Monday, September 8, 2008

Uh can I borrow a dollar... or $150,000?

So I recently made the decision that I’m probably not leaving NYC any time soon. As many of you know, I've been talking about leaving for years, but honestly I'm tired of starting over in new places. I really don’t want to have to re-build a social network and enter into a brand new scene as a single woman... that might sound petty, but I just don't. If I move somewhere it’ll be with (or possibly for) a partner or maybe an awesome career opportunity, otherwise I’m just gonna stay my ass in Brooklyn.

That being said… I need to buy a place. I haven’t really given buying property in New York because, frankly, I thought anyone who bought an apartment/building in New york was completely out of their mind. Coming from Indiana where you can get a decent house for 150,000 it just seemed completely insane to spend 300-500,000 (minimum) for a tiny 1 bedroom apartment. Even in my so-called “up and coming” area of Bedford Stuyvesant (if an area with the nick name “Do or Die Bed Stuy” can really be considered up and coming…) a 2 bedroom condo is selling for 450-500,000 and a brownstone around the corner from me is selling for more than 800,000.

So what’s a damn-near 30 year old single gal to do? She’s gonna start saving her pennies and buy an apartment, that’s what!

So a friend and I (and possibly another friend) have starting putting together a plan to purchase a brownstone in Brooklyn in the next year or so. For those of you who aren’t familiar with NYC real estate (forgive me if there are brownstones in other places. I’ve been in New York for 5 years and I think I’m suffering from a little New-York-is-the-center-of-the-universe syndrome) a brownstone is essentially a multiple family home (they used to be one-family homes back in the day). Usually one person owns the entire brownstone and rents out units. I currently live a brownstone. The owner occupies the basement and 1st floor and rents out the top 2 floors. I love brownstones. They are really the quintessential Brooklyn residence (or at least it seems so to a Non-native like me).

So….. now that that is decided, the hard part is going to be coming up with a 20% deposit on a 750,000 building (yes… that’s 150,000 for those of you that are slow)… The likelihood of us being able to save the full 20% down is… well pretty much impossible, so we’re shooting for having 10% down, which is %75,000. If all 3 of us go in on it (ie splitting up the brownstone into units and buying it like a condo of sorts) that would be about 25,000 per person down…. Still quite a lofty goal. But I guess that’s what needs to be done if I’m dedicating myself to staying in this God forsaken yet beautiful place.

Wish me luck ya’ll. If anyone has any expertise in home buying or saving, or programs… or if anyone just wants to GIVE me 20-30,000 for a down payment, please do let me know.

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