Claire, Home Buyer in Houston, TX

What are the chances of a Green Card Brit buying a co-op in NYC?

Asked by Claire, Houston, TX Wed Jul 9, 2008

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Your chances are exactly the same as anyone else's. You would only need impeccable finances if everyone else is also required to have impeccable finances. The coop Board cannot impose special conditions on you for reasons of your nationality. You are a legal permanent resident of this country and therefore a protected class of person under Fair Housing Laws.

A Green Card holder is not a foreigner, regardless of their nationality. If anybody attempts to treat you as a foreigner, and discriminates against you because of it, you can file a complaint against them under Fair Housing Law. About the only difference between you and a US citizen is that you can't vote in any elections, and you can't be drafted into the military, otherwise you have the same legal rights and responsibilities as anyone else.

I am very clear on this point because I am not only a licensed real estate professional, I am also a Green Card Brit. Although I have not bought a co-op in NYC, I have purchased many other kinds of real estate in NY, both residential and commercial property, as well I represent clients who have relocated from the UK. You can approach this with your head held high and insist that you are judged by the Co-op Board on the same criteria as anyone else. That is your legal right and there are laws with teeth to protect you in this respect. This is one area of life where America is light years ahead of Europe, and why it is a such a great country to live in.

Good luck with your search.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
Claire Hi.

Can I ask if you want to purchase a Co-op for primary residence, pied a terre or as an investment? Many if not most coops in Manhattan do not like Investors buying in the building, and many of the European buyers buy for that reason, and when they do they have to go with a Condo. If on the other hand you are buying this as a residence for your self, some buildings may give you that right.

I'm looking at your tag and it says you are in Houston, is that Houston England :)?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2008
Simply put, if residency anywhere in the world can be established, and they can qualify for the financing, they qualify to purchase anything within their means.

It is when residency cannot be established that one fails to qualify to finance a purchase. The exception would be a cash sale where the loan qualification process is not involved.

As for the co-op board, national origin is a protected class in accordance with Fair Housing Laws and they cannot be denied because, as you stated, they are "a Green Card Brit".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 23, 2008
The chances are good, but co-op boards vary widely so it would really come down to the building you are interested in. Your finances would have to be imppeccable. It would also depend on how you are going to use the apartment, as a full-time residence or a pied-a-terre (some co-ops allow this, others don't). If you are interested in buying c ondo, you wouldn't have difficulty at all because you wouldn't have a co-op board to contend with and can just buy the apartment outright if you have the means, but condos tend to be more expensive.
Drop me a line if you have any further questions or would like to know what is out there in your price range. My number is 917-657-6532 and my email is rdaub@warburgrealty.com. Cheers!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
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