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Actually, the situation isn't all that much different for newcomers to the US. (Or was when I was still living there.) Most banks won't lend to "foreigners" until they have at least a 2 year credit history in the US. (Or if they do lend, it's only on "sub-prime" terms no matter what your salary level is. This from American friends who returned to the US from France a few years ago.)

As Lydi mentioned, there are options other than getting a mortgage from your bank. Mentioning a courtier might get their attention as she indicated. The other thing to remember is that mortgage terms are considerably stricter here, no matter what bank or finance agency you go through. The old one-third of income rule is pretty strictly applied (i.e. your mortgage payment can be no more than a third of your monthly salary - not sure if that's gross or net). It can help to know what their constraints are and try to play to them.
 
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