Property Q&A in New York>Question Details

Uche Ojeh, Home Buyer in United Kingdom

Just wanted to know how i would go about buying this property, i am a UK resident and would like to purchase.

Asked by Uche Ojeh, United Kingdom Sat Jan 3, 2009

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You will also want to find a Realtor who has a CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designation. They are versed in dealing with international buyers and sellers. More info can be found at:

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 4, 2009
It it is a mortgage you are seeking: the bottom line is that you will probably not be able to qualify for a typical residential mortgage but you have other alternatives. Allow me to summarize the general guidelines.

Most mortgage loans in the U.S. are funded by various lenders and then sold and packaged together to be converted into mortgage-backed securities by Wall Street firms or the well known mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This process ensures a steady replenishment of funds to make new loans and provides opportunities for investors seeking out a relatively safe return on their money.

Lenders who sell their loans on the secondary market must warrant that each loan adheres to certain guidelines. For example, one lender might warrant that all loans are less than 95 percent of the value of the collateral (property). Or perhaps the lender warrants that all borrowers have clean credit history.

These are off the top of my head but the point is that in order for mortgage backed securities to remain a good investment for individual and institutional investors, the assets must carry a low risk. And a mortgagor who happens to be a non-resident alien living outside the U.S. is deemed to be a high risk. Even if the loan you're seeking is far less than the value of the property, lenders will not accept your application because foreclosure proceedings would be difficult.

However, loans are often granted to non-resident aliens who are in the U.S. with an acceptable work visa. Typically the applicant must be established in the U.S. for some time and the visa cannot allow diplomatic immunity. Employees of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. are good examples of eligible foreign nationals.

Okay, now let me make some suggestions. As I said, most lenders won't make a loan to a non-resident alien. But there is a large mortgage market for folks who don't meet the standard guidelines. These "alternative credit" lenders have more flexible guidelines and will often grant credit to non-resident aliens.

So to answer your question -- yes, you should be able to find a loan but expect to pay a significantly higher interest rate to compensate for the higher perceived risk. Check around with some trusted sources you may have in the U.S.

Let me throw out a couple more suggestions. Inquire about a mortgage with the financial institution that is holding your stock and bond portfolio in the U.S. Perhaps they will grant you a secured loan. Another suggestion is to look within your own country. If you own your own home, perhaps a local bank will give you a home equity loan secured against your house. You can use the proceeds to buy your brothers' share of the U.S. property. Good luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 4, 2009
You never mentioned if you are looking for funding, or just looking to purchase this property.

Contact me off line at and I will be happy to assist you.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 4, 2009
Hi Uche, Happy New Year first of all to you and yours! Are you currently residing or visiting the U.S.? Do you have plans on coming over any time soon? The property you are looking at is a cooperative apartment. Every cooperative board has different by laws and restrictions on owning in their particular cooperative. Please let me know if I can assist you.

Ralph Windschuh
Century 21 Princeton Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 4, 2009
Hello Uche-

There are a number of variables that would have to be discussed to give you an idea of how you would go about purchasing in New York City. The type of property, either co-op or condominium, you purchase will be a determining factor in New York City. There are a series of qualifiying questions that will determine which type of property will be suitable for your needs. If you would like to speak in more depth about purchasing an apartment in New York City I would be pleased to speak with you.

Feel free to email me at
I also have a number of blog posts regarding purchasing real estate for the first time in New York City that you might find interesting. Feel free to use the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 4, 2009
Dear Uche,
Someone else asked a similar question a week or so ago. I too am from the UK so I can tell you that you either need to be a cash buyer or bring the money over from the UK (remortgage your UK home) unless you have a credit history in the US. You will, no doubt, have some people tell you that they can get you a mortgage. Up until the credit crisis in 2008 there were folks that could make this happen. I honestly do not believe that you will get a US mortgage now without that credit history.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 3, 2009
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