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Hi,

We are looking into buying a home and realistically we can do this in about 6 months time. However, we know some banks say that the Green Card holder needs 2 years of W2's before they can be allowed to co-borrow on a mortgage. I know this isn't the case for all lenders though.

I was wondering if any recent home buyers, where the GC holder has less than 2 years work experience in the US, can share where they got their mortgage from and if the interest rates were higher or there were any other caveats in the lending agreement?

All stories relating to this experience are welcomed!


11/01/12 - I-129F sent
11/14/12 - NOA1 (email/text)
11/19/12 - NOA1 (paper)
05/17/13 - NOA2 (email/text)
05/22/13 - NOA2 (paper)
05/29/13 - Case forwarded to NVC
06/04/13 - Case forwarded to US Embassy, London
06/06/13 - Medical
06/12/13 - Packet 3 received
06/13/13 - Packet 3 sent
06/25/13 - Packet 4 received
07/19/13 - Interview
07/26/13 - Visa received
08/09/13 - POE (IAD)
08/31/13 - Wedding heart.gif
10/03/13 - I-485 & I-765 sent
10/10/13 - NOA1 (email/text)
10/15/13 - NOA1 (paper)
11/12/13 - I-485 & I-765 Biometrics

12/03/13 - EAD approval

12/10/13 - EAD received

02/22/14 - Green Card approval
03/01/14 - Green Card received

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We are starting to go down this path ourselves. My husband has been in the country for a year, working for 8 months, GC for about 4 months. We went and had no issues getting pre-approved through Chase with him as the primary on the loan.

I have a history with Chase, and we opened a Chase credit card for him over a year ago, but they didn't seem to take any issue with his immigration status or employment.

We haven't gone too far with the process yet, but my suggestion would be to start with the bank where you have a relationship.

Good luck!


K1 Visa Process AOS Process

Mar 18 2013: I-129F mailed to CSC Nov 15 2013: I-485 with EAD/AP filed at Chicago Lockbox

Sept 19 2013: Interview - Approved!! Jan 25 2014: EAD/AP Card Received

Oct 6 2013: POE - Chicago O'Hare June 2 2014: Permanent Resident Card Received!

Oct 27 2013: Wedding!

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Hi there,

We were not quite in your boat, when we were buying our house, I had just gotten my 2 year conditional GC, but I worked in the US via work visas. What I can share with you is that I found the larger banks more cumbersome than smaller ones. Here are some examples of things we came across:

  • Some of the sellers in the areas we were looking at did not want to deal with buyers who had Bank of America as their lender as BOA took a long time to complete the process and in some cases the deals fell through
  • We ended up going initially going with Wells Fargo because the loan officer was a friend of friend, who was willing to go above and beyond to help us with the paperwork. WF certainly asked for a lot of in my opinion documents that were not useful, from what I can tell, they were more focused on making sure that the overseas funds I had that was going to be used in the down payment were in fact mine. If you have foreign funds you plan to use, ask the lender ahead of time as you may need to prepare certain documents
  • When we refinanced, we used www.bankrate.com to look for different lenders and once we've narrowed them down, checked out the online reviews and their ratings on places like BBB. We ultimately went with a small lender, who in the end sold their loans to another institution anyway
  • Make sure you get a loan officer who is willing to work with you, we ended up asking our loan officer to sign-off on several different pre-approval letters with different amounts to help us with the negotiation process; we don't want to share with the seller what our final upper limit is, it just makes them want to ask for the maximum
  • If you're able to put a sizable down payment on your house, I doubt the bank would worry too much about your immigration status since one of you is a US citizen and you the monthly repayment amount will likely be more manageable

Cheers

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They ask for a lot of information when you're buying a house. Your tax returns for the last 3 years, the tax return transcripts, your credit scores, 3 months of bank statements, any credit cards foreign or domestic, foreign assets, any previous bankruptcy etc, you have to explain any large deposits or expenditures in your bank account. Time from offer to close varies by state. One of you, at least, much have decent credit, preferably 740+. You can both be on the loan or the title, or both, but the USC should be the main loan holder if they are the one with the good credit and steady job.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Filed: Timeline

It's been awhile, but when I bought my last home it was a significant advantage to secure the mortgage under my name only. My spouse did not have an income and her credit history was nonexistent; adding her to the mortgage would have significantly increased the rate vs. what I was able to secure on my own. I signed a quit claim deed at closing which added her name to the property deed. During divorce proceedings, the mortgage was considered a joint debt considering it was taken out whilst married for the purpose of purchasing the primary marital residence.

Due diligence would be working through the mortgage details under all scenarios and going with the best rate/terms.

Edited by novedsac

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Thanks to all for your replies, we will investigate other banks/lenders to see if any of them will give us a joint mortgage. By 6 months time we will be able to afford a really nice house here in Maryland, so we want to do all we can to make sure we get it.


11/01/12 - I-129F sent
11/14/12 - NOA1 (email/text)
11/19/12 - NOA1 (paper)
05/17/13 - NOA2 (email/text)
05/22/13 - NOA2 (paper)
05/29/13 - Case forwarded to NVC
06/04/13 - Case forwarded to US Embassy, London
06/06/13 - Medical
06/12/13 - Packet 3 received
06/13/13 - Packet 3 sent
06/25/13 - Packet 4 received
07/19/13 - Interview
07/26/13 - Visa received
08/09/13 - POE (IAD)
08/31/13 - Wedding heart.gif
10/03/13 - I-485 & I-765 sent
10/10/13 - NOA1 (email/text)
10/15/13 - NOA1 (paper)
11/12/13 - I-485 & I-765 Biometrics

12/03/13 - EAD approval

12/10/13 - EAD received

02/22/14 - Green Card approval
03/01/14 - Green Card received

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We used BOA to get our mortgage (2013). We found all bad reviews while in process, so it was too late to find another bank. I even called the person from BOA who was handling all paperwork to ask his opinion about online reviews. He said to me, that mostly bad reviews come from the people who had problems with their paperwork. It's kind of make sense to us. But I was impresses with BOA work. All process took just under 1 month. At closing I was expecting problems ( all reviews where dancing in my head while signing the papers), but it was so simple and fast, that after the attorney congratulated us I asked, THATS IT ????

BOA requires 2 years of tax returns. They also ask to go to the nearest bank to show your GC. It was really easy. And we got really good rate for that moment.

Last week I called a few banks just to inquire about refinancing. First internet bank need only 1 year tax returns. Maybe this info will help you.

This is how we found best bank for our mortgage. Opened http://www.zillow.com/mortgage-rates/#request=ZR-TVRWNYR&page=2 and called each of the banks on that list. Asked all of them the same questions. And based on answers made our decision. My husband started from the top of the list, I called from the bottom of the list. It was fun :devil:


ROC VSC mailed 5/7/14

NOA1 5/9

Check cashed 5/14

Biometrics current

RFE dated 12/18

RFE mailed 1/20

Approved 2/2 ! ( letter came from the local office)

Card received 2/17/15 !!!!

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We just bought a house this summer, about 9 months after our arrival in the US. My husband got pre-approved for a mortgage with several providers before we even left the UK but in the end we went with the bank who provide our personal banking. Because I am a non-USC and I have zero credit history in the US and no employment history here either, I am not named on the mortgage. The mortgage is solely in my husband's name. I am, however, named on all of the paperwork pertaining to the house and on the deeds. So the loan is in his name but the house is co-owned by both of us.

The house buying process in the US is massively different from that in the UK so pick a realtor who has the patience to walk you through the process and offer "house buying for dummies" type of support. Ours was very patient and understanding and was actually pretty interested in what house buying and selling was like in both England and Scotland (where we had previously owned homes).

Essentially my status as an immigrant was never the issue but my lack of financial history and lack of income here was but it didn't stop me becoming a home owner.

Best of luck with it all!

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Argentina
Timeline

This isn't really helpful as a part of the process for you, but a suggestion to consider: Purchasing a multi-family. Live in one apartment, rent the others out, and your mortgage would be paid for. Make sure you can afford the mortgage on your own as well, in case one or more of the apt's stands empty for a few months. After 5 years you can purchase a Single Family home and move into that. There's a 5 year rule for owner-occupier in regards to taxes; then you have an apartment building as income, and your dream home.

Either way being a landlord is a good way to earn money and retire early. Just remember to put away money each month in case the apt's get ruined by your tenants and their Security Deposit doesn't cover it all, or if there's a major repair that's needed.


~ Don't forget to 'Vote Up' useful advice from others ~

K1 Visa Journey [April 11, 2013 - August 31, 2014]
[2014-09-20] !!! WEDDING !!!
[2014-09-22] Applied for SSN
[2014-09-26] Marriage License in Snail Mail
[2014-10-22] Notification of SSC in mail, will arrive "within 2 weeks"
[2014-10-27] SSC Arrived!

2015-04-30] Mailed AOS Package!
[2015-06-16] EAD Approved!
[2015-06-16] AP Approved!
[2015-06-23] EAD/AP Card Received!

[2015-10-02] AOS Approved (No Interview)!

[2015-10-07] Greencard Mailed

[2015-10-09] Approval Notice Recieved

[2015-10-09] Greencard Recieved!

I used RapidVisa for my petition; a paperwork service. A K1 is $375.00 to use their hassle-free online application system.

Useful Links:
Igor's List | Advanced Search Tool | Q&A With a Former USCIS Adjudicator
Visa Status Checker (Once you get a Case # from NVC) | Offical USCIS Reasons for a K1 Denial

The advice offered by this user is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Sweden
Timeline

We bought a home two years ago a few months after I had moved to the U.S. I (the green card holder) was the only one with a job so we did find it difficult to get a mortgate. In the end we got one through a local credit union. I had to pay 0.25 higher interest rate then we would have had I had two years' worth of W2's, but since interest rates have risen since then I am happy to be paying 3.75% today.

My wife had put me as an autorized user on her credit cards before we even got married and we added my SSN to the accounts as soon as I got one. After less then a year in the States I had a credit score of roughly 760.

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I'm in the process of buying a house too. But my US citizen husband's credit history isn't stellar, mainly due to his issue with the VA. I have 10 years worth of work history in the US but I am on a conditional permanent residency which is coming to an end next year and is up for renewal. I am going to have the loan on my name alone. So far the mortgage process has been smooth until I was about to sign paperwork and it was then that I realized they mistakenly thought I was a US citizen. I emailed them to correct it but now I am worried about getting the house. Will it be an issue to get a conventional loan? I know you can get an FHA but I don't want that type of loan.

Edited by Morningmist

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

We bought our house about 1 yr after we were married. Based on the fact that I did not have much US credit history and the lender had no interest in looking back at obtaining my (good) Canadian credit history we decided to buy it in my husband's name. I had a great job at the time but my lack of credit affected our rates enough that we made the decision to put it under his name only. A year later we added my name to the deed and then refinanced and I am now on the mortgage as well.

Having the house in just his name did not after my ROC a year later in case anyone is worried about that - they didn't ask about it at all and if they had I would have explained.


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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