• Kate Barnes

Can foreigners buy property in California?

Updated: Aug 16

Can I buy property in California as a foreigner? What do I need to do to prepare?

The simple answer is YES! Foreigners can buy property in California.

Here are a few points to help you get started.

Rent or Buy

If you are a foreigner coming to live in California for a temporary period of time, it is firstly important to consider the worthwhileness of buying versus renting a property while you are living abroad.

If you plan to keep the home for a year or so, it may not be worthwhile to buy a home as the costs of buying and selling may dissintegrate your equity gains. It may in fact be cheaper for you to rent while living abroad. However, if you are able to commit to keeping the property for 5-7 years, even if you live in it temporarily and then rent it out when you head back home, this is when it starts to make more sense. Not only are you able to save on rental expenses while living abroad, you can also receive rental income once you move back home and can benefit from the great equity gains experienced in California.

Mortgage or Cash?

There are a few different options for loan generation when it comes to a foreigner buying a home in California. The first step is to connect with a few different financiers to evaluate your options. Your chosen realtor will be able to arrange these connections for you.

Many foreign buyers do turn to cash sales to minimalise the complexity of the purchase. An important point to note in this case, is that for all cash sales, the money needs to be "seasoned money". This means that the cash needs to be sitting in a bank account for 90 days or more before using the funds to buy property.

Alternatively, there are ways to get a loan as a foreigner, even if it means putting a little more down payment on the property as added security to the financier.


It's important to speak to a CPA regarding any tax agreements between your country and the US. There are also different tax rates when it comes to selling your property later down the track, so it's important to be aware of these rates before investing.

If you are a foreigner interested in purchasing property in California and would like help evaluating your options, I would love to speak with you! Please connect to arrange a consultation.

Kate Barnes


METIS Real Estate 415.521.6813 | |

Youtube: Kate Barnes Realtor | Dre 02092777


Kate Barnes

Dre 02092777



Tel: 415.521.6813

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