Tag Archives: Foreigner

International Foreign Chinese Buyers buy NYC flats

International-foreigners or Chinese buy NYC Flats Questions & Answers Part 1

We have an international clientele from all over the world, many of them refer NYC condos or apartments as ‘flats’. Buyers from United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and few other countries often would use the term ‘flats’ for these condo units.

We as Manhattan Real Estate property agents and bilingual in Chinese and Mandarin language, we work with many international foreigners Chinese buyers wanting to buy a NYC flat or flats. Our job is to educate buyers about our unique Manhattan housing market before their arrival, discuss what they have in mind, type of NYC flat they prefer, and the price range they would like to spend. Based on their initial criteria, we can then recommend them the best strategy and process to go about their purchase for NYC flats.

When foreigner plans to buy an NYC Flat, they often have a list of common questions, we have compiled a list to better inform them. Here are part 1 of the questions and answers.

  • Can Foreigner-international Chinese buyer buy a NYC flat without having United States Social Security Number or United States residency? Yes, foreigner-international buyer can legally buy a NYC flat, but have to meet the NYC Condo board’s requirements for approval. At the sale of the real property, Non-resident aliens (foreigners) are subject to federal withholding tax at 10% of the gross sales price, and to a 8.97% New York State estimate income tax on the net sales proceeds (gains).
  • Can Foreigner international Chinese buyers obtain United States mortgage financing? 9 out of 10 of our foreign international buyers prefers to purchase the NYC flats with all cash. It is very difficult for Foreign international buyers to apply for an US mortgage in today’s market place, it is advisable if possible for the buyers to obtain financing options in their home country and buy it all cash here in Manhattan New York. If you absolutely need financing, please contact us directly so we can discuss the possible options.

As experts in working with Foreign National Chinese buyers and out of town Chinese speaking buyers, we are constantly educating the buyers and addressing the misinformation and false assumptions that client bring from his/her home town/country, and culture in order to explain the options, alternatives, and their consequences.

Contact us by clicking this link. https://chinesespeakingagent.com/contact/ .We can discuss the options of your specific needs and time frame. Thank you.


Foreign Buyer Buy NYC Condos-FAQ

We as Manhattan Real Estate professionals, we work with many international foreigners wanting to invest in Manhattan Real Estate. In addition to educate foreign buyers about the maze of Manhattan Real Estate market, our specialty is facilitate the purchase to ensure the transaction is smooth and successful. Below are some frequent asked questions by our foreign buyers, the answers are formulated by our team of professionals (tax accountants and attorneys who also specialized in foreigners purchase in Manhattan New York.) These answers are general and not case specific.  To best address your specific needs,contact us directly by email or call (646)644-6929.

Can Foreign Nationals buy a NYC condo without having Social Security Number or US residency?
Yes, they can legally, but have to meet the NYC Condo board’s requirements for approval. At the sale of the real property, Non-resident aliens are subject to federal withholding tax at 10% of the gross sales price, and to a 8.97% New York State estimate income tax on the net sales proceeds (gains).THUMBNAIL

Can Foreign Nationals with work visa or student visa buy Manhattan Properties?
Yes, they can legally, but have to meet the condominium/coop board’s requirements for approval.  If they remain non-resident aliens at the time of the sale of the real property, they will be subject to the same taxes at the time of sale, as above.

If not, what kind of documents should a foreign nationals prepare to be able to buy?
In order for a Foreigner to buy NYC condo, they need to have  a valid passport and/or other official photo ID for identification purpose.

What are the Options for Foreign Nationals (non-residents aliens) to hold title for NYC condos: (these answers are information only, we are Real Estate professionals, therefore, before you make a specific decision, we recommend you to discuss with our team of attorneys and tax accountants for your specific case.)

  • Individual: Individual may be exposed to unlimited personal liability, and to estate issues, for instance, inheritance,  will probate and estate administration, when the individual owner dies.
  • LLC: Limited Liability Corporation provides insulation for members from personal liability, but will incur maintenance costs, such as  filing fees for its formation, annual franchise tax  and is subject to higher formation costs (higher than a corporation).
  • Trust: Trust is an unincorporated entity, cannot hold title by itself; title must be reqistered in the  individual trustee’s name.;  the individual trustee may be exposed to unlimited personal liability.
  • S Corporation: S Corporation is a legal entity, insulates shareholders for from personal liability, does not pay income tax itself, the income tax liability is attributed to the shareholders.  It is subject to filing fees for incorporation, annual franchise tax, etc.
  • C Corporation:  C Corporation is a full fledged legal entity.  It provides shareholders insulation from personal liabilities.  It is a taxable entity for corporate income tax.  Any distribution of after tax profit to shareholders in the form of dividends will be subject to income tax for the shareholder.  It incurs maintenance costs, such as filing fees for incorporation, annual franchise tax, etc.  Its filing fees are less than that for the LLC.
  • Limited Partnership: the limited partner’s liability is limited to his/her capital interest in the limited partnership, whereas the general partner will be subject to unlimited personal liability.  Limited partnership, like general partnership does not pay income tax.  The income tax liabilities are attributed to the individual partners. A limited partnership need to file the partnership agreement with the government.

*These answers are general and not case specific. To best address to your specific case, contact us directly at (CONTACT US) and we can set up a confidential consultation.

If both husband and wife have green cards, will they pay tax similarly as above options?
Resident individuals owning real property pay the same taxes, but not subject to the gross 10% federal withholding tax and the 8.97% New York State estimate income tax on the gains at the sale of the real property.

Can the Foreigners avoid United States taxes?
The taxes cannot be avoided.  The non-resident investor must pay the above taxes at the time of closing of the sale, without the tax payments, the deed will not be accepted for recording.  After having paid the taxes, the non-resident investor may, but need not, keep the proceeds in the U.S. without additional tax (except income tax on the interest payment on such proceeds).

Foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC Part 1: basic knowledge of Condo vs. Coop vs. Condo-op

This is part 1 or 3 parts of Foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC: As active and successful Manhattan Real Estate professionals, we often receive inquiries from foreigners wanting to invest in Manhattan New York. It is essential for Foreigner buyers or out of town buyers understand the housing market here in New York city in order for them to decide what is a best investment for them.

Foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC, basic knowledge of Condo vs. Coop vs. Condo-op:

Generally coops do not allow foreign buyers to purchase into the building because it causes uncertainty and they know that they will not be able to pursue them legally if a situation arises. Also, generally the coops do not allow subletting (renting), unless under special circumstances.

Can Foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC buy Co-ops? the short answer is no. A phenomenon that’s limited almost entirely to Manhattan, cooperative apartments have been the traditional form of owning an upscale apartment for close to a hundred years. In fact, in New York City, 85% of all apartments available for purchase – and almost 100% of the grand pre-war apartments on Fifth, Park and Central Park West – are in co-operative buildings. Co-ops are owned by an apartment corporation. When you purchase within a co-op building, you’re purchasing shares of the corporation that entitle you, as a shareholder, to a “proprietary lease.” Generally, the larger your apartment, the more shares of the corporation you own. Co-op shareholders contribute a monthly maintenance fee to cover the building expenses. The fee covers such items as heat, hot water, insurance, staff salaries, real estate taxes and the mortgage indebtedness of the building. Portions of the monthly maintenance fees are tax deductible due to the building’s underlying mortgage interest. Also, shareholders can deduct their portion of the building’s real estate taxes.

A Co-op Board of Directors has the ability to determine how much of the purchase price may be financed and minimum cash requirements. Subleasing a co-op can be difficult. Each co-op has its own rules and they should be carefully reviewed prior to application to purchase. Most of the Co-Ops prefer owner occupied the apartment to create a sense of community instead of leasing out to others. For this particular reason alone, buying Co-Op as investment may not be suitable for foreigners or investors.

All prospective purchasers must interview with the Board of Directors. Prior to the interview, prospective purchasers prepare a detailed “Board Package” which usually contains personal and professional letters of recommendation as well as a great deal of personal information concerning income and assets.

Can Foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC buy Condominiums –

The answer is YES. As more and more new buildings are constructed in New York; condominiums are fast gaining in number and popularity. It’s not surprising. As opposed to a co-op, a condominium apartment is “real” property. A buyer receives a deed just as though he or she were buying a house. Each individual apartment in a condominium receives its own tax bill. There is still a monthly common charge similar to the maintenance charges in a co-operative. These charges don’t include your real estate taxes and are not tax-deductible. The monthly carrying charge also tend to be lower than in co-ops because there is no underlying mortgage for a condominium building. The straightforward nature of buying a condo coupled with the fact, that in some cases, you can finance up to 90% of the purchase price and sublet them at will, makes condominiums the number one choice for flexibility. (in today’s market, lenders do seek more than 10% down payment to purchase even though condo board will allow 90% financing.)

Can Foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC buy Condo-op? The answer depends on the building and the board of directors. Condo-op is a coop that  functions with condominium rules. Generally there is no board approval and no interview and subletting is allowed from day one.  This however has been changing and some of the Condo-ops will conduct the process just as coop board would.  Some Condo-ops will allow subletting only after a certain time, for example, you must live in the building at least one year before the building will allow you to sublet.  Please be aware that rules in coop and Condo-op can change at anytime and the only way to change these rules is by getting involved.

Part 2 we will discuss buying steps and process and part 3 about financing options for foreign buyers. Please visit us below to see other foreigner buying in Manhattan NYC related blog series:

If you are a foreigner or out of towner that would like to invest in Manhattan New York, please call us today at (646)644-6929 to discuss your specific needs. We have years of working experiences facilitating international/oversea foreign buyers and out of towners finding the right Manhattan New York Real Estate investment. TO DISCUSS HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM WORKING WITH OUR TEAM. CONTACT US AT (646)644-6929 Today!