5 Things to Consider when Investing in NYC Real Estate as a Foreign Buyer

New York City real estate continues to be one of the world's most exciting and profitable asset classes. It comes to no surprise that investors from across the globe are attracted to the city in search of their next investment opportunity. With record year over year gains in property values and soaring rents, foreign investors stand to receive exceptional gains from property value appreciation. In the same way an investor can buy into the stock market and simply ride the waves, an investor also has the opportunity to seek out returns that greatly exceed those of the market. Let's take a look at 5 considerations foreign buyers should keep in mind when investing in NYC real estate to maximize their returns.

Work with a Broker that Represents You

Having a broker that represents you on the purchase of your prized investment in New York City is essential. A buyer's broker will help you identify opportunities that are worthy of your consideration, while also intently listening to your needs. A buyer's broker goes beyond simply finding you investment-grade properties, as they will also connect you to legal representation, financing options and all other relevant services needed to ensure you have a smooth transaction. Beyond the scope of the transaction, a buyer's broker will continue to manage your investment, taking care of any management or maintenance needs that may arise. Furthermore, when it's time to either rent out the property or sell it, the broker will be there ready to ensure that your investment is ready to be listed.

At Charles Rutenberg LLC, we pride ourselves at maintaining the highest level of professionalism when dealing with our buyers and provide a white glove end to end experience. All the way from starting the property search to closing the deal, we’ll always be by your side, providing our expertise and diligence along the way.

Buy into Professionally Managed Condominiums

In New York City there are various property types, inclusive of condominiums (also known as condos), cooperatives (also known as co-ops), townhouses, brownstones and multi-families. While each of these unique property types have their pros and cons, condominiums are a favorite for international investors, and for good reason! Condos are privately owned apartments within a larger building. They have liquidity, which allows them to be easily transferred without restrictions. They can also be purchased by LLCs, which many foreign investors may choose to do in an effort to remain discreet about their foreign investments. Additionally, they can also be rented out from the first day of ownership. The same cannot be said about co-ops, which are also a type of apartment but with a uniquely different ownership structure.

Condominiums that are professionally managed also makes owning them much easier for investors. If you plan on using your property as a pied-à-terre, you can rest assured that your apartment and its staff will always be prepared for your arrival. Your condominium will always be ready for you with no issues. If you plan on renting out the property to rental tenants, any maintenance issues that may arise will always be handled by the property's management company. This is of great benefit to condominium owners who don't want to be bothered by day to day operations related to their property investments. Professionally managed condominiums will also continue to command high resale values.

Buy into Full-Service Luxury

Whether you’re looking to purchase in New York City as a pure investment property that you plan on renting out, or looking for the perfect pied-à-terre for your annual visit to the city, you should seek out a building that is full-service. This means that you have an entire building staff dedicated to serving you or your tenants, all the way from a doorman to concierge and everything in between. Additionally, amenity packages such as fitness center, pool, lounges, roof decks, game rooms and children's rooms will help you command top dollar for your rent or resale. Of course, full-service will come at a higher price in your monthly common charges, but the long-term benefit is well worth the premium.

Buy into New Development

As New York City real estate has continued to enjoy an era of incredible appreciation, condo developers have become more daring with their buildings, blending luxury with design inspired form and function. With globally acclaimed architects and developers using New York City as their canvas, we’re seeing properties that continue to redefine luxury. Some of the hottest names in the city currently include developments involving Extell Development, Zeckendorf, Macklowe, Bjarke Ingels, Zaha Hadid and Rafael Vinoly to name a few.

What makes new development so exciting is that as a buyer, one has the ability to take ownership in something truly transformative to the city's skyline. New developments, when bought into at the appropriate time, have the opportunity to have massive price appreciation and make for exceptional investments. They also come with full-service luxury packages and make for easy resale. When you buy into new development, you can always rest assured that you’re buying into the best.

Consider the Neighborhood

One of New York City's greatest assets is the diversity of its many neighborhoods. Each neighborhood presents a different opportunity as an international buyer. Some questions you should consider is whether you want an established blue-chip neighborhood like the Upper East Side or Midtown East or whether you want to be on the frontier of rapidly developing neighborhoods further downtown or even in Brooklyn. Each neighborhood presents its own unique risks and opportunities, but rest assured that with the help of your broker, you’ll be able to diligently assess the best neighborhood to buy into given your specific investment needs.


New York City is a developer's playground and as a foreign buyer you’ll have a plentiful array of properties from which to choose. As you begin your search with your broker, always make sure to ask any questions which you may have in an effort to find the property that best suits your needs. Your broker will do the heavy lifting of finding you bespoke opportunities just for you, while you get to be in the driver’s seat and make the decision of which way you want to turn. As the US economy continues growing at a record pace, one can be sure that there are many domestic and foreign buyers looking to own their slice of New York City.