One more recommendation, as someone with experience as a real estate attorney, real estate investor, real estate broker and property manager, I would advise speaking with several different agents and property managers and to make sure, especially, that your property managers are 1) licensed, 2) detail oriented, and 3) transparent in all of their dealings.
Also, before purchasing any property I would make sure your agent is representing your interests in trying to find you an investment that will bring a good return and not in just trying to make you a sale. Make sure your agent understands what an investor is looking for - most agents sell residential properties to homeowners and know very little about what an investor needs or wants and they certainly don't understand how to make the calculations that experienced investors make in determining whether an investment makes sense.
For a variety of reasons, not to mention a weak dollar, this is actually a very unique time to invest in the US. Syracuse is a great place to start. As for Manhattan and the NYC area, cap rates are very low - it is almost impossible to find an investment property in NYC that will generate a positive cashflow. You CAN find a cashflowing property in Syracuse.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me at 315-299-3326. Good Luck!
Tony L. D'Anzica, JD
DynaMax Realty, Inc.