Home Buying in East Harlem>Question Details

Sunha Jeon, Home Buyer in Outside U.S.

My parents (in Korea) want to buy a house for me (leaving to NY soon) to live. We are all foreigners with cash ready for our new house. And next?

Asked by Sunha Jeon, Outside U.S. Fri Mar 11, 2011

My parents want to buy a house for me. I'm leaving to NY soon for study. We've got our cash ready. But we have no knowledges about purchasing a house as a foreigner in NY.
-Is it better to buy a house on my name? or either of my parents name? (i'm a actual resident)
-How money transaction happens? (There must be a enormous transfer fee in case of using bank to bank transfer)
-How LLC benefits foreigners buying a house? with examples please ;-)
-Am I recommended to buy a house with LLC involved?
-And what kind of documents are needed?

Thank you.

Help the community by answering this question:


Fern Hamberger NYRS CNE CBR’s answer
Hello Sunha
I work with foreign cash buys all the time.
You have to clarify your personal as well as your financial funds.
Your assets have to be in the states before you buy and you should be either a student,
Have investments in the states Or hold a position here.
It is easy but you have to package the right way and it will all depend on how much you wish to spend
And what is left over after closing on your apartment.
Good luck and if you have any questions, let me know.
Fern Hamberger
Vice President Associate Broker
Fhamberger@ corcoran.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
You really have two issues here. The questions about which name to make the purchase and and buying as an LLC is really best answered by an attorney.
Then the issue of the right property to suit you is for us real estate pros. You would certainly want to work with a skilled professional who can streamline your search, negotiate on your behalf, and take you through the steps of purchasing. I can tell you from experience that there are nuances in working with a foreign buyer, so you'd want to make sure your agent has done such transactions.

Hope this helps.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
The ownership will depend on several factors. Is the money all from your parents and do you have any siblings? This is important as there may be inheritance concerns that affect who should own. You being a resident will avoid prepayment of NY and federal witholding tax estimates when you sell if you are the sole owner so that ay be a factor as well. A bank to bank wire transfer is usually around 35 to 50 dollars. An LLC really would require a lengthy discussion but people use it generally for tax and liability reasons. The only documentation will be a passport for identification. Please contact me with any further questions.

Scott Eisenberg
917 306 6618
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Hi Sunha,

I am a Korean American realtor. Please call me at (646) 262-2233. I can answer to all your questions in 5 minutes. Thanks
Flag Thu Jan 16, 2014
Dear Sunha Jeon,

Although I am experienced in foreign transactions, I highly suggest you speak with a legal professional, a real estate lawyer adept in foreign buying issues and/or immigration lawyer if need be. Please be reminded that every foreign transaction is unique to your country of origin especially if you touch the subject of taxation and type of ownership. Each country has a trade treaty with the US that could affect your potential purchase.

If you need professional referrals, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 17, 2014
if you didn't find it yet, contact me I have something for you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 16, 2014
Dear Sunha,

Rothschild Realty Associates is specialized in international clients and I would be very happy to help you finding the perfect new home.

If you like, I am happy to provide you with our Real Estate Purchase Guide for NYC which contains a lot of important and interesting information about purchasing in NYC.

Also please be aware agents in NYC are not allowed to anwer any legal questions and you will need a NYC specialized real estate attorney to assist you with the purchase.

Please do not hesitate to contact me to further discuss your requirements or to get recommendations for great real estate attorneys who are working with international clients.

Good luck for you and a lovely start in NYC,

Best wishes,
Rothschild Realty Associates, LLC

For clients reviews please click here: http://www.trulia.com/profile/RothschildRealtyAssociatesLuxu…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 2, 2013
Hi Sunha,

Welcome to America, New York! I was born and bred in Singapore and am now happily settled in Nassau County, New York. I am staying in a residential property here in Nassau County. I also have an investment property-a condo in the same area.

Which university will you be studying at? The condo that I am offering for sale is just a few minutes drive from Hofstra University, CW Post University, Adelphi University and Stony Brook University. It is just steps away from the Long Island Railway Station-Westbury Station and just 1/2 drive to JFK airport and La Guardia airport. To the city-Manhattan, you just need to hop on the train across the street and you will be at Penn Station in 30mins. Commuting is such a breeze staying at The Horizon.

More info plus pictures about the condo - apt 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom with a 24hr security and 24hr concierge built in 2006 can be found here:

At the moment a physician from Korea is renting my apt. Previously, a couple from Korea rented the apt and now they are finishing their studies in Harvard.

The area surrounding the apt, The Horizon is bustling, exciting and extremely safe. There are many shopping malls around the area and a big park, Eisenhower Park is just a few minutes drive from the apt. Let me know if you have further questions. Hopefully I am able to assist you in any way I can.

In the meantime, you can email me at fhanim@gmail.com

Again, welcome to America and I am sure you will love your stay here in New York:)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
No real estate agent should be answering the legal questions that your situation poses...you need to go to an attorney immediately and then an accountant. After they assist you in determining the best form of purchase, then come to a real estate professional , like myself, who will match your needs & budget with the best property for you, regardless of the commission .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Buy a nice condo in Manhattan:
No problems safe neighborhood very nice staff free gym etc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
Hi Sunha,

Welcome to NYC. I work with a lot internation buyers, to help them investing properties in NYC. The accountant in our team will help you handdle tax issues and give you advice if you need a LLC. I would be happy to assist you to find a home in NY.

Connie Guo
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 12, 2011
You will need to to have advice about setting up an LLC to purchase an apartment in NYC from a NYC based attorney. I can certainly recommend a few to you and your parents. You / they will need to transfer purchase price funds and additional funds to cover closing expenses to a local (nyc) account.
However, If you can afford to purchase an apartment yourself as your residence, it will help you establish credit here in the USA.
And yes, an LLC has tax advantages so it depends on your individual circumstances.
Please give me a more in-depth profile of your or your family's financial statement and I can advise better or send along to an attorney who can advise with more knowledge.
Happy to help you if I can - or recommend expert in specific area.
Just let me know what you think you need.
KP Marshall
Brown Harris Stevens
445 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Cell # 917-714-1990
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
I am a Realtor, Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) experienced in foreign nationals in bound or outbound transactions.
You seem to have been briefed judging from the type of questions you posed.
You may want to deal with someone who specializes in foreign buyers doing in bound transactions and who also is experienced in dealing with foreign cultures. You need someone who do understand the nuances of the buying foreigner and who can fully negotiate in your behalf.
There is a lot to deal with before you even throw yourself in the market looking for a property. You need a lawyer
who specializes in international re transaction who can guide you on tax rule implications whether you are a resident or non resident alien, your rights and liabilities as a foreign owner when you buy and when time comes to sell. You may also wish to use a mortgage company who specializes in loans for foreign buyers if you are not paying cash.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Hi Sunha,

1) There are other considerations to using an LLC to purchase the property. If you are financing, most lenders will require at least two years of history from your LLC. You will also need to supply personal financial statements for each of the LLC principals, tax returns, and property proformas for them to evaluate. In addition, because an LLC is the borrower (note: the principals / owners will still have to personally guarantee the loan) you'll be working with a Commercial Lender which has different requirements and lending terms than Residential Lenders require.

2) Example of Transaction Fees:
Bank Fees
*points 0 to 3%
*application, ,credit & appraisal $400 - $600
*bank attorney $45- - $600
*Move-in Deposit $500 - $1,000
Lien Search $300
Mansion Tax 1% of price when price exceeds $1,000,000
3) Paperwork needed to apply:

* Application form
* Letter of employment:
* Pay stubs:
* Tax return:
* Landlord letter A reference:
* Bank statements:
* Bank account numbers
* References
* Identification

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to see properties for sale.

Best Regards,

Gabriella O.
Licensed Senior Real Estate Agent

3 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
cell: 917-617-5404
office: 646-833-4632
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
you are getting some really good advice. good luck.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
Web Reference: http://www.desire2own.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Before beginning your search, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate, he/she can best advise as it relates to your specific situation--then go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
look at my website
this is a great house and a great investment off central park west

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Hi, congratulation on your move to New York. Having lived here for over 25 years and being previledged enough to attend elementary school through college, I myself have had a great experience and hope that you have the same.
There are many things to consider in purchasing a home and I would like to help you in the process. First things first and let's get you here safe and sound. There are many neighborhoods that awaits your visit!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Good Morning Sunha, 안녕하세요

I, fern Hamberger, work and place many foreigners here in NYC.
I am from Citi-Habitats Relocation and I do speak many languages and know the culture of many of them.
But most of all, there are many parameters involved in acquiring a property in the US.
The first is
1st- Budget
2nd- Your preferred location and if you are not aware of the location then we can chat.
3rd timing- When will you be in NYC?
4th- Your financial and personnal background...
and best of all your contact information and
Given all these paramters, we have to match you with the righ properties you will have a selection from.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Dear Sunha,

I am a korean American real estate sales agent ,living in NYC for a long time.
Your questions are complex.

I can answer your questions in Korean.
Please contact me.

Sun Lee
Weichert Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Dear Sunha,

Your best bet is to find a professional Realtor® to help you on this journey and the very first step is certainly a clear description of what you are trying to accomplish and put together a "snapshot" of what your perfect home looks like and what areas to concentrate. Your lifestyle, schools, work location, budget and a variety of other factors come into play. They will also be able to guide you in the right direction in the options in how you choose to take title to the property. The money transaction will simply be an international wire transfer that is very easily accomplished.

A few recommendations I would make; I would tell you to not sign a buyer's broker agreement with anyone. This is a form an agent will use to tie you up and ensure any transaction you make will only be through them. Find an agent who is happy to perform their services with the knowledge that if they do not properly meet your expectations they will lose your business. Second, never call a listing agent about a property they have listed as their initial relationship with the seller will prevent you from working out the best deal. Finally, I would recommend that you interview at least three qualified agents to assist you and select one who you feel will have your best interests as their primary goal.

I work almost entirely as a buyers agent and while I do not practice in New York I have many relationships in the area and would be happy to make a referral if you are interested in locating a true pro to assist you. I hope this information is helpful but if you need anything additional please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Always at Your Service,

Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"

Keller Williams Realty
561 308-0175
Web Reference: http://www.tompriester.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
Hi there, I am a broker & property owner, so I can shed some light on this. By the way I work with many Interminational buyers whether financing or all cash. We almost always recommend some sort of financing even if it's 50% for 3 main reasons:
1. Tax benefit
2. Free up some cash for you
3. Build good credit

Anyways, the purchase process is easy & one of my colleagues below explained it very well. As a broker I walk u through the process at the right time..no big deal.
As for the LLC, I always deed the property to an LLC for liability reasons. Also the LLC can deduct expenses sheltering even more money duringtax season. However, if you are a 1st home buyer & a resident of the US you are exempt from paying capital gains taxes up to 250k, assuming you make that when you sell the place. But this is a huge reason why the property should be in you name.
As far as money transfers, the banks will have the best answer. I have very good relations with bank of America, chase & a friend at a Koren bank if you prefer to deal with them. I can forward you the info.
I will also recommend focusing on condos as the approval process is mug easier. Coops are doable as well, but they have restrictions as to when you can rent or occupy the apt. If you're interested in homes I am also licensed in NJ & can send you listings there as well. Neighborwoods like fort lee, edge water & hoboken offer a lot more space for the buck & are w/in minutes from Manhattan.
As you can see I have many resources & lots of knowledge, but I am most interested in building relationships. I can act as your resource provider & send you any info at anytime. Policies always change & it's good to have a contact you can reach out to when you need to know something. so pls don't hesitate to email or call me 917-601-2081. Tks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
I Have worked with my foreigner buyers that are paying cash and are buying for their child/childern. You need to speack with an Real Eastate Attorney. Please let me know if I can send you several attorneys to contact. Please let me know when you're ready to discuss working with a professional real estate agent regarding neighborhoods and homes in East Harlem.

Kind regards,
William Roy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
First let me welcome you to your new home. : )

Here is a quick explanation of the purchase process.
1. You select a Real Estate Broker to work with and the area you want to buy in.
2. Once you've chosen a property and settled on the price you will hire an attorney to represent you.
3. The seller's attorney will send your attorney the sale contract. Your attorney will review it with you and you will return it to the seller's attorney with a good faith deposit.
4. The sellers & their attorney will review the changes you've made, sign the contract and send your attorney a signed copy.
5. Once you are ready a closing date will be scheduled. This is a day on which the actual transfer of ownership takes place. You, the sellers and all the attorneys will attend as well as a representative from the title company. This is the day you get the keys and the property is yours.

Now to your questions.
- From what you've said I think it would be better for you to be the legal owner, but this could also depend on what kind of property you are buying.
- I'm not sure if you are referring to the purchase money transferring to the seller or bringing the money into the US.
- The LLC question is very complex and depend on a lot of information that you have not yet provided. I would be happy to discuss this with you.
- If you are buying a house you will need to provide only proof of you identity. Other types of properties such as coops have other restrictions and may require more such as prof of legal residency.

This is a brief explanation of how this works. If you have any addition question please feel free to contact me. I am a NYC Real Estate Agent with over 8 years of industry experience and a good knowledge of the Manhattan market. I can be reached at 917-696-6889.

Greg Spektor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
When you arrive in NYC I will walk you through the process of finding and getting approved for an apartment.
20 years of experience finding homes. Fell free to e-mail me.

Don M.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 11, 2011
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