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Old 01-16-2013, 12:53 PM
 
886 posts, read 960,692 times
Reputation: 1405

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Quote:
Originally Posted by on-wheels View Post
Very solid advice here guys. Much appreciated!


What Queens neighborhoods would you recommend in addition to the ones already listed?

I like Astoria/LIC a lot but I think we've been priced out from those neighborhoods.

Long island was another consideration, but my wife doesn't like it out there so much. I know picky wife, but I tell her beggars cannot be chosers, lol. Taxes and commuting costs are a big minus, but better schools out there somewhat make up for that.

No wonder people take a long time to make this kind of purchases, there's a lot of factors to consider.
If you like Astoria/LIC, there are still some Co-op's that would be in your price range. I know some of the older Co-op's on Crescent, around the Broadway area, go for around 240K for a 2br. However, I can't attest for the quality of the Co-op's or building. You would have to find that out for yourself.

Queens neighborhoods that are in your price range, yet still close to your work would be along the Queens Blvd E/F trains, like forest hills and Kew Gardens. Or Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights along the 7 train.

Forest Hills and Kew Gardens are more upscale neighborhoods, and therefore more expensive. If don't mind paying a little more, they are certainly worth the extra price. Check them out for yourself.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 PM
 
1,092 posts, read 1,374,810 times
Reputation: 742
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoltrane View Post
There needs to be a 'staring blinking in disbelief' smiley!

Kid, how old are you?
Clearly OP does too since he's considering living in areas where schools have a D rank?
Said that to be nice and uh probably older than you my friend

Anyways, people that go to crappy schools can get into top 30 schools. Your address doesn't weigh much in the recruiting process. It's your essays-gpa-SAT-mood of recruiter-did you visit school. That's what I said and you are disagreeing with me so OK no biggy.
___________________________________________

Anyway since no one mentioned cons:

When you buy think resale and it's an investment.

-you don't necessarily "own" anything
-can't choose who you rent to (board does)
-Co-ops lose a LOT of value when markets bad
-Hardly if ever co-ops appreciate in value like houses do
-The real reason $50K not enough is because co-ops ask for 20-50% down payment often + maintenance
-Second reason, good luck finding financing

Why condo first:

-160K salary, no debt, seriously people he passes the ratio
-You own your property-sell it, rent it, destroy it, idc it's yours
-Tax deductibles easy to find
-You'll never see a d/p > 25%
-FINANCING FINANCING FINANCING

Sounds like to me most people in here only deal with co-ops and know nothing about condos. Financing aka many possibilities. Here is an example of a sale done in 2007:

-Price for condo $420K
-d/p is 20%
-Negotiations- no one mentioned this which is quite funny actually not really co-op you don't negotiate
-price drops to $400K (different appraisals)
-Women only had $40K for d/p and salary is $110K
-Home equity loan (not popular anymore, but its just one of many)
-Bingo 80K for d/p

Financing dude something many people don't know. What's popular today are loans like FHA. That means you only need a down payment of 3.5%. So, if we use above example, she'd only need $14K to do the FHA loan. Other loans exists where your d/p is 0%. Stop reading this garbage about you can only get co-ops and talk to a real estate agent and see your options. Do you really think that half of these people that live in $300K-$500K+ condos walked in the door with $70K-$100K cash? You seriously think that? Of course getting these loans are difficult, but it is possible.

Someone mentioned Bronxville...avg. home price in Bronxville is $700,000. The average medium household income is $180,000. Talk to a real estate agent.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,898 posts, read 5,395,758 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilksFavoriteCookie View Post
I've seen condos/ houses in my area lose 30% of their value. 50K is more than enough for a down payment on a condo/house. If you are willing to take out a home equity loan, you can increase your options. You just need to look hard enough.
50k more than enough for condo and HOUSES?

really?

What area is that?


And how do you take a home equity loan without having a home?

you don't make any sense bud.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:29 PM
 
5,923 posts, read 5,993,106 times
Reputation: 7068
Quote:
Originally Posted by on-wheels View Post

My rent right now is $1,500 for a 1 1/2 br in Long Island city. The land lady already said she'd like to raise it soon, due to us having a newborn at home.

The way, I see it, rent can only go one way. And that is; UP.
The same could be said about co-op mantenience, but if our monthly housing expenses go also toward some equitity that builds over over, I think it might be better to own vs renting over the long run.

I think a monthly housing expense of $1,800-1,900 is what we can afford without being struggling or poor home-owners. Like I said on a previous post, our salaries are likely to go up, but I prefer not to count on that for this purpose.

Not sure if $1,800-1,900 is a realistic monthly housing expense to own a 2br. What do you think ?

Based on your salary, I think your budget is fine. But jcoltrane's points are well taken---save that post or print it. I think picking up the book someone recommended is a good idea too.

Your landlord could raise your rent---but you can also negotiate with her. Maybe she'll only raise it $50 and allow you to sign a lease for the next two years. You don't really know until you talk to her. My husband and I took the opposite approach of most people and purchased something similar to what we were renting and after our d/p (30%), our mortgage+maintenance is about $150 less/month. We probably will end up saving more than that in the long-run with STAR, gas now being included in our maintenance and any tax-related benefits. If you want to save aggressively for the next year, you really could. Our household income is less than yours and if we stick to our budget, we can save over 30K/year.

If I were you, I would: (1) Research the neighborhoods a little more and start to know what prices are like. You can look in multiple neighborhoods if you want using Trulia/StreetEasy/ETC. See what you can get for your money and see what's out there. Check out the neighborhoods---physically. Drive around, walk around, check out the parking situation if you have a car, etc.

(2) Save up some more money for a d/p. Even if you have a d/p to put down, some co-ops want to see that you have some money in reserve. I'm not sure when you plan on buying but remember it will take around three months to close and depending on your bank, maybe longer. I gave you a scenario of how much it would cost you based on some numbers you gave---those numbers will fluctuate greatly depending on your mortgage and maintenance costs.

(3) And this point should probably go first but it could actually be after you consider the above---decide if it is actually worth it. If you are going to stay there long-term, then I would say that it could be a maybe. If you think you're going to move into a bigger place or if you want something new in a few years, don't do it. After paying co-op application fees, mortgage fee, closing fees, lawyers, etc, it will take you awhile to get that money back if at all. Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:55 PM
 
5,923 posts, read 5,993,106 times
Reputation: 7068
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilksFavoriteCookie View Post

When you buy think resale and it's an investment.

-you don't necessarily "own" anything
-can't choose who you rent to (board does)
-Co-ops lose a LOT of value when markets bad
-Hardly if ever co-ops appreciate in value like houses do
-The real reason $50K not enough is because co-ops ask for 20-50% down payment often + maintenance
-Second reason, good luck finding financing

Why condo first:

-160K salary, no debt, seriously people he passes the ratio
-You own your property-sell it, rent it, destroy it, idc it's yours
-Tax deductibles easy to find
-You'll never see a d/p > 25%
-FINANCING FINANCING FINANCING

You mention financing a lot but not everyone wants to finance like crazy. I did not want to pay PMI. I did not want to have a huge mortgage payment (which I would have with a condo) plus maintenance fees (which are absurdly high for some condos) and taxes---a lot of the abatements in my area are running out within the next few years. In certain areas of Brooklyn, like mine, it will be nearly impossible to find a two-bedroom condo for less than 420K. Most of them are 500K+ and I have seen condos listed at 1.5 million, which I find absolutely insane. Condo values, much like some of the houses in my area, have also dropped so they are not immune. In all of my searching, I found a single one-bedroom condo I could afford in my area and it was very small and needed quite a bit of work. Tiny studio condos sell for 250K+.

I got the impression from the OP that he wasn't looking to take out multiple loans, have big mortgage payments and/or finance most of it. I could be wrong---maybe he doesn't care. But whether or not he can afford a condo really depends on what area(s) his family is/are willing to reside.

Financing for a co-op is very easy to find depending on your building/the bank. You can also find co-ops that accept 10% down if you look around. The OP just needs to do some heavy research and run the numbers.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,896 posts, read 9,044,704 times
Reputation: 2050
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilksFavoriteCookie View Post
I've seen condos/ houses in my area lose 30% of their value. 50K is more than enough for a down payment on a condo/house. If you are willing to take out a home equity loan, you can increase your options. You just need to look hard enough.
LMAO!!

A "home equity loan" on a Purchase!!!

Airbourne, am I missing something?? Sarcasm flying over my head maybe???

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:51 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,896 posts, read 9,044,704 times
Reputation: 2050
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astorian31 View Post
You have some good advice, however, there are a few points I'd like to make.

1. Regardless of the disadvantages/advantages of co-ops vs condos, condo's are out of the OP's' price range unless the Op can come up with a bigger downpayment. Co-op's are really their only option.
I don't agree that to be true. Price is *dependant*.

Let's say a buyer can afford $250K. According to your view, nowhere can there be a condo priced at $250K. Yes, in the same area, there may be coops which are cheaper, but it is not a standard rule that condos are unaffordable. If a condo is preferred, you simply have to find one which suits your budget.

Also, in my experience, developers who build to spec, often are VERY flexible and anxious to make first sales. So, in the right circumstance a deal can be made, just have to *shop*!

Again, to emphasize:

Condo/coop in Area A (most expensive): Condo/coop in Area B (less expensive); Condo/coop in Area C (affordable area).

What you allude is that the Condo in Area C, can never be less costly than the coops in area A and B. Obviously, not true. So, its all a matter of shopping.

Quote:
2. Location matters a lot more than you make it out to be. You can find the perfect Co-op but if you don't like the location, it's best to just keep looking rather than settle down. Buying is a big investment, so you have to be happy with everything. Thats why the OP SHOULD check out the areas mentioned on here, and then look for the "perfect" co-op.
I am a NYer, so I think like a NYer. The "perfect" condo, for example, for me, w/b a 5000 sq ft on Fifth Ave or CPW, but that is NOT happening!! So, "perfect" isn't a NYC reality for the overwhelming majority of the population.

Just like with renting, you purchase where you can afford. Your budget dictates location and everything else. Otherwise no one would live in crappy neighborhoods!! Gotta be real!!

In NYC, the average person will NEVER be "happy with everything"! Life in NYC is ALL about finding the "perfect" COMPROMISE!!

The OP gave me the impression that a *good* financial circumstance is the priorty!!!

His is a VERY *marginal* financial circumstance. $50K may seem like a lot of money, but in the scheme of NYC (including the boroughs), it is not much at all. Marginal.

Quote:
3. His wife works in Midtown. Getting to Midtown from Brooklyn can be a chore, especially considering how slow the Brooklyn/manhattan crossings are.
A ZILLION people do it EVERY DAY!! "Slow crossings"? What are you talking about? The "crossings" are virtually the same evrywhere. There is no long term advantage whatsoever!!

For example, on the "B" line, taking the "Express", depending upon location 30 to 60 minutes. Transplants have some *warped* sense of commuting!! Mine is from the perspective of a born and bred NYer!! An hour commute is the STANDARD and is the NORM! Particularly so, when money is an issue!! Got a family, got small money? Get used to it! Besides, 60 minutes gets you more VALUE!!

Also, a matter of opinion, but along the B line are more liveable neighborhoods, far less dense, diverse, and noisy!!

Quote:
It's a lot closer and faster to midtown from Queens,
Doesn't it depend upon WHERE in Queens??

In the OP's case, the consideration is affordable housing on his budget. Finding the best *value* for his budget will take him DEEP into Queens!!! Which means a longer commute. I do not believe you are considering apples to apples. Neighborhhods with the best value, are 60 minute commutes and in "two fare zones", which means a bus to the subway. Most of Queens and specifically eastern Queens is a two fare zone.

Brooklyn in comparison has VERY few two fare zones!!

So, just for arguments sake, "closer" isn't necessarily faster! Also, many of the "close" areas in Queens are VERY dense. Some might be attracted to that, some might not. I am particularly not!

Quote:
...and it's not hard to get to Downtown Brooklyn from Queens.
Define "hard".

Quote:
The E/F run express, ...
I won't comment much on the "E" train, as it is one I am not overly familiar with. In my very weak opinion, it goes to areas, I do not think of as very attractive. To some extent I am correct, to another I may be quite wrong.

Regarding the "F" train, yes, it is an express, and *can* be a quick ride into midtown from *western* Queens, but the father east the longer it takes.

Moreover, and IMPORTANTLY, again, the DENSITY thing!!! From my understanding, NOT my experience, it is a VERY VERY VERY crowded subway line!! Actually, getting onto a subway car is a total PITA!! You often have to allow train after train to pass by, before you can squeeze on.

Also, those IND stations are gosh awful disgusting!! Never having been renovated, they are literally the same as in the bad old days!! Dirty, dirty, dirty! Oh, and they are *deep* and cavernous! Long walk to reach the platform and to get out. Totally a no go late nights!

All in all, it is a poor ride, say compared to the Brooklyn "B" line. The neighborhoods along the line are far less dense!!! The platforms are outdoors. Virtually all stations are renovated, and NYC dirty *clean*.

Quote:
...and the transfer from Court St. to G is easy.
Remind me again, WHY are we on the "G" train??? Transfering from where to where? Btw, isn't the G another overly crowded line?

Quote:
There will be more neighborhoods available in the OP's price range in Queens then in Brooklyn, so don't rule out Queens for the OP.
Never been to Brooklyn have you?

Available neighborhoods? I disagree!! Seems to me that you do NOT *know * Brooklyn much at all!!

I do rule out Queens, simply because the commute to Downtown Brooklyn is impractical!! Just as I stated.

Specifically compared to any equally affordable Brooklyn neighborhood!!!

The wife's commute into Manhattan will be relatively simple and easy from either borough or neighborhood in the boroughs. Comparing the commute (and apartment budget), it is far SIMPLER, QUICKER and COMFORTABLE, Brooklyn to Brooklyn!!! To think anything otherwise is simply unknowing.

For example, Kings Highway to Atlantic or Dekalb in Brooklyn on the "B" s/b 30 minutes or less!!

Quote:
In the end, the OP should first find which neighborhoods he likes best in his price range, and then go about finding a good Co-Op.
No argument there, but "best" is a subjective, and it is all about the "best" *compromise*!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:29 AM
 
84 posts, read 223,433 times
Reputation: 27
Again thanks so much for your helpful input.

I was a talking to a guy the other day and he told me about FHA loans.
What are your thoughts on these types of loans?

Apparently with this type of loans you can give as little as 3.5% down, and they are good to purchase condos or single family houses.


I'd love a house, but the cheapest one I've seen (in a decent neighborhood) go for about 400k. Given the low D/P you can make with these loans, it would open up some other options that I wasn't considering.


Is this a good idea?

btw, city living, if you don't mind me asking, what neighborhood you purchased in?
what's the size, and average price range?


Thanks a lot everybody, (especially JColtrane, City living, Astorian and BMWguy) you've been very informative.



Quote:
Originally Posted by city living View Post
Based on your salary, I think your budget is fine. But jcoltrane's points are well taken---save that post or print it. I think picking up the book someone recommended is a good idea too.

Your landlord could raise your rent---but you can also negotiate with her. Maybe she'll only raise it $50 and allow you to sign a lease for the next two years. You don't really know until you talk to her. My husband and I took the opposite approach of most people and purchased something similar to what we were renting and after our d/p (30%), our mortgage+maintenance is about $150 less/month. We probably will end up saving more than that in the long-run with STAR, gas now being included in our maintenance and any tax-related benefits. If you want to save aggressively for the next year, you really could. Our household income is less than yours and if we stick to our budget, we can save over 30K/year.

If I were you, I would: (1) Research the neighborhoods a little more and start to know what prices are like. You can look in multiple neighborhoods if you want using Trulia/StreetEasy/ETC. See what you can get for your money and see what's out there. Check out the neighborhoods---physically. Drive around, walk around, check out the parking situation if you have a car, etc.

(2) Save up some more money for a d/p. Even if you have a d/p to put down, some co-ops want to see that you have some money in reserve. I'm not sure when you plan on buying but remember it will take around three months to close and depending on your bank, maybe longer. I gave you a scenario of how much it would cost you based on some numbers you gave---those numbers will fluctuate greatly depending on your mortgage and maintenance costs.

(3) And this point should probably go first but it could actually be after you consider the above---decide if it is actually worth it. If you are going to stay there long-term, then I would say that it could be a maybe. If you think you're going to move into a bigger place or if you want something new in a few years, don't do it. After paying co-op application fees, mortgage fee, closing fees, lawyers, etc, it will take you awhile to get that money back if at all. Good luck!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Astorian31 View Post
If you like Astoria/LIC, there are still some Co-op's that would be in your price range. I know some of the older Co-op's on Crescent, around the Broadway area, go for around 240K for a 2br. However, I can't attest for the quality of the Co-op's or building. You would have to find that out for yourself.

Queens neighborhoods that are in your price range, yet still close to your work would be along the Queens Blvd E/F trains, like forest hills and Kew Gardens. Or Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights along the 7 train.

Forest Hills and Kew Gardens are more upscale neighborhoods, and therefore more expensive. If don't mind paying a little more, they are certainly worth the extra price. Check them out for yourself.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:38 PM
 
84 posts, read 223,433 times
Reputation: 27
Bump to see if anyone has any prior experience with FHA loans.

Thanks
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