Financing your purchase
The following notes relate to buying a privately owned re-sale home. Buying new construction is a little different.
To finance your purchase as a US resident through aconventional mortgage, you will have to qualify for a second-home mortgage, which is on top of any mortgage debt on your primary home. Typically, you will need to make a down payment of 20 percent, meet credit standards and debt-to-income requirements, and provide documents for income and asset verification.
Conventional loans are offered through banks and credit unions across the country and are similar to the loan you get for a primary residence. You will be asked to put down an initial amount and then will be set up on a payment plan over a set amount of years (typically 15 to 30) with either a fixed or adjustable interest rate. Be aware that the lender you approach will be looking at a few factors to show that your home is to be used as a second or vacation home. If you are planning on renting it out, it becomes an investment property which is financed under different terms.
If you have a good relationship with the mortgage lender on your primary residence, that might be a good place to start your quest for a second-home mortgage. If you are thinking of tapping into home equity you have built up on your primary residence to help pay for your second home, keep in mind that if you need that equity for an emergency, you may not be able to access it.
Non US citizens have fewer options for financing. They will need to search out a 'foreign national loan' rather than a 'domestic loan'.Most sources of home financing aren't equipped to work with foreign national loans, which are based on non-US validation of credit status, income, etc, to which they have no access. I can provide a few contacts that should be able to help, but keep in mind that the process is likely to be a long and frustrating one, and at the end of it all you will most likely be required to put down a minimum of 30% downpayment, sometimes up to 50%, and also have substantial reserve funds in place.