Most first-time homebuyers hesitated this past year, not sure if they should take the plunge into ownership, given the (relative) high cost of buying.
Sometimes, people compare renting vs. buying, before they buy. Is it more expensive to buy, or, should I say, MUCH more expensive to buy?
There’s been plenty of argument in this blog over the past year or two about whether it’s cheaper to rent or to buy, which obfuscates the issue – to many, the financial aspect isn’t that important – buying is more about owning their own home and putting down roots in a neighborhood, etc.
No matter what, we don’t have it half as bad as they do in New York City (Manhattan).
The choices there are slim to none:
In the last year, rents for market-rate apartments in Manhattan have jumped as much as 20 percent, or nearly three times the standard 5 to 7 percent increases seen each year in the last 15 years …
… by last May, the vacancy rate in Manhattan had shrunk to a record low of 0.43 percent …
This is the reality:
Candice Spielman, a 37-year old freelance television producer, lived in a rent-stabilized apartment on the Upper West Side that measured about 150 square feet if you count the sleeping loft she had built over her refrigerator and desk …
So, she bought.
She put down 20 percent on a $510,000 apartment, a 470-square-foot studio in the Cocoa Exchange building downtown, and expects to pay about $2,500 a month for the mortgage and common charge.
“Everything I was looking at was at least $2,000,â€? Ms. Spielman said. “So for a little bit more I could own and invest in me.â€?
Three-times the space for $500 more a month!
More: When Renters Reach the Breaking Point – By Christine Haughney, The New York Times