According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Florida is ranked first overall in the nation with the largest number of foreign investors. While several Florida cities offer profitable opportunities for foreign investors, Miami stands out for its unique scenario.
Can foreign nationals buy residential properties in Miami? Keep reading to find out.
Can a Foreigner Buy a House in Miami? – The Verdict
United States law does not restrict the purchase and sale of real property for non-US citizens. Hence, foreign investors are free to negotiate, buy, sell, or transfer properties in Florida like anywhere else in the country.
Please note that purchasing a house in Miami or any other location within US jurisdiction will not confer special privileges or distinct immigration status for those who did it.
The possibility to live and work in the United States legally is directly related to one’s education, professional abilities, family, and other specific conditions.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has different types of investor visas for prospective applicants. Upon meeting USCIS requirements, applicants can enter the country legally for a temporary or non-temporary stay depending on the visa option.
For example, the EB-5 investor visa is an immigrant visa for foreign investors willing to invest at least $500,000 in a US business enterprise to obtain lawful permanent residence (green card).
While simply buying a house in Miami has no immigration benefits, it is possible to find alternative solutions. Consulting with an experienced business immigration attorney is crucial to identify feasible business strategies to enter the United States legally.
Can Foreign Investors Buy All Types of Real Estate in Miami?
As the possibility to buy and sell Miami property is open to foreign nationals, there is no regulation prohibiting the acquisition of certain types of residential property. Under US law, foreign investors are free to buy Miami:
- Single-family homes
Foreign nationals can buy real property using their own names or through a legal entity in Florida, such as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation (C-corp).
Different forms of homeownership result in distinct tax consequences. In most cases, the best approach is to purchase a home through a Florida legal entity to benefit from limited liability, minimize taxes and ensure confidentiality.
Can Foreign Nationals Buy Miami Property Using Mortgage Loans?
With few exceptions, foreign buyers prefer to pay for real property in Florida with cash only. US law requires that all cash transactions over $10,000 must be reported to the federal government.
Also, the US Department of Finance requires a declaration of all real estate transactions paid in cash exceeding the $1 million mark in Miami-Dade County. The purpose is to avoid money laundering in all-cash real estate transactions.
In most real estate transactions closed in Florida, buyers are responsible for covering specific costs, such as title search, insurance, registration fees, and legal fees, adding an additional 1% to 2% on top of the property’s purchase price.