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Real Estate Law Spotlight NYC

Real Estate Law Spotlight NYC

Mr. Wang is a Chinese citizen that wants to buy an apartment in New York City for a budget of $2 mil because he will be traveling often from China to New York.  He contacted Law Offices of Corey T. Lee to ask if we can help him.  Our firm connected Mr. Wang to a well known real estate broker with many listings.  Mr. Wang hired the broker and they set up a whole week to look at apartments in New York City for Mr. Wang’s next trip from China.  After looking at over a dozen apartments, Mr. Wang decided to buy an condo apartment in Manhattan near Central Park.  He also liked another apartment but did not like that it was a co-op apartment.  Mr. Wang did not like the co-op apartment because a co-op building is set up like a corporation with many more restrictions than a condo.  He would own shares in the corporation.  The co-op board had the power to vote on everything from who can sublet the apartment to what kind of renovations can be done to the apartment to even whether Mr. Wang is allowed to purchase the apartment.  Mr. Wang liked the condo apartment because he as the owner would be allowed to make all those decisions without a board needing to approve.  Mr. Wang negotiated with the seller and they agreed on a price.

 

Once the price has been confirmed Mr. Wang hired Law Offices of Corey T. Lee to be his lawyer to close the transaction.  Mr. Wang’s broker sent over a deal sheet with all the information of the deal including the names of the sellers broker and the sellers attorney.  Our office sent an email to the sellers attorney asking them to send over the contract of sale.  We also scheduled a professional inspector to go to the apartment and inspect the apartment for any major problems.  After the sellers attorney emailed our office the contract of sale, we reviewed the terms with Mr. Wang.  Based on Mr. Wang’s desire, we 1) lengthened the time that Mr. Wang could obtain a loan (because it’s harder to get a loan as a foreign person with no credit): 2) placed a clause that Mr. Wang could buy the apartment under a corporation if he wanted; 3) removed a clause that Mr. Wang needed to buy the apartment “as is” so he could get credit from the seller if Mr. Wang later found anything wrong with the apartment; and 4) removed several clauses that threatened Mr. Wang getting his down payment back of the deal did not go through.

 

Mr. Wang signed the agreement, prepared a check for 10% of the purchase price, and we overnight mailed the contract and check to the sellers attorney.  Mr. Wang insisted on overnight mail because he did not want the seller to show the apartment to any other buyers.  The seller signed the contract the next day and took the apartment off the market.

 

We immediately ordered a title report from a title insurance company.  The title insurance company’s job is to make sure that there are no liens against the property, no violations, and that the seller really owns the apartment.  Like links in a chain, each previous owner of an apartment must properly hand down title to the next owner.  If the title company found a lien against the property or a violation that needs to have a fine paid, the seller must pay these off or decide not to sell the property according to the contract.  If the property is transferred to Mr. Wang and he later finds out that another person actually owns the property, the title insurance company must pay Mr. Wang for the whole purchase price of the apartment.  That is why Mr. Wang was paying the title insurance company almost $10,000 for his title insurance policy.

 

Mr. Wang then found a bank through a mortgage broker our firm referred him to that was willing to lend him $1 million.  Mr. Wang would pay the rest of the purchase price with his own cash.  When the bank finally cleared the loan for closing after almost 60 days, our firm contacted all the parties to the transaction including the brokers and set a closing date.

 

Mr. Wang flew back from China for the closing, which was almost 4 months from when he signed the contract (please note that all cash deals are much faster).  He and his broker did a final walk through of the apartment but found that there was something wrong with the air conditioner.  We reported the problem to the sellers attorney and negotiated a credit of $3000 that Mr. Wang would get at the closing.

 

Finally, at the closing, Mr. Wang signed all the necessary documents for the bank, the title company, and the seller.  He was very pleased with our services.

王先生(出于保护客户真实信息的目的,我们在本文中使用化名)是一位中国的公民,因为他以后要经常往返纽约和中国,所以他想要在纽约市购买一套公寓,而他的预算是200万美元。由于对美国房地产产业以及法律不了解,王先生找到了我们律师所,向我们寻求帮助。我们了解了王先生的基本状况之后,帮助他与一个纽约市知名的房地产经纪人连线。之后,王先生雇佣了这个经纪人,经过了细致的讨论,房产经纪人为王先生来纽约安排了一周的时间,打算带他看看几个主要区域的房子(曼哈顿,法拉盛,布鲁克林等区域)。在看过了不同区域十几个住所后,王先生决定购买位于曼哈顿的一个独立豪华公寓(condo),公寓位于中央公园附近,周围环境十分好。同时,王先生还看上了另一所位于布鲁克林的公寓,但由于另一个公寓是合作式公寓(co-op),王先生不是很喜欢。因为合作式公寓的设置就像一个公司一样,相比独立公寓有很多限制。如果王先生购买了合作式公寓,那么他就相当于拥有了整栋建筑的部分股份。合作式公寓董事局有权决定很多事情,包括了谁能转租公寓,公寓可以怎么翻新,甚至于王先生能否成功购买公寓。反观独立式公寓,王先生如果购买了独立式公寓,不需要对任何公寓董事会负责,他可以对他的公寓做任何决定,这也是王先生倾向于独立式公寓的原因。在与独立式公寓卖家经过一番商谈之后,王先生和卖家就价格达成一致。

当双方价格达成一致后,我们作为王先生的代表律所就要开始帮助王先生完成这笔交易,签订各类的法律文件。这时候,王先生的房产经纪人发来了交易表,包括了这笔房产交易了全部信息,例如交易人的名字,交易经纪人和代表律师的名字等。我们得到这些信息后,向卖方的律师发出了邮件,要求他们发送交易合同过来。另一方面,我们还安排了专业的检查人员,去公寓检查是否存在任何重大问题。之后,我们收到了卖方律师寄来的交易合同,和王先生一起详细核查了交易的每个条款。基于王先生的要求,我们1)延长了王先生能够获得贷款的时间(对于在美国没有任何信用记录的外国人来说,想申请获批贷款是很难的)。2)增加了一个条款,就是如果王先生愿意,他可以以公司的名义购买公寓。3)移除一个条款,就是如果王先生在之后发现公寓有任何问题,王先生还是需要买下这套公寓,这样他才能从卖家那边获得信用记录。4)移除部分对王先生不利的条款,例如威胁王先生如果交易没有完成就要没收他的首付款。

在确保了交易合同没有刻意损害王先生利益的条款后,王先生签订了协议并且准备了一张等同于购买价格10%的支票,然后我们将合同和支票用第二天速达的方式一并寄给了卖方律师。王先生坚持使用第二天速达的方式,因为他害怕卖家将公寓卖给其他的买家。第二天,卖家签订了合同,这个公寓正式从市场下架。

之后,我们马上联系了产权保险公司,获得了公寓的产权报告。产权保险公司的工作就在于确保房产没有被滞留和扣押的情况,没有违法记录,并且卖方确实拥有这一套房产。就像一条连锁链一样,每一个前业主必须将产权正式交给下一个房产所有者。如果产权保险公司发现房产存在被滞留和扣押的情况或者有需要付罚款的违法行为,那么卖家必须付清这些罚款或者决定不卖掉这个房产。如果房产之后转移给了王先生,但王先生发现另一个人实际拥有了房产所有权,而非当前卖家,那么产权保险公司必须付给王先生整个公寓的购买价格。这是一个十分保险的做法,也是王先生为什么为他的产权保险政策向产权保险公司支付10000美元的原因。

完成了产权保险的购买之后,我们开始着手王先生的贷款问题。因为目前王先生可流动的现金大致为100万美元,所以剩下的100万美元将通过银行借款获得。为此,我们专门为王先生引荐了了一个抵押贷款经纪人,通过经纪人的帮助,王先生找到了一个愿意贷款给他100万美元的银行。剩下的100万美元就由王先生自己出钱支付。大约60天之后,银行最终兑付了这笔贷款。然后我们马上联系了所有交易参与 方,包括经纪人在内,约定了交易最终阶段日期。

为了完成交易的最后步骤,王先生从中国飞回纽约,时间差不多是他签订合同的4个月后(请注意,所有的现金交易将完成的更快)。王先生和他的经纪人就交易进行了最后一遍的检查,他们发现空调的制冷系统有点问题。于是我们将这个问题报告给了卖方律师,就王先生得到的补偿问题进行了磋商,最后双方同意王先生在交易后得到3000美元的补偿。

最后,在交易截止日,王先生签署了所有的银行相关,产权公司相关和卖家相关的文件,顺利买下了心仪的房子。我们也高兴我们的服务让王先生满意。