While the most liquidly wealthy can pull off such a feat, it mightn’t be the wisest move for someone looking to make a serious investment.
Buying a home takes weeks in the best of circumstances, and doing it abroad will test those limits.
Fussy co-op and condo boards will want additional information from foreign buyers and one hurdle to clear is just the sheer idea of being a foreigner in the current climate of overwrought national security.
While Irish nationals are not high on the list of concern, even the most uppity co-op boards will want to know the source of your buying power.
Even a condominium’s association can raise questions, as many of them run the building like a co-op.
David Keusch, an attorney with Manhattan’s Kris, Feurstien and Katz, mentioned the possibility that “Patriot Act-type items” might come up.
Dealing in cash will help the money end of your case, but will still raise questions.
Tracing sources of funds from overseas would fall into this category, as there is a higher degree of investigation for foreigners.
Add that to the general state of the New York market, and there are bidding wars to consider.
“In New York, you heavily negotiate,” said Keusch.
He points out that some states, such as Florida, might have a simple broker contract that a buyer will sign.
“That’s not typical New York style,” he said. “Lawyers will negotiate little points.”
Elizabeth Donoghue, an attorney with Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donaghue and Joseph, said that the buyer’s physical presence is required at some junctures, especially when dealing with a co-op board, which will usually insist on a “face-to-face” meeting.
So can a real estate transaction be done over a weekend jaunt?
“It could happen quickly,” said Keusch, “but it’s not likely.”
“It could take months,” said Donoghue. “Though we are seeing more and more” boards that promise to act within in a certain amount of time.
She recalls one foreign client who bought and within a short time, turned right back around and sold it.
“For the well-to-do foreign investor,” Donoghue said, “they realize the market is so hot right now.”
It might even be worth the taxes.