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Ditch Roommates - Buy small cheap apartment

Posted by MikeW on April 04, 2000 at 12:27:22:

In Reply to: NYC: Non-regulated lease end options posted by East side guy on April 02, 2000 at 18:00:38:

First, you may want to do some legwork to make sure your current apartment was decontrolled legitimately. Who knows, you could get lucky.

Second, given the state of the NY rental market currently, forget about getting an apartment big enough for multiple roomates in Manhattan. Anything big enough is likely to be priced out into low earth orbit (and gaining altitude by the minute). Big apartments are more marketable than small ones. Even renting a small apartment right now is both problematic and expensive. Given the state of the rent laws, it's hugely beneficial to the LLs to get the rent of any apartment over $2K (which gets the apartment deregulated). This means that any apartment that comes vacant will get MCIed, joined with other apartments, etc, to get over the threshold.

My advice: If you can scrounge together enough cash for a down payment, find a cheap studio/1bd coop, and buy it. Yes, we may be at/close too the top of the market, but in the end, you'll probably come out ahead. I was flipping through the NY press recently, and saw a number of <100K apartments in Manhattan, some around $80K. I don't know how many roomates you have, so I'm guessing three. That being the case, you are paying around $1.5K now. With the tax break for mortgage interest and real estate taxes, you could buy something and end up paying <$1K. Even if you can't sell it for a profit when you're ready to move, you could probably rent it at a profit.

In the end, unless you have a spectacular regulated deal, renting is stupid. You pay top dollar, and have nothing left at the end.

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