Home Buying in Russia




Yakov Tulchinsky
Associate Broker
Alpine Realty Group, Inc.
2602 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11229
Office: 718-769-0800
Fax: 718-769-0008
Cell: 347-453-1838
Email: [email protected]

In Russia the concept of privatized real estate available for sale to the ordinary person is a relatively new concept. The laws and procedures of buying real property are new and continually evolving. Even the established laws, procedures, and customs often differ from those of the United States. Furthermore, Russian immigrants to the United States and Russian foreign investors can be apprehensive of trusting other individuals, companies, and even government officials. Of course, language barriers can compound these issues and present additional problems. As a result these buyers will need guidance when purchasing real property in the United States.

First, buyers should be aware of the myriad of professionals that are readily available locally to assist them with their real estate needs. These include attorneys, real estate brokers and agents, mortgage brokers, architects, engineers, appraisers, surveyors, and contractors just to name a few. These professionals are often highly regulated by government agencies and obligated to provide a certain degree of care to their customers.

Next, buyers should understand and make use of the availability of resources such as MLS listings, comparable sales data, deed records, appraisal reports, neighborhood and district statistics compilations, etc… The list is endless and the right professionals can effectively educate buyers and point them in the right direction.

Many Russian buyers and investors are often used to all cash deals. Although bank financing is by no means required in the United States, it is often more readily available and often cheaper than in Russia. Buyers should consult with professional mortgage brokers or bankers early in the buying process to determine financing options to increase affordability. Of course, any cash not spent at closing can be invested in other ventures while the income generated from the property helps to pay down the obligations on any money borrowed.

Furthermore, foreign buyers are often used to “as-is” and “take it or leave it” transactions with little assurances and protections. Although it is crucial for every buyer to practise diligence, foreign buyers should be partly relieved by the availability of buyer protections in the United States. These include seller guarantees and warranties, mandatory reporting and disclosure requirements, title insurance, and deed recordation to name a few. Buyers can rest assured that the right professionals will ensure that their interests are accounted for and that their rights are protected.

Finally, foreign investors often seek to purchase real estate in the United States for investment, but wish to remain abroad. These investors should be aware of the availability of sophisticated management companies that can be contracted with to maintain the properties, collect rent, comply with regulations, provide for necessary repairs, and maintain constant communication with the investor-owners.

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