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Old 10-22-2011, 04:49 PM
 
258 posts, read 549,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
Yes, there are foreclosures, not necessarily in the nicest areas. But the house will most likely have to be totally rennovated. If there are tenants there, good luck trying to get them out. The same with short sales. If there is a second mortgage, good luck. Short sales can take a year to finally close. Buying real estate here is also not the same as any other part of the US where everything is done between the real estate salespeople. Here, you need a real estate lawyer, another expense. It is also a much, much slower process. Real estate taxes are 8K at the very lowest and go up virtually every single year. Real estate property taxes are based on a different formula than most other parts of the country as well and it is the school taxes that are the killer.

You don't need to spend a million for a nice house here. You can get a very nice place for much less. Just be prepared to possibly do some updating and then there are trade-offs on neighborhood status, proxmity to Manhattan, school reputation, property size, house size. But 300K is out of the question for anything other than a co-op apartment. The further you get away from Manhattan, the more you will get for your money.

Also, remember, we are an area of many different cultures and there are neighborhood enclaves with a dominating culture, where you may or may not feel comfortable, e.g. commercial strips catering to the Russian, Hispanic, Indian, Korean, or whatever, residents of the area, even in the suburbs.

Also, to be rather frank, if your income is 200K and you are living in a lower middle class area where the average house is worth $400K, you are just not going to feel comfortable living there and your neighbors and are not going to feel comfortable with you. Not talking about race, just economic class and your child may not have a comfortable fit either in the local school or having friends.
Well, a year of paperwork and some lawyer fees would be totally worth it to us to keep us out of another ridiculous mortgage. We've been through it, so we know what we'd be getting into. And time is on our side.

I disagree with you that the foreclosures and SS in those prices ranges are total rehabs and in bad neighborhoods. Not what I'm finding at all. And not the experience we had, having done a short sale in an area fraught with foreclosures and short sales. Most, if not all of them, were in excellent condition and going for rock bottom prices. I scratch my head when I see people signing up for mortgages over $300K these days, I really do. Granted, in some areas you don't have a choice, but on the coasts there is quite a bit of opportunity to get into RE at what we think are more realistic prices.

Can you tell me more about needing a lawyer to purchase property in the state of NY? Hadn't heard that one before.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,804 posts, read 51,006,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phish Head View Post
First of all, I didn't say anything about time in my post. Snarky remarks about being dishonest are really uncalled for.

Second, you can get from Exit 18 (Lebanon / Annandale) on 78 to the Holland Tunnel in one hour by car. Its a straight shot on 78 East. I did it, during rush hour, for two years. Of course if there was a major accident or snow storm, it would be longer. So, there's nothing dishonest about what I wrote. If you live there and have a different experience, why don't you share that with us?

I also recommended 5 places closer to NYC that were still good places to live in my post.
Don't see snark where no snark was intended. The OP wanted a commute 45 minutes to an hour. From Exit 18 on 78 to the HT in one hour means a door to door commute of probably an hour and a half, taking into consideration getting to 78 and then through the tunnel, parking, and getting into an office. Hunterdon County is beautiful, but if a short commute is the primary concern, it's not an option.

Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 10-22-2011 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Originally Posted by jojoboulette View Post
Yeah, I get what you're saying about the math. What about Hoboken? I'm hearing it's 'minutes from NYC...' BS?

My husband may have the option of working from home a lot of the time, and only commuting for client visits. He'd have a lot of those, but they may not all be in Manhattan either.

Thanks for your input!
Hoboken IS a good option time-wise. You've got ferry service to 38th Street, the World Financial Center (downtown/financial district) and the PATH train to the World Trade Center or to 33rd Street. That could be an option for you for renting (now that I understand about the renting now/house-buying later), because it is not a house-and-yard city. It's a small city in area, about one square mile, but it has a population of 40,000. The one caveat would be that it's currently got the rep of a college-age party town, so certain areas are partying into the wee hours. There are some quieter streets, though, and some people do live there with children. It's an option to do searches on for your apartment phase.

What part of Manhattan would your husband work in? Another idea for renting is Fort Lee, which is upriver but still across the river from the upper part of Manhattan. One can get a bus to cross the George Washington Bridge, at the GWB Bus Station on the NY side, catch a subway down to midtown.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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I stand corrected. It is true that you cannot get the PATH from Penn station. You have to go out and walk a block. I was thinking about the sign in Penn Station for the PATH, but it is not accessible underground. As previously stated, Hoboken is very nice, but currently a mega for young single professionals and it is mostly concrete. Fort Lee is semi-urban, close to Manhattan, and it is nice, but you will not get a large piece of property.

What neighborhoods did you find had foreclosures for under 300K? Many people find that buying short sales and foreclosures can be a stressful experience as you may have to leave your current residence by a certain time, but your new home may not be available when you want. In addition, others have cited the problems where they thought that they had secured a home through foreclosure or a shortsale, only to find a snag and having to start the process all over again, after making a hefty investment in legal fees and home inspection fees. Also if there are people occupying the home that you want to buy, it is really, really HARD in NY to evict them. And if you do get to evict them, it is realistic to expect them to destroy the place before they go. Real estate documentation preparation are done by attorneys here, not agents, and the bulk of the closing costs are paid by the buyer, including the fee for the bank's lawyer.

If it were easy to find a foreclosure under 300K in a safe neighborhood with good schools, there would be greater competition for that house by buyers, driving the price up. If a house is cheaper than "average," there is a good reason. No way, no how, are you going to find a foreclosure in good condition in an area with a reputation for good schools in the NY metro area.

Last edited by Coney; 10-22-2011 at 07:30 PM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:06 PM
 
9,356 posts, read 13,978,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
If it were easy to find a foreclosure under 300K in a safe neighborhood with good schools, there would be greater competition for that house by buyers, driving the price up. If a house is cheaper than "average," there is a good reason. No way, no how, are you going to find a foreclosure in good condition in an area with a reputation for good schools in the NY metro area.
Foreclosures for <$300K in a safe neighborhoods with good (but not top) schools exist. There's a few in West Orange, NJ, for instance (which would not meet the commuting requirements for the OP), and probably some in the nearby train towns. But the banks are a real pain about it. The houses are also inevitably neglected, usually damaged, and thus will require work to get them up to code. Which would likely wipe out a lot of the savings.

On the other hand, if the OP was going to be renting for a while anyway, maybe she'd be willing to put up with that. Me, if I was making $200,000+, I'd definitely pay the money up front and avoid the hassle. What else is money for?
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:14 PM
 
258 posts, read 549,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
What part of Manhattan would your husband work in? Another idea for renting is Fort Lee, which is upriver but still across the river from the upper part of Manhattan. One can get a bus to cross the George Washington Bridge, at the GWB Bus Station on the NY side, catch a subway down to midtown.
We're not sure where he'd be working yet other than the NYC area. It's not a desk job, lots of client face time, and will include working on-site at various client locations at least some of the time, possibly a lot of it. It could be that he'd be commuting to one area of Manhattan for a while, then a city in New Jersey for a few months, etc. We'll know more on that shortly. That's why we were thinking New Jersey/close to Manhattan. That way he'd be as close as possible to most, if not all, of his clients.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:21 PM
 
258 posts, read 549,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
I stand corrected. It is true that you cannot get the PATH from Penn station. You have to go out and walk a block. I was thinking about the sign in Penn Station for the PATH, but it is not accessible underground. As previously stated, Hoboken is very nice, but currently a mega for young single professionals and it is mostly concrete. Fort Lee is semi-urban, close to Manhattan, and it is nice, but you will not get a large piece of property.

What neighborhoods did you find had foreclosures for under 300K? Many people find that buying short sales and foreclosures can be a stressful experience as you may have to leave your current residence by a certain time, but your new home may not be available when you want. In addition, others have cited the problems where they thought that they had secured a home through foreclosure or a shortsale, only to find a snag and having to start the process all over again, after making a hefty investment in legal fees and home inspection fees. Also if there are people occupying the home that you want to buy, it is really, really HARD in NY to evict them. And if you do get to evict them, it is realistic to expect them to destroy the place before they go. Real estate documentation preparation are done by attorneys here, not agents, and the bulk of the closing costs are paid by the buyer, including the fee for the bank's lawyer.

If it were easy to find a foreclosure under 300K in a safe neighborhood with good schools, there would be greater competition for that house by buyers, driving the price up. If a house is cheaper than "average," there is a good reason. No way, no how, are you going to find a foreclosure in good condition in an area with a reputation for good schools in the NY metro area.
The areas where we'd be looking to buy would probably be farther out. I've seen some in White Plains, and a few other places. It wasn't an in-depth search, just an initial peak. But everything points to a lot more of them in the future, unfortunately. All over NY (and elsewhere, I might add.)

I'd not attempt to do one with sitting tenants, that's for sure. Anyway, we know the drill and as I said, it'd be worth the hassle to us -- for various reasons that I won't go into here. Not for everyone for sure, but it's possibly going to be a good option for us.

The other option is that we'll save a huge down payment, and could keep our borrowing to an amount we feel comfortable with. Also feasible on his salary.

"Real estate documentation preparation are done by attorneys here, not agents, and the bulk of the closing costs are paid by the buyer, including the fee for the bank's lawyer." Can you give me a rough idea of what the total legal fees would be on, say, a $400K purchase?
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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Why not just do Jersey City, if his clients will be in Jersey City? Newport. Exchange Place. All are very nice, and you should be able to find something. It's just NOT going to be something that will match anything like you'd have in the MidWest.

Hoboken (or Jersey City) is "minutes" from Manhattan. It's 1 stop, maybe 10 minutes. BUT, there is walking to the train, the waiting for the train, there is the transfer to go to wherever else you need to go in Manhattan. When I lived in Jersey City (which has the same commute time as Hoboken) and working Midtown (which required me to make just one transfer to the subway and then walk a few blocks), my commute was 45 minutes (and that's consider very reasonable by NYC standard. As someone from the Midwest, it was incredibly annoying. But to NYers, that's what they mean by "minutes" from the City. Any commute that's shorter than 1 hr is minutes.) But of course, the client could literally be on top of the PATH station that's right across the river, so that would put you back at 10 minutes (but that's probably unlikely).

Will he officially be working in NYC or working from home? If it's working from home, I do believe that living in NJ will have some serious tax advantage.

I would rule out living in Brooklyn or Queens if he's going to need to go to NJ on a regular basis. It'll be really far.

Last edited by yee8p; 10-22-2011 at 10:04 PM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:48 PM
 
7,653 posts, read 8,066,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Foreclosures for <$300K in a safe neighborhoods with good (but not top) schools exist. There's a few in West Orange, NJ, for instance (which would not meet the commuting requirements for the OP), and probably some in the nearby train towns. But the banks are a real pain about it. The houses are also inevitably neglected, usually damaged, and thus will require work to get them up to code. Which would likely wipe out a lot of the savings.

On the other hand, if the OP was going to be renting for a while anyway, maybe she'd be willing to put up with that. Me, if I was making $200,000+, I'd definitely pay the money up front and avoid the hassle. What else is money for?
If the OP wants to put the work into the house and has no problem with W. Orange Schools, more power to her.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:08 PM
 
7,653 posts, read 8,066,804 times
Reputation: 8200
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Originally Posted by jojoboulette View Post
The areas where we'd be looking to buy would probably be farther out. I've seen some in White Plains, and a few other places. It wasn't an in-depth search, just an initial peak. But everything points to a lot more of them in the future, unfortunately. All over NY (and elsewhere, I might add.)

I'd not attempt to do one with sitting tenants, that's for sure. Anyway, we know the drill and as I said, it'd be worth the hassle to us -- for various reasons that I won't go into here. Not for everyone for sure, but it's possibly going to be a good option for us.

The other option is that we'll save a huge down payment, and could keep our borrowing to an amount we feel comfortable with. Also feasible on his salary.

"Real estate documentation preparation are done by attorneys here, not agents, and the bulk of the closing costs are paid by the buyer, including the fee for the bank's lawyer." Can you give me a rough idea of what the total legal fees would be on, say, a $400K purchase?
Anything under 300K is not going to be in a nice section of White Plains. Going to be hard to find a good school there, as well. You now mention that you are willing to go further out. That would be a better option, but of course you would not have a 45 minute commute. If you make improvements to your foreclosed home, your property taxes could go up significantly. Here, when figuring out affordability, one must consider the taxes as that will have major bearing on your monthly mortgage payments.

I couldn't tell you what the closing costs on a house in NJ would be, only NYS. It's been several years since I've had to hire a real estate lawyer so maybe someone else here could give more up-to-date information. When I've had to describe how I had to buy/sell a house here using lawyers for the contract, the closing, getting the title search done, the NYS transfer tax, making sure there was a CO, etc., my out-of-town friends look at me like I am crazy. I always had to take time off from work to be present for signing the contract and the closing (bringing a stack of checks with me). My out-of-state friends would do it by mail.
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