Investing in Manhattan: What Foreign Buyers Need to Know with Avi

Investing in Manhattan: What Foreign Buyers Need to Know with Avi

As President of The Lion Team NYC at KWNYC, Avi Malul leads a team of specialized brokers selling residential real estate throughout Manhattan. With more than 13 years of experience in the field, he has built a team of agents who know the city from corner to corner. 

Having participated in more than 700 rental transactions across the city, he has not only taken his place as a top professional in the field, but his fearlessness and unique methodology has placed him in a class of his own. Here are are his tips for foreign buyers in Manhattan:



1.1 Why are foreign buyers interested in New York?

Manhattan is the most expensive, most stable and most recognized market in the U.S. Manhattan is undoubtedly the top real estate market in the world based on factors including: economic environment, political climate, knowledge and quality of life.  Globally though, Manhattan is a bargain when compared to cities like London, Paris and Hong Kong.


1.2 Can foreigners buy property in Manhattan, New York?

Yes. Our foreign clients buy property in Manhattan because of brand value and appreciation potential. They often purchase as a pied-a-terre (vacation home), or as an investment property.


Buying Process for Foreign / Overseas investors

Below is the process for buying a condo in Manhattan, New York.  The process is similar for those buying the condo as an investment property or as a vacation home.  The main difference is that for investment property buyers, the down payment required by the lender is higher.


Estimated Time to Closing After Identifying Property

With Financing:  10 to 12 weeks prestigious

All Cash:  2 to 3 weeks


1.  Obtain pre-approval from lender (1-5 days)

Lender can be a U.S. bank or overseas bank at buyer’s home country with an international mortgage program.  (HSBC Bank, United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU)


2.  Identify Property (2 days – several months)

Property viewing can be a pleasurable or tiring experience.  Our value is in filtering properties based on the client’s objective to maximize productivity of the client’s time.


3.  Make offer and negotiate price (1 week)

Negotiation skills are critical.  Experienced negotiators could obtain many favorable financial and non-financial terms for the buyer.


4.  Execute contract (1-2 weeks)

The agreed upon terms are provided to both parties’ attorneys who will prepare the contract.  The buyer’s attorney will perform due diligence on the property prior to actual contract execution.  Once all is agreed upon, the contract is executed.  At this time, a 10% deposit will be required from the buyer to be held in escrow by the attorney.


5.  Apply for a Mortgage and Obtain Commitment Letter (6-9 weeks)

The buyer formally applies for a mortgage after which the lender will perform due diligence, including appraisals etc. Consequently, the lender will issue a commitment letter.


6.  Submit condo package to condo board for approval (1 to 4 weeks)

This occurs concurrently with Step 5 above.


7.  Schedule Closing

At closing, all parties – buyer, seller, bank, attorneys, brokers, will come together at a table.  A lot of paperwork is signed and funds will be provided to the seller in exchange for the buyer getting legal title to the property.  The deal will be completed at the table and usually no future follow-ups are necessary.


Assembling the right team (The Lion Team NYC AT Keller Williams Realty)

Bearing in mind all of the above complexities, know that you’ll need to assemble a good team as The Lion Team  to assist you with all phases of your real estate transaction.  The Lion Team will include an accountant, tax advisor, real estate attorney, and mortgage broker/banker, Board Package Expert, Market analyst and even a contractor or concierge service.