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Old 07-21-2008, 02:27 PM
 
5 posts, read 46,191 times
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I'm a 26 year old female currently renting in Westchester (Rye, NY) with my fiance. My apartment lease has ended, and I'm currently renting on a month-to-month basis.

Here's my problem: I would like to buy property (anything between 400-500K) sometime relatively soon, hopefully either late fall or this winter. However, I am pretty much sick of Westchester and would very much like to move somewhere in the city.

More specifically, I would ideally like to be somewhere:
1. that is within a 40-minute door-to-door commute to my office (on Lex & 42nd);
2. near a decent dog park- I have a 2 yr old golden retriever;
3. that is safe at nighttime (I am a young lawyer, so I am often stuck working late);
4. that would allow for us to have garage parking for 1 car;
5. that would allow for us to have 750 square feet or so of space; and
6. that would allow for us to buy a condo, as opposed to a co-op.

I'm thinking that NO neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens could possibly meet the above-listed criteria, but am I wrong? Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
9,832 posts, read 21,512,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedinwestchester View Post
I'm a 26 year old female currently renting in Westchester (Rye, NY) with my fiance. My apartment lease has ended, and I'm currently renting on a month-to-month basis.

Here's my problem: I would like to buy property (anything between 400-500K) sometime relatively soon, hopefully either late fall or this winter. However, I am pretty much sick of Westchester and would very much like to move somewhere in the city.

More specifically, I would ideally like to be somewhere:
1. that is within a 40-minute door-to-door commute to my office (on Lex & 42nd);
2. near a decent dog park- I have a 2 yr old golden retriever;
3. that is safe at nighttime (I am a young lawyer, so I am often stuck working late);
4. that would allow for us to have garage parking for 1 car;
5. that would allow for us to have 750 square feet or so of space; and
6. that would allow for us to buy a condo, as opposed to a co-op.

I'm thinking that NO neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens could possibly meet the above-listed criteria, but am I wrong? Thanks in advance for your input!
You have a lot of things on your list there. You might realistically have to give up one or two of those.

For starters, I think you can mostly forget Manhattan, unless you are fine with Harlem or Washington Heights, which are about as different as you can get from Westchester. There are a few condo developments in Harlem. But a lot of these developments are in East Harlem, which I would not recommend for late commuting.

Then there is the Bronx. Riverdale is an option. But a lot of people consider that an extension of Westchester. I don't know if you would consider that enough of a chance of pace. I do believe the express buses from Riverdale allow for the 40 minute commute you are looking for but I don't know how late they run. There's also Parkchester, very different from Westchester, accessible to Manhattan by 6 train and express buses, but with your budget you might want something nicer.

As for Brooklyn/Queens I wouldn't totally rule them out. But there seem to be a lot of co-ops and not as much condos there. But again, I wouldn't completely rule them out.

You can also look at Jersey. You can definitely find something there.

BTW, why are you set against co-ops? The process is a little longer, but they are generally more affordable.

Last edited by NooYowkur81; 07-21-2008 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:48 PM
 
10,626 posts, read 20,759,553 times
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I think Kew Gardens, Queens fits this criteria. It looks far out but there is the E/F train there (express) so that might fit the 40-minute commute - just not sure. The price range fits and Forest Park is right there, but I am not in the know about dog runs.

There might be something in Kensington, Brooklyn as well.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Check out Hunters Point in Long Island City. One stop on the 7 to 42 & Lex (far less than 40 mins), much more affordable than Manhattan for what you get.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:35 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,654,796 times
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The condo requirement is going to be your problem. Most of the condos in Queens are new, "luxury" construction. There are a lot of new condos near Queensborough Plaza, but I don't know what they cost. Nonetheless, new construction usually close to $1,000 a square foot. Your 750 square foot condo would be $750,000. Your best bet is Jersey, but that demands the question, if you expect to have a 40 minute commute, what is the advantage of leaving Westchester? Metro North goes into Grand Central. If you lived in Jersey you'd be stuck at Penn and still have to get across town to Lexington.

Presumably you want to live in the city to be in the city, i.e., to enjoy the restaurants, concerts, shows, clubs, etc. A 40 minute rush-hour commute by subway could easily become a 60 to 70 minute commute on nights/weekends. It would probably be faster to get to Westchester. Since you are an attorney you have the potential to make a lot more money in a few years. Perhaps renting for the time being would be a better option?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:01 PM
 
Location: New York City
1,836 posts, read 2,834,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedinwestchester View Post
I'm a 26 year old female currently renting in Westchester (Rye, NY) with my fiance. My apartment lease has ended, and I'm currently renting on a month-to-month basis.

Here's my problem: I would like to buy property (anything between 400-500K) sometime relatively soon, hopefully either late fall or this winter. However, I am pretty much sick of Westchester and would very much like to move somewhere in the city.

More specifically, I would ideally like to be somewhere:
1. that is within a 40-minute door-to-door commute to my office (on Lex & 42nd);
2. near a decent dog park- I have a 2 yr old golden retriever;
3. that is safe at nighttime (I am a young lawyer, so I am often stuck working late);
4. that would allow for us to have garage parking for 1 car;
5. that would allow for us to have 750 square feet or so of space; and
6. that would allow for us to buy a condo, as opposed to a co-op.

I'm thinking that NO neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens could possibly meet the above-listed criteria, but am I wrong? Thanks in advance for your input!

Kew Gardens- www.theclassickewgardens.com
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:46 PM
 
Location: East Village, NYC
217 posts, read 816,989 times
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You can get anything in Manhattan. You make A LOT of money and will for quite some time. If you can afford $500k right now, why not $800k+ and try for something in Grammercy Park? You could WALK to work. Don't even bother with Westchester, the Bronx or anywhere than MANHATTAN. You work there, why not live there. Besides, all things being in perspective, there's little worse than missing your train home after one of those 18-hour days you're working.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:29 PM
 
5 posts, read 46,191 times
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Thanks for your responses! To answer some of your questions:

I am not really THAT opposed to co-ops, but many of them seem to have extremely high association fees that would rival my current rent! Also, we are worried about restriction clauses in some co-op agreements (as to selling).

I thought about New Jersey and about Riverdale, but you're right that I don't feel that it is enough of a change from Westchester. We only know one other under 30 couple living in Rye, which seems to be populated with people aged 50+. We are not bar hoppers by any means, would would enjoy having a good variety of cheaper restaurants and some bars in our neighborhood. Also, although Metro North is convenient for us location-wise, we are kind-of sick of having to follow a train schedule- especially late at night when trains don't run as often and aren't express.

I have heard really good things about Kew Gardens and Forest Hills. I'll have to visit sometime soon. I also saw some condos that were about 500K in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, which I remember as nice neighborhoods from my college days in Manhattan.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Confused in Westchester,

I am a second-year law student who lives in Brooklyn Heights / Cobble Hill. I can tell you that your criteria can be met in Carroll Gardens, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, and Astoria. All have convenient transportation to Manhattan. For $500,000 you may even be able to find a 750 square foot apartment in the Upper East Side! In fact, I know it's possible because I was just looking at real estate listings the other day and saw a few (two walk-ups and two in newer, elevator buildings) that meet your criteria.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:02 PM
 
10,626 posts, read 20,759,553 times
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The re-sale issue in coops is a valid concern. If you can afford a condo (and it sounds like you can) then do it.

One thing to remember, though, is that coop maintenance fees include real estate taxes and condo mtn fees do not.
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