image of a doorman

As a foreign investor, you’ll want to look for a building with a doorman. (Jeffrey Zeldman/Flickr Creative Commons)

Foreign investment is one of the key contributors to the health of the New York City real estate market. Buyers from across the world have always sought out the comforts and luxury of properties in this great city because of the opportunity they present. Whether you hail from Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, São Paulo or somewhere else, there are a few key things to look for in an NYC real estate investment. Let’s take a look at some of them.

A Good Investment

Investors often want to put their money into NYC real estate to benefit from the loose property transfer laws, which enable them to purchase and sell properties with ease. In effect, property purchases become hedges against political instability, policy changes or currency devaluations in a buyer’s local market. However, I believe that there are acceptable property investments, and then there are extraordinary property investments. When you invest in NYC, it’s easy to simply perform as well as the market does. There are also ways to outperform the market by investing in properties and neighborhoods with significantly greater upside potential.

> Read what makes a good property investment

A Condominium

As a foreign investor, you want to make sure what you buy in New York City can be easily transferred and rented without restriction. A condominium best serves this purpose. Condos allow buyers to purchase a property without any hang-ups (like a co-op board approval) and then immediately rent it out to tenants. The apartment can be sold just as easily as it was purchased — without any restrictions. The majority of inventory in Manhattan is currently comprised of co-ops, but given their many restrictions, as a foreign investor, condos are preferable.

> Read about the differences between a co-op, condo and condop

A Full-Service Doorman Building

As a foreign investor, you will definitely want to consider a full-service property that is professionally managed. This will ensure that your investment stays in good shape and that any service requests can be handled with ease. A doorman building will also help make sure that the apartment is only used for residential purposes.

Full-service luxury buildings also make for easier value retention and resale. Buyers are attracted to amenities and services like a doorman, fitness center, lounge, roof deck and spa. A premium will always be paid for these features, directly impacting the value of your condominium.

> Read the pros and cons of a doorman building

A Buyer’s Broker to Represent You

Looking to start your search for an exciting investment property in New York City? You’ll want to work with a broker who will represent you as a buyer and show you the full landscape of the local real estate market. A buyer’s broker will introduce you to opportunities and explain the upsides and downsides of each potential investment, in addition to negotiating the terms and conditions of your offer.

Additionally, a buyer’s broker will introduce you to legal counsel, which you will need to close on the property, and will always be there for you throughout the purchase process. A buyer’s broker will also help you get a tenant in the apartment, unless you plan on keeping it as a pied-à-terre.


It’s an exciting time for the New York City real estate market. As developers and architects push for more provocative designs, the market is filling with some of the most stunning, luxurious properties the world has ever seen. It’s a great time to see what’s on the market, even if that means just browsing through listings and window shopping.

If you are interested in learning more about the New York City foreign investor purchase process, make sure to read this foreign real estate investor guide.

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