As a foreign emissary, there are several factors to consider when searching for housing in New York City. Of course location is of utmost consideration, but with housing inventory-a-plenty in Manhattan, picking the perfectly suited pad should be straightforward, right? Not exactly.
Understanding the type of property to pursue is imperative. For instance, Manhattan cooperatives are practically off limits to the diplomat buyer because of the manner in which they operate. When seeking to purchase a co-op, an application is submitted for approval to a board of existing owners-- and since foreign buyers are often considered a liability, their applications are almost guaranteed to be denied. Sometimes this is attributed to difficulties associated with conducting thorough background checks on non-domestic buyers. One might think this logic wouldn't be applied to diplomats, since those in foreign service are subject to extreme vetting by default. Unfortunately this ideal simply doesn't hold true, for the reality is that a co-op board can deny an applicant without any explanation or contest.
After excluding co-ops from the pool of options, condominiums emerge as the most appropriate type of housing for foreign nationals in Manhattan. However, one can face roadblocks even in that arena in the form of condo bylaws that prohibit sales to diplomats. In the event diplomats are welcome, purchasing as a foreign national can entail its own set of stumbling blocks, and the difficulty only increases when looking to rent. Even the most affluent of foreigners may face challenges when leasing, usually due to a lack of established credit history in the United States. For those who cannot meet U.S. credit history requirements, landlords sometimes allow the individual to circumvent the shortfall by leasing under specific conditions. This usually means paying a hefty down payment-- to the tune of up to a year's rent, on top of the typical fees and security deposit-- and all in advance. For many landlords however, diplomat status is an outright deal-breaker, in fact it's not uncommon for listings to advertise a "no diplomats" clause upfront. Ultimately, landlords are simply wary of dealing with tenants who have diplomatic immunity, and perceive those individuals to be beyond the reach of the law-- albeit a fear which is sometimes derived from misinformation. Regardless of whether misconception is a factor, the resulting obstacles still apply, all the same.
Given the complexity of the situation, employing the expertise of an agent with an intimate understanding of diplomat-friendly inventory is an important timesaver, and can therefore equate to monetary savings in the end. The knowledge of an informed and experienced real estate brokerage team-- one that has an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by the diplomat buyer-- is the key to ensuring smooth navigation of the relocation process. Our team of multilingual brokers are experts in providing relocation solutions, and with a thorough understanding of the housing market in proximity to the United Nations, we are familiar with the optimal properties to pursue and the best purchasing strategies to employ. Through experience we have amassed the skills and know-how to guide diplomats through relocating, and we do so with the happiness and comfort of the client as the ultimate goal.