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Foreign Purchasing of NYC R/E : What You Will Need

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Buying an apartment in New York City is an exciting venture, but for foreigners, it involves a series of steps that differ from the process for U.S. residents. Here's a checklist to help you navigate the complexities of the NYC real estate market:

Checklist for Foreigners Buying an Apartment in NYC:

1. Secure a Real Estate Attorney:

  • Engage with an attorney who specializes in NYC real estate to guide you through legalities and contract negotiations.

2. Obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN):

  • Apply for an ITIN if you don't have a Social Security Number, as you’ll need it for tax purposes when owning property in the U.S.

3. Proof of Funds:

  • Prepare to provide proof of funds or a letter from your bank, showing you have the financial means to purchase the property.

4. Understand the Market:

  • Research the different boroughs and neighborhoods to find the location that best suits your lifestyle and budget.

5. Hire a Buyer's Broker:

  • A local broker can provide insights into the market, help you find listings, and negotiate on your behalf.

6. Decide on the Type of Property:

  • Determine whether a co-op, condo, or townhouse best meets your needs, as each has different rules for foreign buyers.

7. Consider Financing Options:

  • Decide if you’ll purchase outright or need a mortgage, which can be more challenging for non-residents to obtain.

8. Prepare for Additional Costs:

  • Budget for closing costs, property taxes, and other potential fees, which can be higher for foreign buyers-your attorney should be able to prepare an itemized list for you.

9. Review the Building's Financials:

  • Ensure that the building has healthy reserves and no pending litigations or major upcoming repairs.

10. Make an Offer:

  • Once you find the right apartment, submit an offer through your agent.

11. Understand the Tax Implications:

  • Consult with a tax advisor about the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) and other tax considerations.

12. Plan for Property Management:

  • If you won’t reside in the apartment year-round, consider hiring a property management company to look after your investment.

Purchasing real estate in NYC as a foreigner can be a great investment, but it's crucial to do your due diligence and work with experienced professionals who can help you navigate the intricacies of the process and the constantly changing local regulations.

Still have a question? Please contact me at 917-975-9531 or


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