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Old 10-29-2008, 12:49 PM
 
13 posts, read 34,307 times
Reputation: 12

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I know prices are decreasing, but westchester seems to be showing some resilience, at least for the time being. We're looking for a condo/coop in a descent area and in a decent complex. Nothing fancy - 1 bedroom, under 1000 square feet for under 300,000 (the smaller the mortgage the better).

Schools do not matter for us. No kids. We'd prefer to be by a metro north station, and would like to be somewhat more north (no new rochelle / yonkers). We wouldnt mind being near white plains but probably not in white plains as we are concerned with some parts not being too safe.

Our alternative would to flee the NY area completely to somewhere more affordable.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:03 PM
 
13 posts, read 34,307 times
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I already live in NY. I'm talking about the transition from college --> real world. It seems my options are to

a) give a nice chunk of my money to a landlord forever
b) buy a dump of a condo to attempt to have some kind of equity in an asset
c) leave NY completely
d) live with my parents until i'm 30

Back in the day say 15 years ago, i hear, new couples starting out were able to buy starter homes for in the 100,000's. It's just disheartening when starter homes in some areas are half a million dollars. I remember when 1 million dollars used to make you "rich". Now it's a minimum.

What about the 20 somethings making 6 figures now that still can't afford a roof over their head while living frugaly?
That's the aftermath of the housing bubble that a lot of people seem to ignore.

Any specific condo complexes you recommend in the white plains surrounding area? Maybe hartsdale / scarsdale? Garth road seems to have a lot of co-ops. How is that area?
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, VT
151 posts, read 583,001 times
Reputation: 73
Sorry Wolfgang,

Seems my original name violated TOS so I had to change it.

Purchasing a home,Condo, co-op is not for everyone. Just because I make a living helping people buy and sell homes, I would not be honest to say everyone should do that. There is a real benefit to renting and there is a real benefit to owning. Though I am familiar with the areas you mentioned, I really cover North of 287 simply because of logistics.

It will cost you nothing to speak to a Real Estate agent, just be sure you are talking to a Buyers Agent. I would start with the Pre Approval Process. Roughly 40-50% of your income can be used toward housing, but the final number will be affected by other loans: Student, Car, Personal, Credit Card Debt etc. Once you find out how much you can get approved for, see what a mortgage payment with taxes and common charges will run you. Add up all your debt including this figure and see if you NET this amount every month. You should end up with a 10% cushion. That is 10% of the net income should still be left over.

Armed with that info, you can go back to the agent and start looking at properties. There are great and affordable locations in every area, just don't get hung up on zip codes! For instance; The areas you mentioned are pricey, yet I can get you into a brand new town home right on the Hudson line for the same price if not less.

Hope this answers your questions.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:57 AM
 
13 posts, read 34,307 times
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Thanks for the reply. I'd like that 10% cushion to be more like 30-40%, which is why i'd like to put around 50% down on the condo. Any areas in particular? If i got a condo, i'd prefer it to cost around 250k tops. I'm starting to notice the cost of owning a condo can be huge with the monthly fees. The fees alone can be almost as much as rent would be. In terms of renting, is 1,000-1,500 a month on rent do-able in a decent complex?
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, VT
151 posts, read 583,001 times
Reputation: 73
Where you are looking, that amount of money would get you a Studio to One Bedroom. Remember that a portion of your mortgage off sets your income taxes.30-40% cushion is un-reasonable. That means you want to bank 40% of your income into a savings account! So if you are earning $80k annually, you are willing to put aside $32k per year into a savings account. If you could do that, live with someone for a few years and you could put down 50% on the purchase. Not only is that unreasonable, but it is also a poor way to manage money.

You pay taxes on your income. Mortgages offset those taxes! Unless you have no income, you should always have a mortgage. Car Payments, Credit Card Payments; those you can eliminate, but you want to have a mortgage payment.

If you think the monthly fees in a co-op (fees include the taxes there) or condo/townhome (fees do not include taxes for the most part) then you will be in for a shock as to what it costs to operate a house. Repairs, Maintenance, Mowing, Snow Removal etc. Most people can not replace what they get for their commons fees unless they do all the work themselves. That is fine for some and not for others. If you like to travel or have weekends to yourself, Single Family Homes are out and Condo/Co-Op/Townhomes are the way to go.

Larry
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:02 PM
 
61 posts, read 154,643 times
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Hey fellow 20 somethings'. To be blunt, you are right. This area is totally unaffordable. My wife and I are 26 and own a condo. One bedroom and 800 square feet. It has been ok for the past 2 years but we are now looking to expand our family and move into a house. I spoke to a mortgage expert yesterday and said it is unlikely or will be very difficult to get a mortgage for a home. Mind you that My wife and I are making 200k together and have more than 20% down with a 785 credit score. It totally sucks that the median income in westchester county is approximately 110-120k but the median home price is 720-750k. A simple affordability calculator is that you should be able to afford a home with a 30 year fixed mortgage that is 3x your annual income. As you see that would mean that most of NY would be condo bound and probably only a 1 bedroom in a very par building.

What is even more hilarious is that now Obama wants me to give my money away to the people who live in the 1.4 million dollar homes with incomes of 120k when I can only get a 350k condo according to today lending rules. This area is so messed up. My advice is run for the hills unless you are trying to work here for your younger years to save up and buy a house in a less inflated area.

To all you older readers who say us young people have to pay
our dues, quit thinking you are better than us just because you got into the market before it blew up. It isn't a matter of having to wait our turn, it is a matter of you totally inflating the market. I worked from the time I was 12, paid for my own college tuition, and work a minimum of 70 hours a week. So quit trying to say that twenty year-olds want everything handed to them.

No offense to anyone but realize the situation for what it is. Im not asking for a handout I am just asking that I continue to be allowed to work hard and keep what I earn so I can too someday buy a lovely 700k STARTER home.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:37 AM
 
701 posts, read 3,177,847 times
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Bono... I don't think anyone was looking for political spin (and false spin at that).
The reality is, me and my family is in a similar situation... Income slightly over 200K, enough money for 20% down, and looking to expand. Yes, in Westchester, it is quite hard to find a decent home in a decent school district for under 750K. Our mortgage companies have approved us for a $650K mortgage (So I don't understand why you can only get approved for 350), but we are not necessarily enthusiastic about stretching our maximum approval.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:40 AM
 
701 posts, read 3,177,847 times
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Yes, you should be able to find a co-op or condo in many parts of Westchester, on that budget. I wouldn't be concerned about "safety" in White Plains. It's a city that has come a long way with all the recent development. You can easily afford a nice pre-way coop in the budget you laid out, in White Plains. Also, to be near a train station, there are plenty of choices in coops in Hartsdale. Garth Road in Scarsdale could provide options, as well as a few options in Mamaroneck.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:47 AM
 
13 posts, read 34,307 times
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SLP- I know it seems unreasonable. But at the same time, a 10% cushion might be too. With the layoffs in this current economy, if one person loses their job, say goodbye to your home. Say we make 12,000 pre-tax a month. I want a mortage of under 2,000 a month. I understand the tax benefits, but it's hard to justify spending that much on a mortage to save only a percentage of the interest payment in taxes.

These are rough numbers: Say bought a 230k condo and put down 30k. I took a 200k 30 year mortgage at 6%. My monthly payment is around 1250. 1250x12x30 = 450,000 total payments at the end of the loan. Heck of a lot to pay for a 230k condo. Tax savings in my first year is 4k, but my intest paid is 12k in that same year.

My way, putting down 130k on this same condo with a 15 year morgage @ 5.5, my monthly payment is just over 800 dollars. 800*12*15 = 144,000. Only 44k in interest, with a significantly lower monthly payment to worry about.

Yes the tax benefits are better on the 30 year loan, but it's hard to justify spending money only to save a portion of it.

Also I do agree - homes are out, condos are in.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:14 AM
 
13 posts, read 34,307 times
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Bono-

I like your jaded attitude. Although you two make about 50k more a year than we do, 150k a year should be enough to live comfortably - not scrape by in a 1 bedroom apartment.

I think as baby boomers retire and take their money to florida, these areas are in for a very rude awakening. When the wealth (read: people that got in early) is gone, who's going to buy these artificially inflated homes? Personally, i will not buy a 750k house where the house itself is worth 150k. Is the property really that valuable? Or the better question is, what happened in the past 10 years that made the property 2-3x as valuable? Did they pave the streets with gold? If 25-26 year olds making 150-200k a year can't do it, the ones making half as much certainly can't.

I couldnt agree more about our elders saying we need to pay our dues. I started mowing lawns at 13. By 16, I was working 60+ hours a week BACK THEN (only during the summer of course), making 500-600 a week sometimes... big bucks for a 10th grader. I worked hard through college to land a descent job. I'm working hard for my professional certs. I work hard after I got the job to get promoted--- well, you get the point.

We're not looking for a handout. We just want a roof over our heads to call home without going into bankruptcy.

Glad i'm not alone. I don't think enough people our age voice an opinion on this topic.
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