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Buying property when fresh off the plane

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Hi everyone,

 

I read a post recently where it was mentioned how new immigrants struggle to get included on mortgages due to their lack of credit history in the US (which makes perfect sense).

 

It’s looking likely that rather than quitting my job when I emigrate, I’m actually going to be able to take redundancy instead (if all goes to plan, I’m treating this as the best negotiation I’ve ever done in my life 😂😂) - and as such, should have quite a sizeable sum to bring with me.

 

The company my fiancé works for has also just been bought out by another company, so he got quite a sizeable ‘welcome’ bonus (and a new contract etc, so we know his job and wage are still completely safe).

 

As such, when I move, we should be in a position to buy a house, as we’ll have enough for a very healthy deposit (my fiancé rents currently).

 

House prices are predicted to go up significantly in the area where we will live (where my fiancé lives currently) as Disney are building new studios there, so we want to buy as soon as possible. 

 

Sooo, I don’t really know a lot about buying houses, but my understanding is that my name can of course go on the deeds of the house - but it sounds like we will struggle to get my name on the mortgage too? And from reading up, sounds like my name on the mortgage would be a good thing for AOS etc...

 

I’m just wondering if anyone has experienced this scenario themselves and what the best way to go about things is? 

 

Just to add to this, I have a UK pension through a company that happens to also exist in the US (Fidelity), so have confirmed that everything I’ve paid in can be transferred over to a 401K over there - so I don’t know if that in anyway helps build my credit or makes me more viable to get my name on the mortgage? (I have to be honest, credit and money-stuff isn’t my forté - I have a great credit record here and know that paying all my bills on time, having direct debits etc, all helps build it - but I’m not au fait with all the ins and outs of what else contributes).

 

Thanks for your help! 🙃

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Getting a mortgage will depend on the credit report of the finance at this point 

you should be married to do this with fiancee

It will be important to get the SS number ASAP when you get here

bring proof of income to be added to the wife's income

interest rates and adding u to mortgage all that will depend on the company u get for the mortgage and the size of the down payment

A sizable down payment (20% or over) will avoid the mortgage insurance which is a tacked on amount for 10 years that guarantees the mortgage will be paid if you or wife default

You will,  of course,   have to declare the money you bring in when entering the US and it is always a good thing to bring proof of where it came from (like the proof it came from a savings account )

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Posted (edited)

I don't think you will have any problems being put on the mortgage as a co-borrower........For our mortgage, here in Texas, we used only my income to qualify, but my wife is both a co-borrower on the loan and a property owner on the deed....Of course, they are both good pieces of evidence of a bona fide marriage.

 

Disclaimer:  I added my wife to a credit soon after she arrived, so she had an excellent credit history and credit report when we applied for our mortgage several months later.....

Edited by missileman

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Posted (edited)

Hi Zoe, 

 

I don't have all the answers to your questions. No doubt others will/ can answer. I'll just offer my own experience. We bought our house 6 weeks before we emigrated so the timing is different to yours and obviously my (now) husband dealt with all the mortgage stuff before we got here. I kept my UK bank account (informed them before I moved). My husband got me a credit card as soon as I got here. I got added to my husband's bank account so it became a joint account after we got married. I got a SSN 2 weeks after arriving (crucial for getting a bank account, among other things). We looked in to getting my name on the deeds but instead we waited to re-finance our mortgage this year and then I was added to it all as part of that process (our house increased in value this past year so we got a better deal by re-financing). 

 

You won't be able to get any credit history until you can get a credit card once you're here (I'm not keen on having credit cards as I'm not the best at keeping track of my spending). Then get a joint account. I should think it would be highly unlikely that you'll be able to be included on a mortgage application as a new, unemployed immigrant. I even had difficulty getting included on a car loan after I had my green card. But I may be wrong. Those are some of the options I know of. If you're keen to get on the housing ladder you could buy something now with Herschell's credit with a view to moving and upgrading in the future. I don't know how long your AOS processing times will be. I'm fortunate as Detroit was relatively fast. I got my green card in March and got a job last month, exactly a year after moving. But the mortgage re-finance wasn't dependent on me working as it was before I got a job. 

 

Hope that helps in some way. 

 

P.S. For the re-financing the mortgage they wanted ID. I had driver's licence and green card by then. I don't know if I would have been accepted for it if I only had my UK ID. For the car loan they specifically asked for my green card. 

Edited by fip & jim

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Posted (edited)

We’ve bought twice.  First one - My wife was on the deed/not on the mortgage for reasons listed (no credit history) but is on both on the house we bought earlier this year.

Best to ask the broker.  Interest rates are a little depressed right now (Thanks Trump) and if lack of credit history/lower co-borrower score brings your rate up it’s best for the one with the best score to take out the mortgage and put both spouses on the actual deed.

Edited by Nitas_man

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One of the things I was told is that when determining the interest rate,  they look at the credit score of all named borrowers.   When I purchased property before,  adding the co borrower was going to increase the rate on the Mortgage 


YMMV

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I added Adil to my credit before he came but we were married

He had instant credit

and i should add my neighbors were here on a work visa (he from Germany and she from Philipines)   and they bought a house

with a marriage certificate,  proof of your income and the SS number, you should be able to go on the mortgage

shop around for a good rate

conventional mortgage is best

What Is a Conventional Mortgage or Loan?

A conventional mortgage or conventional loan is any type of home buyer’s loan that is not offered or secured by a government entity, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the USDA Rural Housing Service, but instead is available through or guaranteed by a private lender (banks, credit unions, mortgage companies) or the two government-sponsored enterprises, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

 

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7 minutes ago, payxibka said:

One of the things I was told is that when determining the interest rate,  they look at the credit score of all named borrowers.   When I purchased property before,  adding the co borrower was going to increase the rate on the Mortgage 

That matches our experience.  

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You don't need to put yourself on mortgage for AOS

 

Only thing I did when my wife got here from Philippines was opening a joint bank account with $400 in it a few weeks after she arrived, I put her name on the cable/internet bill and the water bill and that's all.

 

She has no cars in her name, no houses, all my bank accounts are in my name only. She did get and ATT cell fone account in her name only, and she has her own bank account to pay bills.  I let her pay all the household bills and I pay th mortgage.

 

No issue for AOS, we did file taxes together, We never had an AOS interview and now she is about to apply for citizenship.


ChickBoy

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Posted (edited)

Certain mortgages are only available to USCs or LPRs. We bought our house here in April, 2 years 3 months after I arrived but I (the immigrant) am the only borrower as my husband is now a house-husband and doesn’t have an income anymore. For me they needed 2 years of work and credit history. I started building my credit score the week I arrived with a credit card from Bank of America with a $300 limit. 6 months later I bought my car. A car loan is a good way to build credit scores. 

 

You wouldn’t need to be on the mortgage for AOS, being a co-owner with your husband would suffice. This shows co-mingled finances and living together, etc. Without a GC you might not be accepted as a borrower, despite the healthy deposit. Also it will have a negative impact on the interest rate calculation if you have no credit history. With that in mind, do you want to be a borrower? You will have no income to add to the calculation so the loan amount won’t increase if you are added. 

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JeanneAdil said:

Getting a mortgage will depend on the credit report of the finance at this point 

you should be married to do this with fiancee

It will be important to get the SS number ASAP when you get here

bring proof of income to be added to the wife's income

interest rates and adding u to mortgage all that will depend on the company u get for the mortgage and the size of the down payment

A sizable down payment (20% or over) will avoid the mortgage insurance which is a tacked on amount for 10 years that guarantees the mortgage will be paid if you or wife default

You will,  of course,   have to declare the money you bring in when entering the US and it is always a good thing to bring proof of where it came from (like the proof it came from a savings account )

I’ll have a letter from my company confirming the redundancy payment, so will make sure I bring it with me. I’m also thinking I’ll transfer the money, rather than bringing cash, though I’m sure it’ll still declaring/proof of origin providing.

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1 hour ago, Nitas_man said:

We’ve bought twice.  First one - My wife was on the deed/not on the mortgage for reasons listed (no credit history) but is on both on the house we bought earlier this year.

Best to ask the broker.  Interest rates are a little depressed right now (Thanks Trump) and if lack of credit history/lower co-borrower score brings your rate up it’s best for the one with the best score to take out the mortgage and put both spouses on the actual deed.

I think that’s probably what we’ll do then - he has an almost perfect credit score, so much so that his car loan was interest-free - so we’d definitely want to capitalise on that and get the best rate possible.

1 hour ago, fip & jim said:

Hi Zoe, 

 

I don't have all the answers to your questions. No doubt others will/ can answer. I'll just offer my own experience. We bought our house 6 weeks before we emigrated so the timing is different to yours and obviously my (now) husband dealt with all the mortgage stuff before we got here. I kept my UK bank account (informed them before I moved). My husband got me a credit card as soon as I got here. I got added to my husband's bank account so it became a joint account after we got married. I got a SSN 2 weeks after arriving (crucial for getting a bank account, among other things). We looked in to getting my name on the deeds but instead we waited to re-finance our mortgage this year and then I was added to it all as part of that process (our house increased in value this past year so we got a better deal by re-financing). 

 

You won't be able to get any credit history until you can get a credit card once you're here (I'm not keen on having credit cards as I'm not the best at keeping track of my spending). Then get a joint account. I should think it would be highly unlikely that you'll be able to be included on a mortgage application as a new, unemployed immigrant. I even had difficulty getting included on a car loan after I had my green card. But I may be wrong. Those are some of the options I know of. If you're keen to get on the housing ladder you could buy something now with Herschell's credit with a view to moving and upgrading in the future. I don't know how long your AOS processing times will be. I'm fortunate as Detroit was relatively fast. I got my green card in March and got a job last month, exactly a year after moving. But the mortgage re-finance wasn't dependent on me working as it was before I got a job. 

 

Hope that helps in some way. 

 

P.S. For the re-financing the mortgage they wanted ID. I had driver's licence and green card by then. I don't know if I would have been accepted for it if I only had my UK ID. For the car loan they specifically asked for my green card. 

Very good advice, thank you 🙃

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We found a new home that was too good to pass up and wanted to lock it in with a contract. (In Texas a contract means nobody else can come in after and offer more.)  My wife was able to get a mortgage pre-approval letter from a lender in in literally 10 minutes with a low interest rate. It was all about the need for speed because we could make an offer with no contingencies like "pending mortgage approval" or "pending sale of current home" which many buyers include in their offer. 

 

Had we included me as a co-borrower, it would have been gathering lots of paperwork, waiting weeks/months, and a higher interest rate, all because I was an unemployed immigrant with no credit and with savings still in a foreign bank. No doubt we could have added me to the deal, but it made no sense economically or with the timing we wanted.

 

So my wife bought the house and her name only was on the deed. We had no issue for removing conditions or naturalisation because of not owning property jointly.  (AOS was without interview and only a marriage certificate as evidence.  Easier times.)

 

If you get your funds in an America bank and have some time to prepare extra documentation, you ought to be able to co-sign the mortgage. But I wouldn't pay more just to please USCIS. 

 

PS- we eventually got my name added to the deed, but that was for us, not immigration.

 

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24 minutes ago, JFH said:

Certain mortgages are only available to USCs or LPRs. We bought our house here in April, 2 years 3 months after I arrived but I (the immigrant) am the only borrower as my husband is now a house-husband and doesn’t have an income anymore. For me they needed 2 years of work and credit history. I started building my credit score the week I arrived with a credit card from Bank of America with a $300 limit. 6 months later I bought my car. A car loan is a good way to build credit scores. 

 

You wouldn’t need to be on the mortgage for AOS, being a co-owner with your husband would suffice. This shows co-mingled finances and living together, etc. Without a GC you might not be accepted as a borrower, despite the healthy deposit. Also it will have a negative impact on the interest rate calculation if you have no credit history. With that in mind, do you want to be a borrower? You will have no income to add to the calculation so the loan amount won’t increase if you are added. 

Yep, I think staying off the mortgage is probably the best course of action. We’ll have a joint account, will be adding each other as beneficiaries to our 401Ks and have proof already of co-mingled finances (paying for holidays for each other/both paying into wedding savings account, etc), which we’ll only get more of.

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Posted (edited)

Best way to build your credit score is to become an authorized user on at least one of your fiancees credit cards ASAP. I added my fiancee to one of my cards with no foreign transaction fees and delivered the card to her on my next visit and let he use that to pay for anything she needed to do for immigration and such. This was about a year before she came over to the US on a K-1, so she had a good 10-11 months of usage on the card, and it earned me points, and I avoided a bunch of fees transferring money. When she arrived we got her social security card first off, and when we went to the bank to open her own account she had an 811 credit score and a 7 year credit history matched up with her SS number. Took us a little digging to figure out how this is possible, because they said the credit report showed a Chase Card with a 5,000 dollar limit and a 7 year history on it. I finally put 2 and 2 together because the Amazon card I added her to was owned by Chase bank. But not just the 10-11 months she had a card was on her credit report, the whole card history came over with it when the computer matched her name to the social security number we just received a few days ago. She got her own credit card then, and has been building her credit even further in the 9 months she has been here. So you could show up here in the US with a nice credit score sitting on hold for you just waiting for the SS number to match it to.

Edited by Loren Y

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