I just closed escrow on a fabulous El Dorado Hills home for a Canadian couple. When they first contacted me, we weren’t sure if they’d be able to buy a house in the U.S. After all, how could they qualify for a U.S. loan? The didn’t have American credit scores or tax returns. They didn’t even have a U.S. bank account. It took a few months of careful planning but here’s how my Canadian clients were able to successfully buy a home in the U.S.
They started off with a good reference, Brian Wruk’s book: The Canadian in America: Real-Life Tax and Financial Insights into Moving and Living in the U.S. Wruk refers to the banking issue, and suggests finding a bank that supports Canadian clients.
For my clients, cross-border banking arrangements are the deal maker/breaker for a cross-border move, since credit scores don’t cross international boundaries. Anyone considering moving from Canada can open up a bank account with the Royal Bank of Canada, and then open an RBC Bank account through the Royal Bank. RBC Bank (Georgia) is an US Internet-based bank that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.
By doing this, you are able to move money from your Canadian accounts to your US accounts yourselves. You are able to avoid the international wire transfer burden except for large transfers, within reasonable caps for “poor folk” ($25k per transaction). But, more importantly, in arranging a mortgage loan through RBC Bank, they were willing to pull Canadian credit scores and were familiar with the different types of supporting documentation required to obtain financing. For example, in Canada, there are no W-2s, just T-4’s.
There are probably other ways for Canadians to get U.S. home loans but for my recent Folsom clients, this way worked! If you are relocating to the Sacramento/Roseville/El Dorado Hills area, talk to a local real estate agent who can help!
Are you Canadian, Moving to the US, and Want to Buy a Home?