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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Joanna Lane, Agent, Cutchogue, NY
Wed Jul 9, 2008
BEST ANSWER
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
Alen Moshkov…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Jul 24, 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
Eric Vazquez, Agent, Highland Mills, NY
Wed Jul 23, 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
Joanna Lane, Agent, Cutchogue, NY
Wed Jul 9, 2008
I believe Richard's advice below is wrong. 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 reason 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, 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 service, otherwise you have the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else.

I know this for a fact because I am not only a licensed real estate professional, I am 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.
0 votes
Joanna Lane, Agent, Cutchogue, NY
Wed Jul 9, 2008
I am 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.

As a Green Card holder of any nationality, you are a legal permanent resident of the United States. This means you are not to be treated as a foreigner by anyone, or it would be regarded as discrimination on the basis of nationailty. 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 service, otherwise you have the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else. Regarding acquiring any form of housing in the US, It would be against Fair Housing law to discriminate against you and treat you any differently than anyone of US nationality. You are a protected class and I would say that you have equal rights to the co-op as any other person.

Consequently, I believe the advice below is wrong. 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 reason of your nationaility. You are a legal permanent resident of this country and a protected class of person under Fair Housing Laws.
0 votes
Richard Daub, , New York, NY
Wed Jul 9, 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!
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