Who Can Buy
Almost anyone can purchase property here in the U.S. If there are any restrictions for purchasing property, they are usually from the Country on which you reside. This is why you should first consult with an international tax specialist/attorney prior to purchasing property in the U.S. Knowing what your tax liabilities both here in the U.S. and in your own country are very important first steps.
This alone could save you thousands of dollars along with other problems that could arise after you purchase a property. You should also consider talking to an immigration specialist first if you plan to immigrate to the U.S. We have seen cases where foreign nationals purchase a home in the U.S. in hopes of immigrating only to find out they are not eligible due to restrictions from their country. Again, by finding this out up front, you will save yourself may headaches.
As far as taxes, there are no differences in property taxes that you will pay vs. an investor who is a U.S citizen. Investors typically pay a higher tax rate on the assessed value of the home which is controlled by the County in which the property is located. Only when you sell the property will you have to pay a special withholding tax (FIRPTA tax) of 10% of the property sale price. Again, your international tax advisor will help explain this withholding tax in more detail.