When it comes to finding investment opportunities, New York City has been the focus for many foreign investors over the years. From the Japanese in the 1980s, the Russians at the turn of the 21st Century and now the Chinese have made important strides when it comes to investing in NYC property. The attraction is fairly straightforward in that property values have been rising fairly steadily over the past few decades, which make this particular city a fairly stable, reliable place to invest if you know what types of properties to pursue.
For the foreign investor, finding investment opportunities that will pay off in the long run means doing the right research and investing in the best opportunities that are available. Here are a few tips that will help foreign investors get the most out of their investments.
Choose Condos over Co-ops
This may sound counterintuitive at first since co-ops are far more available when it comes to investment opportunities. In fact, condos are less than 25% of the residential market as compared to co-ops and are a more expensive investment at least initially. However, the real difference maker in favor of condos is that the approval process is far easier to obtain and that co-ops are difficult to rent out. For foreign investors, having a lower bar to cross makes condos a very attractive option.
Research Neighborhoods Better
Because many foreign investors only know a few of the many popular places in New York City to invest for real estate such as Fifth Avenue, Central Park and Times Square, they often miss out on prime property in less obvious places. So, instead of focusing on the here and now in terms of the “hip” places to invest, it would be better to look at locations with low crime rates, easy access to the subway system and plenty of retail stores and eating places as that is where the bulk of the New York City residents live.
Work with Experienced Developers
For investors buying condos, it is best to research the developer and know what they have accomplished. A developer with a good track record is one that will help foreign investors in particular because they have developed quality projects before. For co-op investing, the research will have to expand to the co-op board and know what potential future changes may happen. This is important information when it comes to knowing where to invest your money.
See the Property First
For foreign investors who are considering an established property, see it first before making the final decision. The first step is looking around the neighborhood because that has a big impact on whether people will move in. Looking at floor plans is nice, but not nearly enough as being there to look at the residences yourself is vital to knowing if the building is in good shape. For investors who cannot physically be present, sending a trusted broker is the next best step.
Foreign investors must overcome the one disadvantage they have compared with native investors, which is not being present enough for the entire process. By being on the scene, they can make the best informed decision about whether to proceed or not.