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Guide for buying a house in New York as a US citizens or foreigner

US citizens and foreign nationals are able to purchase properties in New York without any restrictions. If you buy an apartment in New York for over $1 million, the state levies a 1% ‘mansion tax’ and some new developments might require the buyer to pay ‘transfer taxes’ that can affect New York property prices. These are levied at 1% for sales under $500,000 and 1.425% for sales above that price by New York City as well as 0.4% for all sales by New York State. For those securing financing for their purchase, a ‘mortgage recording tax’ may also be payable. Foreign sellers may have to pay the Foreign Investment in Real Estate Property Tax (FIRPTA), a levy usually refunded if all taxes have already been paid.

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Living in New York

Home to the iconic New York City with its world-class business community and arts scene, the state offers an array of bustling urban centres in Buffalo, Rochester and state capital Albany. Beyond its cities, the vast expanses of the Adirondacks in the northern half of the state and the Catskill Mountains to the south cater for various types of outdoor pursuits.


The New York education system is both the nation’s largest and most well-funded, meaning a wealth of options are available across its 1,700 public schools. In higher education, its 130–degree-granting institutions include large research universities, mid-size colleges and small liberal arts colleges. The most prestigious are Cornell University and Columbia University, both Ivy League schools, while New York University, University of Rochester and Syracuse University are also well-regarded.


There are a plethora of unmissable sight-seeing destinations in New York City, ranging from the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty through to the expansive Central Park and the One World Observatory with its stunning birds-eye views. Outside the Big Apple, Long Island’s Jones Beach State Park, Fire Island and Montauk Point State Park cater for outdoor enthusiasts while the towns of the Hamptons entice those seeking trendy restaurants and antiques shops. Further afield, the Adirondack and Catskills Mountains provide excellent hiking terrain and opportunities to kayak, fish and camp.


Whether it’s Broadway’s theatres, Museum Mile’s world-class museums and galleries, or renowned music venues including Madison Square Garden – New York City has it all. It offers the ultimate retail experience with its cluster of high-end stores that line Fifth Avenue and plays host to professional basketball teams, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. Beyond NYC, the state’s major cities and towns offer top-quality museums and galleries as well as sites with major historical significance, such as Fort Ticonderoga, Cooperstown’s National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and Hyde Park’s Eleanor and Franklin D Roosevelt Homes.


Road: Several major Interstates and Routes provide access in and around New York City, with I-95 stretching south to Pennsylvania, Washington DC and beyond to Florida. I-90, I-86 and I-84 traverse the state, reaching to its furthermost westerly points.

Rail: New York City’s extensive subway system allows convenient access across the city while Amtrak’s Empire Service extends from the Big Apple north to the Canadian border and west to Niagara Falls.

Air: New York City is extremely well-served by air, with John F Kennedy and LaGuardia within the city limits and Newark Liberty International airport just across the border in New Jersey. Cities including Buffalo, Massena and Rochester also boast international airports.