Expert Advice| 权威建议

Foreign Students Purchasing a Home in the US

January 10, 2013 8:19 pm | By Sondra

You made it! You are joining the more than 150,000 students from China that have come to the United States to attend college.  Some students choose to come by themselves while others join family.  Everyone, however, feels that same sense of anticipation, expectation and uncertainty for what the future holds.  For many, finding a place to call home is the first concern.  With so many changes happening in your life, a home close to your college brings comfort and security to students and parents alike.

Your time and money has an added benefit of being a great investment opportunity. New York is one of the top real estate markets in the world and has weathered the economic downturn in stride. In most cases, New York is a very foreign investor friendly city. You may wonder where to begin the search. Here are some initial points to think about:

  • Know your budget – New York City has so many living options available that if you don’t narrow them down, you may find yourself out of time looking through all of them. You should set aside extra cushion for legal and closing fees as a foreign investor as well.
  • Where to live – Although you may feel that finding a home close to school is your best option, New York City has one of the best transportation systems in the world. Almost any neighborhood can be a short commute to school. There are 5 separate boroughs and countless sub-neighborhoods to choose from. Each has their own style and community so spending the time to understand and find the best fit for you and your child will go a long way in making sure you are happy during your time here and that you reap the best returns when it comes time to sell.
  • Understand your purchase options – Manhattan homes are primarily cooperatives (co-ops) and condos due to the high-rise nature of the city.  Co-op buildings are run like a business with corporate shares being issued to each investor. As a foreign buyer, your options will be limited to the condo market due to the many restrictions co-op board of directors place on their properties.

With everything you have to think about, finding a real estate agent who understands your needs and will work with you to find the property that best meets those needs is critical to making your move a successful one.  A great real estate agent will show their worth during the purchasing process, helping you every step of the way from looking at your first condo to getting the board package completed and answering the myriad of questions you will have along the way.

By Kathy Huang
419 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016