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  • Kevin O'Sullivan

Buying New York City Property From Overseas

A question we are constantly being asked by our clients who live outside the United States is, can we purchase real estate in New York even though we are not American citizens? The answer is YES! The fact is people from all over the world buy real estate in New York City as a part of their asset diversification strategy.

In our experience representing overseas purchasers the most common type of real estate they purchase are condominium apartments as they require no approval from the condominium’s board and they allow unlimited subletting of the apartment as opposed to cooperative apartments that routinely have a very stringent application process and may not allow subletting. Around 25% of the residential buildings in Manhattan are condos, and that number is rapidly growing.

Why does New York City seem to attract so many investors from overseas? In large part because Manhattan is among the most expensive, most stable and most recognized market in the world. Based on factors including the economic environment, political climate, access to cultural centers and events, low crime rates and an overall high quality of life the Manhattan Market was rated the TOP REAL ESTATE MARKET IN THE WORLD FOR 2019 by the Knight Frank Wealth Report. Yet dollar for dollar Manhattan residential real estate is cheaper when compared to other global cities like Hong Kong, London and Paris.

Many of our overseas clients who purchase property in New York will take title to the property in the form of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). On average an LLC is the best legal structure for investors to hold property in. By placing the property in an LLC it will limit your personal liability and help maintain your anonymity. We routinely assist our clients in the creation of new LLCs for this purpose.

When purchasing property in Manhattan or anywhere else it is important to select a law firm that will work hard to help you achieve your goals. As part of our dutes as your attorney we will review and negotiate the contract of sale to enure that the contract of sale contains the protections you need in a purchase transaction. We will work with the real estate broker, mortgage broker, title insurance company and all other parties to ensure that the closing takes place in a timely fashion. Our main focus will always be to protect you and your interest throughout this process from contract to closing.

If you have any questions about the process of buying real estate in New York City or if you want to retain an attorney to represent you in the purchase or sale of real estate please feel free to call Kevin O'Sullivan at (718) 713-3499 or e-mail him at for a free consultation.

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