International investment is on the rise in prime real estate markets all across the United States. Foreign buyers were responsible for $82.4 billion worth of U.S. home sales in the 12 months that ended in March 2012, up 24% from the previous year. This trend is especially noticeable here in California, where, for example, Chinese buyers accounted for one out of every 10 homebuyers.
In general, the U.S. is very friendly to international buyers, and the process they go through to purchase a home is quite similar to what U.S. buyers must do. That said, there are some basic practices here that any foreign buyer should understand ahead of time, and certain variations in the market that international investors need to know about. Tax policies, credit checks, and financing will all be slightly different for foreign buyers.