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Old 03-31-2011, 12:27 PM
 
1,172 posts, read 1,130,967 times
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Hi all,

I'm starting to think about buying a co-op in either Astoria, Woodside or Sunnyside. I wouldn't be buying for another 2 years or so, but I am a researcher, so I like to think about things long before actually doing them, plus while I am saving my down payment/paying down debt, I'd like to get all of the researchy stuff out of the way.

Some background:
32, single, female, Caucasian. I was born and raised in the Bronx (Throgs Neck/Country Club), and currently live on the UES. I work full time for a large company on 42nd very close to Grand Central, and currently make about 52k (expected to go up to 56k at least by hopeful buying date). I also work several nights a week waitressing on the UES, and some of that income is reported (some is not...), so my total gross as reported on my taxes by the time I buy will be in the 60-65k range. By that time, I am hoping to be debt free, and have a FICO in the mid 700s.

I am starting to get the buying itch, and while I would love to stay on the UES, I have accepted that it is not realistic. So I am looking for neighborhoods that will offer a similar commute to what I have now to the day job, and not be too expensive of a cab ride home from the night job. I like a neighborhood-y feel, but with decent access to restaurants/nightlife/groceries, etc. I also need to have easy access to the Bronx, so I can visit my mother every week (moving back is not an option because of the AWFUL commute). I'd like to be close to the 7 train. At some point, I am planning on buying a car, so an area where parking isn't too bad, or buildings are likely to offer parking are ideal.

If I had a down payment and was in a position to buy right now, I would be looking for something around $175k. I wouldn't want to buy less than a 1 bedroom.

I've spent a bit of time in Astoria (what 20-something in NYC hasn't? ), but haven't spent much time in either Sunnyside or Woodside. I do know people who have lived there and enjoyed it though.

Based on the (probably too much) info I've given...can anyone give me any insight, advice, opinions about the neighborhoods and what I'm likely to find?

I've found links to Boulevard Gardens, and seen some ads for Celtic Gardens. If anyone can point me in the direction of some other links, I'd appreciate that too.

Thanks so much in advance!
Liz
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:11 PM
 
11,243 posts, read 21,678,606 times
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You could also look in Jackson Heights in the historic district, especially in the mid 80s streets and 35th or 34th Ave. Take a look at google street view on 86th St between 34th and 35 Aves and you will see some gorgeous homes. The surrounding blocks are mainly apartment and coop buildings. You would be fairly close to the 7 train at 82nd St. and definitely nearby plenty of places to eat.

I think $175K is doable in a decent building in that area, but if you buy in a good building (good finances, etc.) you can expect the apartment to be on the small side- maybe 650 sq feet.

I believe you would get to the Bronx by taking the Whitestone bridge, which is only 15 minute drive if there is light traffic. In traffic, it can be much worse.

I suggest checking out local realtors sites such as MPC Properties and another called "Jackson Heights Properties." I would link to them but I don't think we're supposed to link to broker sites.

I know less about Sunnyside but parts of it are lovely. Quieter and less of an energetic vibe than Jackson Heights but some of the restaurants have more atmosphere and are more upscale. Plus there are more places to go out and have a nice drink. If you walk down Skillman and or 43rd Ave from about 40th St. to 50th St you will pass at least one local realtor with photos of apartments on the window. Sorry can't remember the name of the one I saw recently.

Just start spending SAturdays going to open houses in these neighborhoods and in two years you will know them well!

Also, how about starting to report all your income; this will give you a higher income on your taxes which is exactly what the coop board is going to be looking at.

P.S. The main commercial street in Jackson Heights is 37th Ave from 74th to 86th (or so).
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:56 AM
 
1,172 posts, read 1,130,967 times
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Thanks so much, Henna!!! I will add Jackson Heights to the list.

As far as income, I am hoping to get a promotion at work in between now and then which would make the income go way up - I will probably have a few other things that make the income on my taxes go up a bit more. I just listed what it would be without that promotion, if I stay where I am.

I'll check out those bropkers, and start checking out some open houses.

Once again, thanks so much!
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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Congratulations to you on your journey towards homeownership. I visited Boulevard Gardens and I really liked it. However, the renovated apartments are a little above your budget; it is also a little small.

Try Georgetown Mews and Dara Gardens if you are willing to venture to Kew Gardens Hills. Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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I vote for Sunnyside. Easy access to NYC, Very up and coming. Sunnyside gardens is a leafy area that is a lil country town within Sunnyside . Its affordable and has a awesome Night life.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:29 AM
 
1,172 posts, read 1,130,967 times
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Thanks for the input help! I am going to spend a lot of time over the next few months checking out open houses in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Woodside...with my focus being on Sunnyside.

I will also most likely move to one of these neighborhoods to rent for a year when my current lease is up.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Check these out. It is a closed coop. The prices are NOT negotiable and you must sell back to the coop when it comes time to sell.Cooperative Living Minutes from Manhattan Queensview, Inc.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:20 PM
 
1,172 posts, read 1,130,967 times
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I took a look at that a few weeks ago when I started researching...seems similar to the concept of Co-op City (not sure if it is ML), but the prices are pretty much market (or higher, depending on the deal you find). Not sure what the advantage to buying here would be as opposed to a regular co-op..

Not sure if you have first hand knowledge of this complex, but do you happen to know if there's a way to view the apartments at all?
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizfromtheBronx View Post
Thanks for the input help! I am going to spend a lot of time over the next few months checking out open houses in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Woodside...with my focus being on Sunnyside.

I will also most likely move to one of these neighborhoods to rent for a year when my current lease is up.

i sent you a prive email xo
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:29 PM
 
1,812 posts, read 2,837,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpIslander View Post
Check these out. It is a closed coop. The prices are NOT negotiable and you must sell back to the coop when it comes time to sell.Cooperative Living Minutes from Manhattan Queensview, Inc.
for 46 years lol I thought this was a project .........boy that really fooled me. lol
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