Property for Sale in the USA (2023)

  • Buying in the USA
  • Where to Buy
  • How to Buy

Property in the USA

The British have been entranced by the idea of living and working in the USA for 400 years and the appeal shows no sign of wearing out. It’s the place to start a new life where ambition and hard work are rewarded and where they really know how to have fun! In the USA, to quote PJ O’Rourke: “There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.”

The biggest draw in recent years has been central Florida, where a modern villa with pool, in year-round warm weather, a short drive from the world’s greatest theme parks can be yours for as little as £125,000. How much would the family love that?

There is so much more to the USA, however. Even within Florida, what about an ocean-view apartment in Miami, the “Capital of Latin America”? Other highlights include California, where the sun shines all year and the future is being forged in the workshops of Apple and Google. It has rural beauty too, in the winelands of Napa and the ski slopes of Tahoe. Property in the USA can be pricey – hardly surprising given that so many want to be there.

The central states haven’t seen so many UK buyers, but just saying the names Wyoming, Montana and Kansas is to be transported to a romantic new life owning a ranch house with the pick-up truck in the drive and a stars and stripes in the front garden. It’s a radically different culture to ours, but speaking English we’re halfway there.

For many British people, New York is the perfect city and the most glamorous place on earth, where you could be drinking whisky in a bar with Mad Men (and women) while swapping witticisms with Woody Allen. Don’t forget the rural idylls of New England – it may look and feel familiar but there are mountain lions and black bears running wild – or the states of the eastern seaboard where you’ll find that picture-perfect cottage with veranda and a white picket fence, close to NYC, Boston or Washington DC.

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The USA also has astonishing investment potential, if you go about it the right way, with buy-to-let properties starting from just £10,000. The buying processes are secure, simple and in English, with so much online information that it’s hard to go wrong. All with year-round budget flights that, apart for the jet lag, make it as easy to reach as many a Mediterranean island.

Where to Buy Property in the USA

The great land of opportunity across the Pond remains a place where many British people would love to emigrate to “live the American dream” and make a lot of money. There are now over 678,000 Brits who have moved permanently to the US, and that’s without all the second-home owners.

It’s relatively simple to buy property in America - there are no restrictions on foreign ownership, we speak the same language, they have a well-regulated, easy to understand property market plus a sophisticated internet infrastructure (MLS) that lists every property for sale and every bit of data you could ever want to know about an area.

There are plentiful flights throughout the year, wonderful roads and welcoming people. It’s all very easy to do – especially if you can pay cash -and it’s a huge and fabulously diverse country.

Across the US, property prices have generally recovered from the global downturn, with hotspots such as Miami, New York and Orlando at the forefront of the resurgent markets – some of the hardest hit have bounced back the fastest.

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The vast majority of us will head south to Florida for the year-round sunshine to join all the other North European “snowbirds” escaping the freezing winters back home. Whether it’s Disney, shopping, boating, beaches or golf it’s got everything, even thriving art centres such as Miami and Sarasota.

Florida is a huge and diverse state but prices went up on average of 11 per cent year on year so it’s definitely on a steady upward curve. The average British buyer spends around £250,000 in Florida and most interest is in the Orlando area, where you can find a three-bed villa with a pool for that in popular (but not super prime) locations. For Lauderdale, Naples, St Augustine and Tampa Bay area are also popular areas.

Some of us might prefer California and especially the resurgent Los Angeles – another popular but slightly less accessible area for buyers; although historic New England or Georgia, the Colorado ski resorts of the majestic Rockies, glamorous Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe are all niche markets for second-home owners.

New York is a buzzing market in 2016 and many investors are looking there for capital growth in several of the downturn areas that are currently undergoing a reinvention. Prices are strong in the Big Apple, which frequently appears in the Top Five most expensive cities in the world for residential property.New York State is also sought-after for wealthy Brits relocating for work, and a few even buy in The Hamptons, the summer playground for wealthy New Yorkers on Long Island.

How to Buy Property in the USA

The situation in America is slightly complicated by the variety of state laws, though the lack of a language barrier makes it seem easier, and the industry is well regulated and very transparent (all properties are listed on a nationwide database, Multiple Listings System or MLS, of which all agents have access).

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Once the property is chosen, the agent working for the buyer prepares an offer to purchase a property. Once signed by the seller, this becomes a binding contract, and the buyer usually pays a deposit into an “escrow” account of 10 per cent for residents, as much as 20 to 30 per cent for non-residents.

The buyer will usually instruct a licensed home inspector to perform a detailed inspection of the property to identify any issues, or repairs that may be needed. An appraiser will visit the property to give a detailed report of the home’s market value. A title search is performed to ensure the property is free and clear of any charges and all building permits have been closed.

So long as the protections were written into the contract, should there be issues resulting from the searches and survey the buyer can still pull out. Otherwise, a real estate transaction can then be “closed” by an attorney or title insurance company.

Buying Costs

Documentary stamps to record the deed with the local authorities cost 0.7 per cent of the purchase price and can be paid by the buyer or seller.

The title insurance policy is a one-off payment of approximately 0.75 per cent of the purchase price – again, this is payable by the buyer or seller so part of the negotiation!

Attorney or title company costs to close the transaction are usually around $700, split equally between buyer and seller. The buyer may be required to pay home owner association fees and building insurance in advance and this may be paid at closing.

(Video) 10 Cheapest States to Buy a House in 2022.

So, overall, budget up to 2.5 per cent for cash purchases and up to 7 per cent if you are getting a US based mortgage.

You'll also need to find the most cost-effective, safe and easy way to move your money to the USA to complete your purchase. Bank charges and fluctuating exchange rates can both have an impact on your overall cost - but you can save up to 4% of the cost by working with a specialist currency firm.

Buyers Need to Know

When buying a condominium, buyers need to thoroughly investigate the financial health of the condo association. Ideally the association will have reserves in place for major items such as roof replacement or road resurfacing.

Ask how many home owners are in arrears with their monthly fees – a high percentage should ring alarm bells as it indicates an increase in the monthly fees may be inevitable to cover the shortfall.

Beware of past condo or homeowner (HOA) fees that may be demanded after you buy a house or condo.

Some good news: when buying a new-build you can save on insurance costs – up to half if you are buying a brand new home versus a 15-year-old home. New-builds also come with a 10-year building warranty, but do make sure you know what fixtures or fittings are included in the sales price.


Can I buy property in USA as foreigner? ›

Can Non-Residents Buy Property in the USA? Yes, anyone can buy a property in the USA regardless of whether they have US citizenship. You can even apply for a mortgage in America as a non-citizen if you require it. However, property-owners will face more complex tax laws as a non-citizen.

How much does a house cost in the USA? ›

The median home sales price is $428,700 as of the first quarter of 2022. That's a 30% increase from 2020, when the median was $329,000.
Average home price in the United States: $428,700.
YearMedian sales price of homes in the U.S.Mean sale price of homes in the U.S.
9 more rows
28 Jul 2022

Where is the cheapest house in USA? ›

Cheapest States to Buy a House in 2022
  • West Virginia. West Virginia is the cheapest state to buy a home. ...
  • Arkansas. A typical home in Arkansas costs $169,867, the third-lowest in the country. ...
  • Oklahoma. ...
  • Iowa. ...
  • Kentucky. ...
  • Alabama. ...
  • Kansas. ...
  • Ohio.

Is property cheap in USA? ›

America is one of the richest countries in the world. Yet, America doesn't come close to having the most expensive property in the world. With a median home price of only $340,000 in America, American property is very affordable in a country as big as ours.

Can I get US citizenship if I buy a house? ›

One of the most common questions we get from our foreign clients is whether buying an American property will give them the legal right to live in the United States. Unfortunately, our first answer is always no. Just purchasing U.S. real estate does not automatically set you on the path toward citizenship.

Can I get a green card if I buy a house in USA? ›

“Will I qualify to receive a green card because I bought a house in the United States?” No. You can't get a green card simply by buying a house in the U.S. In fact, owning real estate doesn't ordinarily give you any visa or other immigration benefits.

What's the cheapest state in the US to live in? ›

1. Mississippi. Mississippi is the cheapest place to live in the United States, with a cost of living 16.7% lower than the national average.

What is the cheapest city to live in USA? ›

Here are the top 10 cheapest places to live; you can access the full list here.
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Wichita Falls, Texas.
  • Brownsville, Texas.
  • South Bend, Indiana.
  • Dayton, Ohio.
  • Toledo, Ohio.
  • Evansville, Indiana.
  • Buffalo, New York.
28 Jul 2022

What state is the easiest to buy a house? ›

  • Minnesota.
  • Kansas. ...
  • Missouri. ...
  • North Dakota. ...
  • South Dakota. ...
  • Wyoming. Access to credit makes Wyoming high among the "easy" states for new homebuyers.
  • Vermont. The Green Mountain state offers a good employment landscape for under-35 home buyers.
  • Nebraska. The Cornhusker state ranks highest among states for housing affordability.
11 Mar 2017

Where is the cheapest country to buy a house? ›

In 2022, Vietnam was ranked as the most economical destination for first home buyers by the Annual Global Retirement Index. Vietnam saw a 50% decline in rent over the past year and housing prices do not drastically exceed the median income.

Are houses cheaper in US than UK? ›

House prices

In the UK the average house price is £242,415, compared to £122,073 in America. And London is the second most expensive city in the world to buy property, beaten only by millionaires' playground Monaco.

Why is land so cheap in USA? ›

U.S. property prices are among the CHEAPEST in the developed world. Land in America bought the land on tax auctions and/or auctions directly from the community or other sources, and offer these properties to our customers at wholesale prices.

How much does a 3 bedroom house cost in USA? ›

Depending on the state you call home, the typical three-bedroom house can list at anywhere from $91,000 to over $646,000. That's why GOBankingRates compiled a study to track the affordability of the three-bedroom house across America.

How much money is required to live in USA? ›

Living Expenses in the US

The estimated living cost for the US is around $10,000 to $18,000 per year, which averages around $1,000 to $1,500 per month. This includes your accommodation costs, room, and board, food, travel, textbooks, weather-appropriate clothing, and entertainment expenses as well.

What is cost of living in USA per month? ›

The estimated student living cost in USA per year is between $10,000 to $18,000, making the average monthly expenses in USA for Indian students to be $1000 to $1500.

What is the fastest way to get US citizenship? ›

Expedited Naturalization by Marriage

Hold a green card for three years; Be married to and living with your US citizen spouse for three years; Live within the state that you're applying in for three months; and.

How long can I stay in America without a visa? ›

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in consultation with the State Department, permits citizens of 40 countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa.

How much should I invest in US to get green card? ›

The standard minimum investment amount has increased to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation. The minimum investment in a TEA has increased to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.

Which country gives citizenship by buying property? ›


Dominica established its citizenship-by-investment program in 1993. There are two options for citizenship-by-investment in Dominica. Investors can get full citizenship for themselves and their family.

How long can I stay in Florida if I own a property? ›

4. How long can you stay in Florida if you own a property? This is one of the key things to consider before moving abroad. Legally, you can spend up to six months in any 12-month period in the USA on a typical B2 visa, which works well if you're planning on renting your property for the other half of the year.

How can I get permanent residency in USA? ›

Apply for a Green Card

If you are eligible, file Form I-485 - Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS, including all supporting documents and fees. USCIS will review your application and schedule an interview with you. Once issued, your Green Card will be valid for 10 years.

What is the best state to live in financially? ›

Best to Worst States: What Is the Range of Economic Conditions? Washington State was found to be the best state to live in, while Hawaii ranked last. The chief benefits offered by Washington are an average median income that ranks fourth nationally and the fact that it has no state income tax.

What is the #1 best state to live in? ›

The Top Ten Best States to Live in 2022
  • Wisconsin (#8 overall)
  • Virginia (#7 overall)
  • Nebraska (#6 overall)
  • Idaho (#5overall)
  • New Hampshire (#4 Overall)
  • Utah (#3 overall)
  • Minnesota (#2 overall)
  • Washington (#1 overall)

What state is the highest cost of living? ›

Hawaii. Life in paradise comes at a high price, as Hawaii is by far the most expensive state to live on our list, with an index of 189.9.

Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in USA? ›

Augusta, a small city near Georgia's border with South Carolina, is one of the cheapest and safest places to live in the USA. It has a low crime rate and a low cost of living, making it perfect for those looking to live comfortably and save money.

Is Canada cheaper than us? ›

The average annual and monthly living expenses of the typical American are generally quite a bit larger than those of the average Canadian. However, remember that these are all averages across the entire US and Canada.

What is the best state to live in USA 2022? ›

Massachusetts topped 2022's list, touting a score of 62.65 out of 100. New Jersey came in second, dropping from the top spot last year. New York, Idaho and Virginia fill out the rest of the top five states to live in, in that order.

What state has the cheapest houses to buy? ›

1 cheapest state to buy a house in 2022: Iowa. Iowa came in at the top of the list with the lowest average median household income it takes to be able to afford a house. The largest housing markets in the Midwestern state include Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids.

What state is best to buy a house? ›

Tennessee is the cheapest state to buy a house in 2022. Oregon is the most expensive state to buy a house in 2022. $514,568 was the average house price in the United States in Q4 2021.

Where is best place to buy a house right now? ›

We've put together a list of the 10 best places to buy a home right now to help you find cities with competitively priced homes and ample opportunities for exploring.
Let the home search begin!
  • Miami, Florida. ...
  • Springfield, Oregon. ...
  • Hilo, Hawaii. ...
  • Fountain, Colorado. ...
  • El Mirage, Arizona. ...
  • Iowa City, Iowa. ...
  • St. ...
  • San Antonio, Texas.

Where is it cheapest to live in the world? ›

10 Cheapest Countries in the World to Live In
  • Vietnam.
  • South Africa.
  • Ecuador.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Malaysia.
  • Mexico.
  • Indonesia.
  • Bulgaria.

Is quality of life better in US or UK? ›

Generally, the living standards in the UK are better than in the US.

Is it cheaper to live in England or USA? ›

The average cost of living in the United Kingdom ($1804) is 15% less expensive than in the United States ($2112). the United Kingdom ranked 16th vs 6th for the United States in the list of the most expensive countries in the world.

How long does it take to buy a house in America? ›

On average, it takes about four to five months to buy a house. That range includes the two to three months it takes to find the right house. And another one to two months to go from contract to closing. Keep in mind, that's just a rough average.

What state is the cheapest to buy land? › performed a study that took a look at the median prices per acre in 2021 and found that Arizona had the cheapest median cost per acre, at $4,164. The data includes the price of land with existing homes and the cost of land designated as a homesite were also included so that you can have some comparison.

What state has cheapest land per acre? ›

Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia are three of the cheapest places where you can buy cheap land. New Mexico and Arizona are popular places for retirees. If you are going to buy land make water and other utilities are available nearby. Land is the most illiquid form of real estate.

Where is the best place to buy land? ›

The Top 9 Best States to Buy Land in 2021
  • Impacts on Real Estate Market. We all know firsthand that 2020 and 2021 have been hard years. ...
  • Florida. Full of sunshine and fun, Florida is a wonderful state to look for land for sale. ...
  • Arkansas. ...
  • Tennessee. ...
  • Utah. ...
  • Arizona. ...
  • Oregon. ...
  • West Virginia.
8 Dec 2021

Why are foreigners allowed to buy property in USA? ›

Because the US has no citizenship requirement for real estate sales, non-US citizens can buy property in the US. In fact, foreigners can even qualify for a mortgage if they meet certain requirements. However, foreign property owners do face a more challenging tax situation than US citizens.

How much do you need to invest in US to get citizenship? ›

The standard minimum investment amount has increased to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation. The minimum investment in a TEA has increased to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.

Which country gives citizenship by buying property? ›


Dominica established its citizenship-by-investment program in 1993. There are two options for citizenship-by-investment in Dominica. Investors can get full citizenship for themselves and their family.

Can you buy a house if you are not a permanent resident? ›

It is entirely possible to purchase a home as a non-U.S. citizen — whether you're a foreign national or a permanent or a temporary resident. There are no limitations on the type of property that can be purchased or how the property is used.

How long can I stay in Florida if I own a property? ›

4. How long can you stay in Florida if you own a property? This is one of the key things to consider before moving abroad. Legally, you can spend up to six months in any 12-month period in the USA on a typical B2 visa, which works well if you're planning on renting your property for the other half of the year.

What foreign country owns the most US land? ›

Canadian investors lead this pack, by a long shot, with nearly 9.4 million acres of U.S. land — more acreage than 44 of the top 50 foreign landowners combined, according to the report.

Which country owns the most real estate in the US? ›

Contact The Author

Chinese investors were the most active buyers of US real estate last year among foreigners — spending a record $6.1 billion on homes mainly in Florida and California, according to the National Association of Realtors.

What is the fastest way to get U.S. citizenship? ›

Expedited Naturalization by Marriage

Hold a green card for three years; Be married to and living with your US citizen spouse for three years; Live within the state that you're applying in for three months; and.

Can I live in the USA if I buy a business? ›

However, simply owning a U.S. business does not entitle you to work in or live in the country. If you want to work for your business, you will need to obtain a separate visa. There are visas available that can help you achieve this, such as the E-2 Treaty Investors visa.

Which countries are giving free citizenship? ›

Austria, Belgium, Ecuador, Belize and Costa Rica, countries where you can get citizenship and work visas easily of you have an Indian passport. Travel Tips, Immigration with Indian Passport: There are many countries in the world who give citizenship of their country if you have the passport of India and some documents.

Which country gives fastest citizenship? ›

The fastest way of getting a second passport is participating in the St Kitts and Nevis or Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. The obtaining period is 2 months. In Vanuatu, it's easier to pass the Due Diligence check, but a St Kitts and Nevis passport provides more benefits.

What country is the hardest to become a citizen? ›

Brunei Darussalem
  • 17 hardest countries to get citizenship. #1. Qatar. #2. Vatican City. #3. Liechtenstein. #4. Bhutan. #5. Saudi Arabia. #6. Kuwait. #7. Switzerland. #8. China. #9. North Korea. #10. Japan. #11. United Arab Emirates. #12. San Marino. #13. Austria. #14. Monaco. #15. ...
  • Conclusion: The hardest countries to get citizenship.

What is the easiest country to immigrate to? ›

7 Easiest Countries to Move to in 2022
  1. Canada. If you have your heart set on living in North America but don't qualify for any visas in the United States, their neighbor to the North might be a good choice for you. ...
  2. France. ...
  3. The Caribbean. ...
  4. Spain. ...
  5. Mexico. ...
  6. Croatia. ...
  7. Indonesia.
21 Apr 2022

Does immigration check credit history? ›

USCIS will consider an applicant's credit report, credit score, debts and other liabilities as a factor in determining whether the individual is likely to become a public charge. A good credit report is considered a positive factor while a bad credit report is considered a negative factor.

How long does it take to get a green card? ›

It may take up to 90 days from the date you entered to receive your permanent resident card. You entered the U.S. using your immigrant visa, You paid the immigrant visa fee AFTER you entered, It may take up to 90 days from the date you made your payment to receive your permanent resident card.

Do you need a passport to buy a house? ›

Government regulations mean you have to prove who you are as a new client. For UK residents, proof of identity will generally be one of the following original documents: Passport. Full or provisional UK photo driving licence.


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