Loan for non-residents?

I am holding a citizenship of Taiwan but living in the USA. Are there any ways that non-Taiwanese residents can get a mortgage loan in Taiwan to buy an apartment?

If so, what are the procedures? What do I need to provide? How long does it take to get the loan from the beginning of the process to the time to buy an apartment?

How long does it usually take to complete the entire buying house process?

In U.S.A, from the beginning of loan processing to the end of moving in takes about one month to 6 weeks, not counting the time of looking for houses. How about in Taiwan?


Well, the short answer is yes. However, from my wife’s experience expect a few "no"s, “maybes”, and a measure of frustration along the way.

For some background, my wife is a Taiwan citizen. I am not. On one of our trips back there we found a place near my Mother-in-laws place in Taipei that we liked. I figured that we should go ahead and get it as it would be cheaper in the long-run than a bunch of hotels, or the headaches of staying with the in-laws for months at a time for my wife.

Well we asked, and they all said “no problem”. However they all said it would be easier if it was just in her name. Since I never stay very long enough, this suited me just fine (since I didn’t have the time to deal with the details). It would make her happy and so I would be happy… :pray:

At any rate, long story short. The mortgage got funded, though we did need to change banks midway through. One problem that she had was that while we have excellent credit in the US, she had no credit history in Taiwan. We solved that with a credit card from a global bank with a local presence and a letter we have with another local bank. Oddly enough, they never performed a US credit check nor did they ever ask how much I made (strange since she has a non-paying but much-appreciated job keeping our kids in line). They did want us to transfer additional money into a local bank for prior to funding.

I would say that it went pretty smoothly (though we had a few glitches) with the second bank. Although the first bank was a joke (though we discovered later that they were a troubled bank in other ways). All told, expect 6-8 weeks given the out-of-the ordinary nature of the transaction. My wife was running on a tight schedule so was getting a bit stressed. That said, if you go into it expecting some slow-downs it might be ok. What you need to provide will probably vary by bank, but be prepared to get certified (by the bank) copies of your bank balances.

hope this helps…

If credit history or lack of one in TW becomes a question, most banks will consider letting you have a relative or someone else act as a guarantor on the loan.

Thank you for your replies. Hm… well… I have no credit history at all in Taiwan, but I do have a banking account. Would it help?

Neither did my wife… She does now… :slight_smile:

The bank account will help. You will probably need to fund it before. Of course, by the end you will probably have a bank account at whatever bank is loaning the money as well.

Like was mentioned before, many banks will accept a friend or relative as a guarantor and thus you get their credit. My wife and I didn’t really want to do that so it was a bit more work.

Again, I am assuming that the two of you are in a similar situation. When she went back, she did make sure that her registration was in good order. I seem to recall that it was important, but I can double check that tonight when I call her (she is in Taiwan right now).

Out of curiousity, where you looking at a new construction or older place?

Oh and as an aside, before you go you will probably want a relationship with a bank with a presence on both sides. While they are still separate banks, it can make the money transfers a bit easier (and cheaper). We have used ChinaTrust for wires (which was a little cheaper to send money from one side to the other). We also used HSBC since they allow you to electronically “link” HSBC USA and HSBC Taiwan accounts. That way while you still pay a fee, it is less than the wire fee and can be pretty convenient. While they required a pretty high balance, and we discontinued it for that reason (rates were a bit to low) it made life a lot easier in the months she was getting it done and funded.

I am sure other banks with similar set-ups exist.

Great info, guys!

I am not sure yet to get an old or a new apartment. Whatever is reasonable and suitable interests me :laughing:

I could get my parents to be my guarantors. How much money does a guarantor need to have in a back account? Both of them have been retired for long. They only have little something like retirement or social security fund, which is just barely for them to survive. They have their own apartment. They always pay cash for everything (traditional style :bow: ), so they don’t have credit history either. They are the only people I could think of…

Actually, you might be fine. It sounds terrible to say, but in many ways most of the problems we encountered were because the banks were not as “sophisticated” as what we see in the US. Depending on circumstances, this can work to a persons advantage or disadvantage.

For the guarantor, it seemed as if they really only wanted to check it off on the form. I didn’t get the sense that they would actually look into it too deeply. Don’t sell your parents too short either - they have a house and (I do not expect) a bad credit history. Of course, my wife and I did not want to trouble her Mother or her brothers or sisters. Kind of a pride thing for me, so it is still do-able.

The reason that I asked about a new or old construction is that the terms that the bank may differ based off the age of the place.

Now a word of disclosure, the world has changed in the past few months. So shop the banks for a while, but you should get what you want with patience.

Good luck.

How often would banks offer differently regarding new or old construction, Dodo?

I guess it all depends on the bank. I got the impression that banks could vary widely based on how their internal systems worked. In terms of old constructions, I suppose that it is possible that they might require a higher down payment. I don’t think that it is that frequent since usually the appraisal is the important thing.

Also if it is a “brand new” construction (i.e., is still being built/or hasn’t been built yet) sometimes the builder has an arrangement that requires the bank accept everyone that they do.

I guess that I would just emphasize to be patient and expect to encounter a few detours or rabbit-holes along the way and build that into your time-frame. [Of course, don’t tell them that since on more than one occasion my wife had to apply the pressure ala “I’m running out of time and my husband wants me back” to get things moving to her satisfaction - funny how I am ALWAYS the bad guy in these situations]

:bravo: You are not the bad guy!!! Now what’s wrong with wanting you wife back so bad? :laughing: At least she feels happy to let people that she is WANTED and to see the process going quicker. As long as she is happy, everything is going smooth on its own!! :discodance:

Thanks so much for your help Dodo… great info… I learned a lot from you