Heather Paul Expert 1 Realty Real Estate Agent, Realtor: Can Immigrants or Foreigners Buy Property in Los Angeles, California?

Can Immigrants or Foreigners Buy Property in Los Angeles, California?

I am a Foreigner, "Can I Buy a House in the USA?"
In a Word "YES", foreigners can buy property in the US.  Actually, anyone that has the means to purchase with cash or to be able to acquire the financing to buy the home.  Investing in California as a foreigner could actually have huge advantages very soon.  Here are some excepts from a recent LA Times news article discussing the huge advantages for foreigners to buy real estate in California.
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Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would allow foreigners who spend at least $500,000 on residential property to obtain visas allowing them to live in the United States.

The bipartisan Senate bill would allow foreigners who spend at least $500,000 on a residential property to obtain visas allowing them to live in the United States.

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The plan could be a boon to California, which has become a popular real estate market for foreigners, particularly those from China

Nationwide, residential sales to foreigners and recent immigrants totaled $82 billion in the 12-month period ended March 31, up from $66 billion the previous year, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. California accounted for 12% of those sales, second only to Florida.

"Overall, Los Angeles is the perfect place for investors,"  an agent  in Beverly Hills, who travels to China several times a year to meet potential clients.

"California, Florida, New York, Colorado, Hawaii and Texas — those states will see a huge increase in demand," she said. "The whole Westside would certainly benefit."

The bipartisan proposal, part of a package that also would make it easier for international tourists to visit the U.S., is similar to an existing program that puts foreigners on a fast track to a green card if they invest at least $500,000 in an American business that creates at least 10 jobs.

"Many people want to come and live in the United States," said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who introduced the legislation Thursday along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). "They will be here spending money and paying taxes, and the most important thing is they'll sop up the extra supply of homes we have right now compared to demand, and that's what's dragging our economy down."

The legislation would create a new homeowner visa that would be renewable every three years, but the proposal would not put them on a path to citizenship. To be eligible, a person would have to buy a primary residence of at least $250,000 and spend a total of $500,000 on residential real estate. The other properties could be rented.

The program would come with several restrictions.

The purchase would have to be in cash, with no mortgage or home equity loan allowed. And the property would have to be bought for more than its most recent appraised value, Schumer said.

The buyer would have to live in the home for at least 180 days each year, which would require paying U.S. income taxes on any foreign earnings. Buyers would no longer be eligible for the temporary visa if the property were sold.

The buyer would be able to bring a spouse and minor children to live in the U.S. but would need to apply for a work visa to hold a job. Neither the buyer nor dependents would be eligible to receive Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security benefits.

"The bill does not limit people from being productive," Schumer said. "It simply prevents them from coming here and taking jobs that otherwise would go to Americans."

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and others have advocated boosting the U.S. economy by attracting foreign investment.

The Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America Act, or VISIT-USA Act, aims to do that by also making several other changes to visa policies.

Among them are allowing Chinese tourists to receive a five-year visa that permits multiple visits. They now must apply for a new visa every year. Canadians would be allowed to stay in the U.S. for more than 180 days without having to obtain a visa.

Schumer and Lee have lined up support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Travel Assn. and the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. Schumer said he was working to get the backing of the Obama administration, which received the bill's details Thursday.

"For too long, we have created barriers, and too many hoops and hurdles, which act to deter visitors from other countries coming to the United States to spend their money and create jobs," said Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue. "This is a loss we can ill afford in today's economy."

So, now is the one of the best times in history to invest in real estate in California.  You will need to contact a local California Realtor to assist you that specializes in working with foreign investors.  
I have extensive experience and frequently work with foreign investors, if you need a Real Estate Agent to assist you with purchasing your next property, feel free to call me or email me anytime.

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  Heather Paul, Realtor  (310)586-0364 or (310)923-2334

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Comment balloon 3 commentsHeather Paul • November 20 2011 12:58AM



Great post! I've been seeing an increase myself of foreign visitors lately in our area. If this bill is passed, It sounds like something that could help stimulate our economy a little. We  most certainly need it at this point. If what you stated is accurate, I can see how it most definitely could work.

Posted by Ron T. Weems Jr., Managing the details one home at a time. (Weems Property Group | KW North Sound) almost 7 years ago

City of Victorville is giving a visa to foreigner if they invest $500,000+ to bust the local economic

Posted by Hector Reyes, Southern California (NHNR) almost 7 years ago

Thank you Ron, and Hector this is great! Here in Southern California we are a melting pot already, if passed in all areas I think this would be a huge plus for the real estate market. 

Much success in 2012 for both of you and thanks for the comments!


Posted by Heather Paul, Realtor,Top Selling Real Estate Agent (Expert 1 Realty) almost 7 years ago