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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am writing this for my husband and myself as we are navigating the US spouse visa process and need some info about mortgages. I am a US citizen, and he is a British citizen. For the last year and a half I have been staying at his house in the UK. We were married less than two years ago.

Now his London-based company is transferring him to the New York office. We need to find housing near NYC and have found a town in New Jersey that we like (Montclair). While real estate is not cheap there, there are some modest properties in our range, and we could put down a sizable payment as we've received an offer on his house here in the UK.

However, we've heard that we won't be able to get a mortgage since his visa will officially expire and need to be renewed in two years. Also he will not have US credit, just UK credit. I quit my job in the US to be with him about two years ago, so I will not be able to secure a mortgage in my name. I will look for work when I go back, but I am in education and right now there is a hiring freeze in New Jersey.

Thanks so much in advance for any info readers might be able to provide!
 

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Have you considered renting as you may only be there for a limited period of time. Tying up funds in a down payment and paying interest based on your personal situation (if you can get a mortgage) plus potentially having to pack up and leave without being able to sit out a sale may be difficult financially and emotionally.
 

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Have you considered renting as you may only be there for a limited period of time. Tying up funds in a down payment and paying interest based on your personal situation (if you can get a mortgage) plus potentially having to pack up and leave without being able to sit out a sale may be difficult financially and emotionally.
Yes. We have considered it but would prefer not to throw 20 grand down the tubes if we can be building equity.

We have already done one temporary move (me to UK) and are not planning on moving back. We are both at an age where we need to stay put so are ok with making an investment. We have both lived in a number of places and right now prioritize stability more than anything else. It's also not likely that my husband would be changing jobs any time soon so we feel that we can commit to the area.
 

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Yes. We have considered it but would prefer not to throw 20 grand down the tubes if we can be building equity.

We have already done one temporary move (me to UK) and are not planning on moving back. We are both at an age where we need to stay put so are ok with making an investment. We have both lived in a number of places and right now prioritize stability more than anything else. It's also not likely that my husband would be changing jobs any time soon so we feel that we can commit to the area.
20k is not too bad for rent in this area. Do your numbers - utilities, grounds, insurance, repairs ...
You are just not in the best of situations for a mortgage. Can family sign or co-sign for you until you can modify it?
 

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The lack of a US credit history is going to be a major stumbling block.

I asked my bank back in the US about mortgages for foreigners on a visa and they said that they could only make a mortgage for the term of the foreigner's visa. With a green card, he'd be eligible for a regular mortgage (and only have the credit history issue to overcome).

Most banks want to see a 2 year credit history (for a foreigner, at least), so your best bet might be to rent for the first couple of years, use that time to build up his credit rating and then (assuming he was on a green card rather than just a work visa) look into buying a house.

The 2 years of renting isn't really "down the tubes" - it will give you a chance to evaluate the area in more detail, scout out potential properties and you might even find an area you like better than Montclair. It will also give you a chance to evaluate the career potential (for both of you) - and perhaps you may decide not to stay in the NYC area for the longer term.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
20k is not too bad for rent in this area. Do your numbers - utilities, grounds, insurance, repairs ...
You are just not in the best of situations for a mortgage. Can family sign or co-sign for you until you can modify it?
Yeah, I completely hear you Bev about the two years of scouting and the lack of US credit. If we have to rent, we will. We just want to make sure we've considered all of our options first.

Since my first post, I spoke with the immigration lawyer and he said we actually won't need to renew the visa, that he will be a "lawful permanent resident." I'm checking with brokers about this to see if this would make a difference.
 

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Yeah, I completely hear you Bev about the two years of scouting and the lack of US credit. If we have to rent, we will. We just want to make sure we've considered all of our options first.

Since my first post, I spoke with the immigration lawyer and he said we actually won't need to renew the visa, that he will be a "lawful permanent resident." I'm checking with brokers about this to see if this would make a difference.
A lawful permanent resident is a Green Card holder. The employer can apply for it but not guarantee anything.
 

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A lawful permanent resident is a Green Card holder. The employer can apply for it but not guarantee anything.
Yeah, but if she is a US citizen, she could sponsor her husband's spouse visa and green card (perhaps with parental or other co-sponsorship). That takes care of the visa side of the issue. But they still have to build a US credit history, and that will take time.

A friend of mine moved back to the US under somewhat similar circumstances. Wound up taking the mortgage in her own name because her husband didn't have the necessary visa - and things didn't work out so well for her. It's not the case here, but it pays not to rush things like this until you're well and truly "settled."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Yeah, but if she is a US citizen, she could sponsor her husband's spouse visa and green card (perhaps with parental or other co-sponsorship). That takes care of the visa side of the issue. But they still have to build a US credit history, and that will take time.

A friend of mine moved back to the US under somewhat similar circumstances. Wound up taking the mortgage in her own name because her husband didn't have the necessary visa - and things didn't work out so well for her. It's not the case here, but it pays not to rush things like this until you're well and truly "settled."
Cheers,
Bev
I have heard my share:>) Underwriting has really clamped down over the last year. Lenders would love to do loans but buyers are at a premium. Hardly any mortgages are being held in-house anymore.

Open a bank account, get a secured credit card, build up on that. Use a car note - always everything in both names.
 
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