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Transferring Money Into & Out of Vietnam: A Foreigner’s Guide

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Buying overseas property in developing countries like Vietnam requires due diligence and that you understand the buy and sell procedures in advance.

A commonly asked question is how foreigners can transfer money into and out of Vietnam, when buying real estate. This is essential to understand to make sure that your money don’t get ‘stuck’.

After all, you probably want to exit the market sometime in the future.

In this article, I explain some key information you need to know when transferring money cross border in Vietnam.

Remark

This article is written for investors who wish to buy real estate in Vietnam.

General information about Vietnam currency controls

Vietnam’s foreign exchange controls are regulated by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Some of their responsibilities are:

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A Foreigner’s Guide to Property Loans & Financing in the Philippines

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Do you plan to buy property in The Philippines?
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Philippines is a one of the favorite spots among foreign retirees and investors who wish to buy property in Southeast Asia. It’s one of the fastest growing countries with a young population, we’ve seen many foreign corporations move in over the years.

When many investors look for property, they also want to know what financing options they have. Even if some are able to afford to buy property with cash, it can be a better option to leverage some of the money by applying for a loan.

In this guide, I explain what it takes to get a property loan in the Philippines as a foreigner.

Can foreigners get property loans in the Philippines?

It was virtually impossible for foreigners to get property loans in the Philippines previously. Similar stories have heard of in other developing countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, just to mention a few.

With an economy that’s growing with 7% yearly, and a property market that’s hot among foreign investors, banks have become a bit more relaxed and you have a handful of options to choose among in the Philippines. Unfortunately, many of the banks require that you have a visa status, where a tourist visa is not accepted.

Common visas (or residential status) accepted when applying for loans often include:

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Getting a Property Loan in Thailand: A Complete Guide

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Do you plan to buy property in Thailand?
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Thailand is one of the prime destinations when foreigners look for investment and lifestyle property in Asia. Even if the country started to develop decades back, and is far ahead of countries like Vietnam, you’ll see a limited amount of loan options available.

Still, there are a handful of international banks and other loan providers that are worth contacting.

It’s important that you have a fundamental understanding of the application process and what documents that banks require. In this guide, I explain the basics you need to know when applying for a property loan in Thailand.

Process when applying for a property loan in Thailand

It was virtually impossible for foreigners to obtain property loans and mortgages in Thailand in the past. Things have become a bit easier since 2005, when Bangkok Bank and UOB Singapore started offering loans, but still, I wouldn’t say that there are many options available.

The same as it goes in Vietnam, things will become remarkably easier if you’re married to a Thai spouse. You should preferably also have lived in Thailand for at least one year (working) or be a permanent resident.

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Getting a Property Loan in Vietnam: The Ultimate Guide

saigon

Do you plan to buy property in Vietnam?
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Vietnam’s property market is hot and massive infrastructural projects are planned in places like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The new metro lines and other investment help to drive up the property prices, rental yields ranges up to 8%.

Investors sometimes ask me whether it’s possible to receive local financing to buy property in Vietnam. I decided to do more deep research on the topic and to write this article, where I explain how to finance your property in Vietnam as a foreigner. Let’s have a look.

Can foreigners get mortgages in Vietnam?

I’ve done my research and been in contact with local branches, to understand what regulations that apply.

Truth be told, even if the Vietnamese property market opened up since 2015, and I’ve seen a great interest in the market, it’s still not that easy to get a local mortgage, unless you fulfil any of the following criteria:

  • You are married to a Vietnamese spouse
  • You are an Overseas Vietnamese person, sometimes referred to as Viet Kieu
  • You have a residence card. However, these are only valid for 3 years and the loan normally needs to be paid back before expiry

Despite the fact that it’s becoming generally more accepted to use mortgages in Vietnam, it’s not as common compared to the Western world, or other developed Asian countries. Saving or pooling money is a more common option. Things are a bit different in here, maybe you’ve even heard about the past times when Vietnamese paid property with gold.

What financing options do I have as a foreigner?

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Malaysia Property Loans for Foreigners: A Complete Guide

malaysia-mortgage-foreigners

Do you plan to buy property in Malaysia?
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Malaysia is one of the top spots for retirees and investors alike. It’s not strange, buying a property here is fairly easy and the process comparatively transparent. You’ll also enjoy a great quality of life with costs that are surprisingly low. It’s not strange why Malaysia has been ranked as one of the best places to retire in the world.

A commonly asked question is how easy it is, or if it’s even possible, to get a local property loan as a resident or non-resident foreigner. I decided to do research on the matter and have presented the results in this guide.

Let’s have a look.

How can I obtain a property loan as a foreigner?

Malaysia has some of the most generous and favorable ownership regulations for foreigners in Southeast Asia (it’s basically the only country that allows foreigners to buy land, as I don’t count Singapore). Still, banks can be a bit restrictive handing out loans, this is mainly due to the current economic climate and the recession which hit hard after 2008.

I’ve personally been in contact with a number of big banks in Malaysia, and I can see a clear pattern: be locally employed, a permanent resident or an MM2H visa holder, and things will become remarkably easier. The same it goes in Hong Kong, where your source of income should preferably be in Hong Kong, to increase your chances of getting a loan.

If you haven’t heard about the MM2H visa before, you can find more exhaustive information by reading this interview with Andy Davison.

Simply put, the MM2H visa is a government backed visa program which allows foreigners to stay in Malaysia for up to 10 years. There are a few countries that offer similar visas in the region, a strong proof that Malaysia welcomes foreign investors.

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Hong Kong Property Loans for Foreigners: A Complete Guide

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Do you plan to buy property in Hong Kong?
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Buying property in Hong Kong is straightforward and it’s not as common to come across non-serious real estate agents, in comparison with developing countries like Cambodia.

Still, prices are among the highest in the world, a reason why many Hong Kongers now decide to invest overseas, in countries like Vietnam instead.

If you buy property in Hong Kong, you’ll probably want to know what loan options you have. Therefore I’ve contacted a number of Hong Kong banks and written this guide. Let’s have a look.

How can I get a property loan as a foreigner?

I was surprised when talking with different banks in Hong Kong and realized how open they are to foreign borrowers. The process to apply for loans is very similar between locals, PR holders and non-resident foreigners. This is something we’ve seen in Singapore as well.

The key aspect that determines how much you’ll be able to obtain is mainly depending on your source of income. The banks don’t take your nationality into consideration, which is good, it’s all about your source of income.

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Singapore Property Loans for Foreigners: A Complete Guide

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Do you plan to buy property in Singapore?
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I often receive questions from readers who look for local mortgages in Asia, not rarely in Singapore. Not only are there people with financial restrictions, I also come across wealthy investors who own a dozen of properties or more in different countries, looking for options to leverage their money.

Being one of the most economically free and transparent countries in the world, you have significantly more loan options in Singapore, compared to developing neighbours like Thailand and Cambodia.

Therefore, I decided to write this guide where you’ll learn the basics when applying for a property loan as a foreigner in Singapore.

How much can I get as a foreigner?

It’s generally easier for local citizens and foreign PR holders to be granted property loans. Being a non-resident foreigner will add on some requirements. For example, verifications of proof of incomes, the types of property you can buy and more (non-resident foreigners can only buy private properties, whilst PR holders can buy HDB apartments and have easier access to landed property).

You’ll also need to seek permission from the Singapore Land Authority, before buying property as a non-resident foreigner. PR holders and local citizens are exempted from this requirement.

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Getting an Overseas Property Loan in Malaysia: A Complete Guide

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Do you plan to buy property in Malaysia?
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Buying an overseas property in markets that perform better than the one in Malaysia is the preferred choice for many investors. Often, these investors are high-net individuals who don’t want to input a big chunk of their money into one project, hence they want to get some backing financially.

One solution for this is to apply for a so called overseas property loan. Personally, I believe that overseas property loans will get more and more popular as we become more globalized and tend to move around.

I’ve dedicated this whole article to explain how it works when you apply for an overseas property loan in Malaysia, which banks that offer the loans, what requirements that apply and more. Let’s have a look.

What is an overseas property loan?

Overseas property loans are designed for Malaysian citizens or residents who wish to finance a property overseas. As mentioned, when the local market performs worse compared to an overseas ditto, the preferred choice for many investors is to look outside the borders.

Stricter requirements normally apply, but you will find a handful of banks in Malaysia who offer overseas property loans.

Often, you can only get a loan if you’re a high-net individual and if the property is located in a prime location. Why? Because properties in such areas generally generate higher rental incomes and have a higher resale value. This is standard for similar loans in Singapore and Hong Kong as well.

Which banks offer overseas property loans in Malaysia?

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Getting an Overseas Property Loan in Hong Kong: A Complete Guide

hong-kong-overseas-mortgages

Do you plan to buy property in Hong Kong S.A.R.?
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If you’re a Hong Kong citizen or a permanent resident foreigner, you can sometimes apply for a so called overseas mortgage.

The mortgages are designed to let you finance a property outside of Hong Kong, often you have the first contact with a bank in Hong Kong and you later transfer to a branch in the country where you intend to buy. They sometimes even help you to fill out the application, before the transfer is made.

Which banks offer overseas property loans in Hong Kong?

It’s not easy to find summarized about the banks that offer overseas mortgages (at least in comparison to Singapore), how much you can borrow and what conditions that apply. Therefore, I decided to do some research on my own and to write this article.

I’ve personally been in contact with a number of banks and with branches in Hong Kong (and the UK) to understand what overseas mortgages they offer. Let’s have a look.

1. BOC (Bank of China)

Bank of China, sometimes referred to as BOC, is one of the top four commercial banks in China. It opened its first Hong Kong branch in 1917 and has become one of the major players.

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Getting an Overseas Property Loan in Singapore: A Complete Guide

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Do you plan to buy property in Singapore?
Click here to get in touch with an experienced agent

I get increasingly more questions from foreigners who look for financing overseas, might it be for purchases in the country where the loan is obtained, or elsewhere. Often, the buyers have sufficient with cash, but don’t want to put a big chunk of money in one investment.

There are countries in Asia that offer overseas property loans, one of the most popular ones is Singapore. I will continue writing about how you can get overseas property loans in Asian countries, but let’s start and have a look how it works when obtaining one in Singapore.

What is an overseas property loan?

If you’re a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident foreigner in Singapore, you can apply for a so called overseas property loan. Not all banks offer the loans, but you’ll find a handful of banks who do.

Simply put, overseas property loans are designed for investors who wish to buy property in another country, the banks normally offer the loans for purchases in a limited amount of developed countries, or sometimes even cities.

As a start, you can apply for the loan in your country of residence, but your main contact will be with a local branch in the country where you plan to buy.

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