Can Canadians buy property in the USA? [2024] 

Yes! Canadians are not only buying property in the USA; they are actively participating in the market. In 2023, Canadians made a remarkable investment of approximately $6.6 billion in US real estate, accounting for the purchase of around 8,500 properties. 

Canadian buying house in USA

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Key Takeaways:

⁕ From April 2022 to March 2023, Canadians spent $6.6 billion on US residential real estate, including vacation homes, rentals, and primary residences.

⁕ Thanks to the Canada-US tax treaty, Canadians investing in US property don't pay double taxes on their US property income.

⁕ Canadians can rent out their vacation homes when they're not using them, which could help with mortgage payments.

In 2023, nearly half (49%) of Canadian buyers bought vacation homes in the US, while others invested in primary residences and dual-purpose properties. (Source: National Association of Realtors)   

This shows the appeal of US real estate for Canadians, driven by its relatively affordable prices, appreciation potential, and warmer climates.  

Although the US real estate market works almost the same as Canada’s, many Canadian buyers feel uncertain due to a lack of information and experience. 

Through my years of experience in assisting Canadian citizens and other foreign nationals with US property purchases, I’ve come across many common concerns and questions.  

Based on this experience and expertise, I’ve compiled this comprehensive yet straightforward guide designed to help TN visa holders, snowbirds, and non-resident Canadian investors buy property in the US. 

Let’s start by analyzing trends in Canadians buying US real estate and how it’s shaping. 

How much US real estate is purchased by Canadians every year? 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), from April 2022 to March 2023, Canada ranked as the third-largest source of foreign real estate buyers in the US, accounting for 10% of all foreign buyer purchases in terms of the number of existing home units sold. 

In this period, Canadians purchased 8,500 existing home units in the US, totaling $6.6 billion. There was a 25% decrease in units from the previous year (11,300 units), but the increase in total dollar volume to $6.6 billion from $5.5 billion suggests a trend toward buying more expensive properties. 

Based on historical data below, Canadian investment in the US real estate market is gradually recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.  

Year over year data of Canadians buying property in the USA

Now that we’ve explored the trends let’s understand the eligibility criteria for buying a US property from Canada. 

What are the eligibility criteria for Canadian buying property in the USA? 

Let’s clear up a common misconception right away: there’s absolutely no extra rules or special criteria for Canadians or any foreign nationals eyeing US real estate. Whether you’re a TN visa holder, snowbird, or an investor, the journey from browsing to owning is pretty much the same as it is for US citizens. 

HomeAbroad also offers unique mortgage programs called foreign national mortgages. They’re a lifesaver for Canadians without a US credit history. Whether you’re a TN visa newcomer, a snowbird, or a Canadian investor without a US credit history, these programs are designed with you in mind.  

Furthermore, the cherry on top is the six-month visa-free privilege. It makes things convenient for anyone looking to manage their new investment property or vacation home from the comfort of Canada. 

The bottom line is if you’ve got the financial chops to buy outright or secure a mortgage, you can buy US real estate. That’s the only thing you need to claim your slice of the American dream. 

Let’s move on to the steps involved in buying property in the US as a Canadian. 

How can Canadians buy property in the USA? 

While the US home buying process is similar to that in Canada, there are nuances that Canadian buyers need to be aware of.  

Below are the key steps involved in the buying process of a home, vacation home, or investment property in the US. For a more detailed explanation of each step, refer to our comprehensive guide on foreigners buying property in the USA

Step 1: Decide where you want to buy the house in the USA  

Whether you’re buying a vacation home, investment property, or a home near work/college, it’s important to choose a location that best suits your needs. Do your market research while considering the property’s intended use and your goals to find the perfect neighborhood. 

Step 2: Find a real estate agent experienced in international real estate transactions  

Finding the right place and property could be challenging for a foreign national. You can partner with HomeAbroad real estate agents to navigate the US real estate market, find the right property, and buy it.

HomeAbroad real estate agent for foreign real estate buyers in the US


Our agents have extensive experience, expertise, and training in assisting foreign nationals, which sets them apart from other agents who might not work with foreign nationals due to more hassle. Our agents are well-equipped and empathetic to understand your unique requirements to ensure a seamless property purchase experience. 

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a HomeAbroad real estate agent in your area.

Step 3: Explore mortgage financing options available in the US for Canadians  

In 2023, while 51% of Canadian real estate buyers opted for all-cash purchases, the remainder utilized financing options, showing the availability of financing options. (Source: National Association of Realtors)   

Contrary to the common belief that a good US credit score is necessary for a mortgage, there are foreign national mortgage programs available for different groups of Canadian real estate buyers in the US. These include expats on green cards or TN visas with established credit, US newcomers, snowbirds, and non-resident Canadian investors with no or thin US credit history. 

We listed the available US mortgage programs in our detailed US Mortgages for Canadians guide. Check this out for more details about loan programs and applying for a particular program. 

HomeAbroad provides specialized mortgage programs that cater to all different groups of Canadians buying properties in the US. We are dedicated to making US real estate and mortgages easy for foreign nationals, and we promise you a hassle-free purchase experience with competitive loan terms. 

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Communicate your preferences to your agent to receive property listings according to your criteria. This targeted approach helps you find a property that meets your specific requirements.

Step 5: Make an offer on the property you choose  

Once you’ve selected a property, your HomeAbroad agent will assist you in making a formal offer to the seller. Your agent plays a crucial role in forging an offer that is favorable to you yet competitive enough for the seller to accept.

Step 6: Commit to your purchase with a formal contract  

Once your offer is accepted, you sign a purchase agreement. This contract includes the terms, conditions, and contingencies that protect you as a buyer. At this stage, you’ll also pay an earnest money deposit to demonstrate your commitment.

Step 7: Ensure security with a comprehensive title report  

Work with a title agent or company to get a title report to ensure the property is free of legal encumbrances or ownership disputes. Your agent will guide you here to complete this step.

Step 8: Conduct a thorough home inspection and due diligence  

After legal checks, arrange a home inspection to verify the structural integrity of the property and ensure compliance with zoning laws. Discovering issues during this phase allows you to renegotiate the price or request repairs. You can back out from the sale without losing your deposit, if the property is not up to the standards or seller is not renegotiating the terms.

Step 9: Finalizing your property purchase in the USA  

Finalize your purchase by closing on your mortgage and completing the necessary property ownership paperwork. This final step officially makes you a Canadian owner of a US property. 

At HomeAbroad, we recognize the importance of expert guidance in these cross-border transactions. We have a network of agents experienced with foreign real estate transactions and can connect you with an agent in the area you’re interested in. Using their local market knowledge and familiarity with regional laws, they can help you find and purchase the perfect property in the US. Hit “Find an Agent” button to get started.

Don’t take our word for it. Hear from Mason – a snowbird who bought a vacation home in Florida with HomeAbroad.

As a snowbird, I was searching for the perfect vacation home in Naples, Florida – a place I could enjoy during the winter months and rent out the rest of the year. HomeAbroad connected me with a Florida-based real estate agent who specializes in assisting foreign nationals. Agent’s knowledge of the local market was a game-changer, helping me find the perfect vacation home that fit both my preferences and budget. I was also able to secure mortgage financing via HomeAbroad for this property without having US credit history. I wholeheartedly recommend HomeAbroad to any Canadian looking to invest in US real estate. 

Mason Dupont 

Purchased Vacation Home in Naples, FL. Snowbird 

All set to buy a property in the US? Not without understanding the taxes first.

What are the tax implications for Canadians buying property in the USA?  

Generally, foreign nationals, including Canadians, have the same tax implications as US citizens, with no additional taxes imposed specifically for being a foreign buyer. 

Taxes for all Canadian property buyers: 

Regardless of nationality or the intended use of the property, all property owners must pay property tax. The tax rate will be the same as a US citizen. 

Property taxes in the USA by state

Taxes for Canadian investment property buyers: 

When you own an income-generating property, such as an investment property or vacation home rented out when not in use, you need to pay the income tax the same as a US citizen.   

Under the US-Canada tax treaty, Canadian property owners can receive a tax credit for taxes paid in the US, which can be claimed while filing taxes on their US property income in Canada, preventing double taxation. 

Taxes when you sell the property: 

FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act) 

  1. Capital gains tax: 
    You’ll need to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation of the property. 
  2. FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act) 
    Under FIRTPA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act), when a non-resident foreigner sells US real estate, a portion of the sale proceeds (usually 10%-15%) must be withheld by the buyer at closing and remitted to the IRS. This isn’t an extra tax, but a payment in advance for possible capital gains tax. Foreign sellers can get a refund later based on their actual capital gains tax rate when they file their tax returns, just like US citizens. 
Note that foreign nationals with legal US residency, such as TN visa holders, are exempt from FIRPTA withholding. Additionally, buyers who intend to use the property as their residence and have a gross sales price of $300K or less are also exempt from FIRPTA. 

Eligibility for tax deductions: 

Just as US citizens, Canadians are eligible for tax deductions on their property in the US. For both personal and investment properties, you can claim deductions on mortgage interest payments. 

When it comes to investment properties, you can claim deductions on mortgage interest and property depreciation.  

Additionally, repairs, improvements, and other management expenses related to property management are deductible. 

All these deductions can maximize your returns while minimizing tax liabilities. 

With a clear understanding of the tax landscape for Canadians purchasing property in the US, you are ready to take your first step towards buying a US property.

Before you dive in, attempting a DIY approach to this could prove challenging and potentially lead to complications. Having an expert by your side could significantly simplify the process for you.

HomeAbroad is a platform dedicated to assisting foreign nationals buying US real estate, and we’re here to lend you a hand.

Whether you’re seeking a mortgage solution for foreign nationals without US credit or expert real estate agent with international expertise, feel free to reach out to us. It’s free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I live in the USA if I buy a house?

    Purchasing a house in the US does not grant Canadians any special immigration status or residency. However, Canadian visitors are typically allowed to stay in the US for up to six months upon entry.

  2. Can you buy a house in the US without being a citizen?

    Yes, property ownership in the USA is not restricted by citizenship, green card, or residency status.

  3. Is property cheaper in the USA than in Canada?

    Yes, property prices in many US metropolitan areas are relatively lower than in Canada. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average cost per square meter for a home in Toronto, Canada, is USD $10,947, while in San Francisco, California, it is $8,250 per square meter. In the Miami area of Florida, the cost is $3,170 per square meter; in the NY metro area, it is $3,460; in Austin, Texas, it is $3,230; and in Phoenix, Arizona, it is $2,840 per square meter. 

  4. How much does it cost to buy a house in the US?

    Property prices in the US vary based on property location, size, and condition. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home price for properties purchased by Canadians is $572,900.

  5. Can a Canadian get a mortgage in the USA?

    Yes, Canadians can obtain US mortgages without US credit history through foreign national loan programs for primary residences, vacation homes, and investment properties.

  6. Can a Canadian buy a house in the USA and rent it out?

    Yes, Canadians can purchase rental investment properties or vacation homes in the US and rent them out when not in use to earn passive income. 

About the author:
Michele Lawrie, a seasoned real estate professional licensed in New York and Florida, serves as the Chief Real Estate Officer at HomeAbroad. With over 15 years of experience and specialized certifications from the NAR (National Association of Realtors), Michele is a trusted expert for foreign nationals buying US real estate.

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