Residential Finance Corporation (RFC) has rolled out a new mortgage program specifically designed for foreign-born homebuyers, a demographic group that has been steadily increasing in the United States. The award-winning national lender’s new “Foreign National Loan Program” was created to meet the special needs of foreign-national buyers. “The U.S. market is being increasingly viewed as attractive to non-citizen homebuyers,” said Mark Fowler, chief revenue officer at Residential Finance. “We’re seeing growing interest from foreigners in securing home loans, particularly in coastal areas.”
A report released recently by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows a steady upswing in the number of foreign-born homeowners in the United States over the past three decades. Immigrant Contributions to Housing Demand in the United States reports that the number of foreign-born homeowners has increased each decade, rising from 0.8 million new immigrant homeowners in the United States during 1980-1990, to 2.1 million new immigrant homeowners in 1990–2000, to 2.4 million in 2000–2010. That number is projected to rise further to 2.8 million in the current decade (2010–2020), according to the MBA report.
Foreign-national borrowers who qualify for Residential Finance’s new mortgage program can chose from both fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgages with terms that compare favorably to those available to domestic borrowers, according to Fowler. The program allows a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of up to 65 percent, and places a maximum cap on borrowing of $600,000 per property for both home purchase loans and refinances. Single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses and second homes are all eligible.
“Due to the unique qualifying features of these loans, each is manually underwritten by Residential Finance,” Fowler said. “There are no pre-payment penalties and the program permits borrowers to be self-employed,” he added.