Buy home in USA on H1B Visa?

This is a pretty common question or dilemma for people working in USA on H1B visa.

  1. Should i buy home without worrying about the un-certainty attached to H1B visa?
  2. Is it a good decision to invest?

We have added this question to get people’s views on this topic and help other fellow users help make a decision.
Your opinion is most welcome and appreciated.

H1B families scared to sign Mortgage

We are hearing a lot of people on H1B are a bit scared now to sign for Home Mortgage after recent news of H1B extensions in danger and H4-EAD work permits being stopped (Almost confirmed).

Home buying with 5% down to keep extra money easily available

Some people have also informed that even though they are buying a new house and taking mortgage, they are only putting in 5% as down payment. This too, when they can actually pay 20%.
They are basically trying to keep as much money with them as they can.

If your H1B extension is cancelled with mortgage to pay?

Well, simple answer is - you still OWE the money to bank.

If you have to go back to your native country immediately in case of H1B extension cancellation abruptly, there are not much options available to you.
You have to FOLLOW the immigration law and leave the country immediately to avoid any issues later.

Bank EMI, Property Taxes, Home Insurance

You still have to keep paying the MORTGAGE installment, home insurance, maintenance and property taxes. It does not matter how you pay it. Bank want their money back and government want their taxes.

Rent out house to avoid losses

You can rent out the home even though you are not physically present in USA. This is allowed legally. Clever America.

If you do NOT want to rent, then you should sell it out unless you have enough savings to pay monthly bills to keep that house.

Short Sell the house?

Well, you may have to sell the house at a much lower price if you want to leave the country quickly.
If, the H1B extensions are indeed cancelled sometime in future, there is a good chance that housing market will collapse.
You might just loose all the value if you have to go back.

Credit history is affected, if not able to pay back bank

First and foremost, your house will be taken over and foreclosed by bank.
Your credit history will certainly take a big DIP and you will have problems fixing it in future (if at all, you come back to USA).

Has anybody in the forum has any experience to share?

Buying price - stay below 350K

After speaking to more people who are currently working on H1B visa, people are thinking of staying below 350k mark, if they are going ahead with buying decision.


Demand for houses above 350k mark has gone down substantially after the Visa uncertainty has hit the news lately.

Re-selling in case your visa extension gets rejected may result in losses. So, it is advisable to stay within budget and controllable mortgage payments.