell your Florida house later, you'll have to pay a 15% tax on the profit you make.
10% Tax Held Back When Selling - When you sell the house, the person buying it has to keep 10% of the selling price and send it to the U.S. government. This is a special kind of withholding tax, but you can choose to have less or none of it withheld.
Florida Property Tax - You will also pay Florida state property tax on the house. The amount is different depending on where in Florida your house is.
- Tax Return Form 1040NR - If you make money from your Florida house, like from renting it out, you need to fill out a U.S. tax form called 1040NR.
Pros and Cons of Venezuelans Buying Homes in Florida
Solid Housing Market - The housing market in the U.S., and Florida in particular, is known for being steady and growing over time. This makes it a good place for Venezuelans to invest their money.
Many Choices of Homes - In Florida, you can find all sorts of homes, from city apartments to houses in the suburbs or even farmland. This gives Venezuelans a lot of options.
Rent Money - If you buy a house in Florida, you could rent it out to make extra money. The average rent for a home in the U.S. is $1,702 a month.
Rent Covers Mortgage - If you pick a good spot for your house, the money you make from renting could pay for your mortgage. For example, if you buy a house for $300,000, make a down payment of 20%, and get a mortgage with a 6% interest rate for 30 years, your monthly payment would be $1,702. That's the same as the average rent.
- House Value Could Go Up - Houses in the U.S. often become more valuable over time. On average, house values go up by about 12.2% each year, which is good for people who want to make money on their investment.
Going Back to Venezuela - If you're not planning to stay in the U.S. forever, you might worry about what to do with your house when you go back to Venezuela. But you have choices. You can keep the house and let it increase in value, or you can sell it. You can also continue to rent it out to make extra money.
- Language and Culture - Buying a house in a different country can be hard if you're not used to the language and culture. But there are real estate agents who specialize in helping foreigners buy homes. They can guide you through the process to make it easier.
Purchasing a home in Florida as a Venezuelan citizen is not only permissible but also achievable without any special restrictions.
A stable U.S. real estate market offers investment opportunities, and Florida's diverse housing options cater to various needs.
While you need to follow specific steps, such as acquiring a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and securing a U.S. mortgage, the process is straightforward.
Documents commonly required include a valid passport, possibly a U.S. visa, and financial records. Taxes on property ownership apply equally to Venezuelans and U.S. citizens, with no special rates.
A surge in international property purchases in the U.S., partly due to the world recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests that now might be a favorable time for Venezuelans to invest in Florida real estate.
With the right preparation and understanding of the system, the journey from deciding to purchase a home to becoming a homeowner can be navigated effectively.
With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.
About Author - Phil Ganz
Phil Ganz has over 20+ years of experience in the residential financing space. With over a billion dollars of funded loans, Phil helps homebuyers configure the perfect mortgage plan. Whether it's your first home, a complex multiple-property purchase, or anything in between, Phil has the experience to help you achieve your goals.