A must-read article.  How is it possible for a first-time homebuyer, or for anyone, for that matter, to afford buying a condo or co-op in New York City?  Again, this article is about NYC, but works for anyone trying to buy a home in Boston, as well.

By Anna Bahney, New York Times

How do people do it? Or rather, how do people who have not been given a trust fund or a condo for graduation do it?

For people at the bottom of the property ladder, it is sobering to try to enter the real estate market in New York, where the average price of an apartment, $1.3 million, is up 30 percent from the same quarter last year. Even the median, $775,000, is up 24 percent, according to Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm. In lower price ranges, first-time buyers find themselves competing against empty-nesters and investors for what used to be known as “starter” apartments.

In interviews with five recent first-time buyers, from various situations and at separate stages of the purchase process, several recurring and overlapping themes appeared. Buying takes a little hard work and a lot of old-fashioned savings. It helps to have an eye for investments and openness to small gifts. Also it doesn’t hurt to compromise and, as E. B. White wrote in “Here Is New York,” have a “willingness to be lucky.”

Complete article: The Very First Time

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