The American Dream of Co-op Issued Share Ownership
January 17, 2014 8:21 AM Subscribe
NYC co-op apartment owners (and anyone with relevant apartment experience) I need your help in figuring out where to compromise on our dream home. It gets long.
posted by griphus to Home & Garden (38 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, we're getting priced out of where we'd like to move, which is not unexpected. But I just want to figure out what the smart compromise to make is. When we make a choice it's going to have to be FAST. I'm starting to become afraid I won't even have time to get an engineer to see the place before putting in an offer on an apartment we like which, at this point, is a risk I am willing to take. I don't have a lot of experience in living in places that aren't spartan, my wife grew up in a rural area, we're planning to have a kid in the near future, and I'm
a little totally lost as far as priorities are concerned.
So I made a list of things we're looking for, but I'm not sure how to realistically prioritize it. Is a nicer bathroom a fair trade for having to walk five extra blocks to the train? How much square footage should we sacrifice for being able to walk to friends' places? Obviously you are not us, and you have your own priorities, but this is sort of a sanity check because, as I said, my priorities are jumbled between "stuff we want emotionally" and "stuff we need practically" and I want to make sure we make the best decision for our family.
-Size: We'd prefer over 1000 sq. ft. and a bare minimum of 900. Dropping down to 875 is, like, the nuclear option, but it is on the table.
-Distance from Friends/Neighborhood amenities: With the way things are changing right now, it is all up in the air. People are buying instead of renting, getting priced out of their rentals, etc. But the general idea is the more south we go, the farther we are from places we want to be (hopefully) within walking distance to. Especially once everyone starts growing their families. Right now we live far from the action and I feel like our social lives suffer. We've been really, really looking forward to living near our friends, especially as they are our main support group (my family is dead, her family isn't in NYC.)
-Distance from Public Transportation: We don't drive, walking in the rain sucks, and we're planning on raising kids in there so I figure being able to get them to/from the train is rather important. I'm seriously considering that we may need to get a vehicle but, again, nuclear option.
-Price: We'll be putting ~50% down. We set an upper limit of a certain amount we're willing to pay, raised it, and, again it's starting to seem like not enough. Which makes sense because prices are skyrocketing. I can grit my teeth and go up $25K if it will get us our dream apartment, but is it worth it? I've never dealt with these sorts of sums before. (NB to not-NYC people: real estate doesn't really depreciate save for lack of maintenance. I am not at all worried about paying for more than the eventual resale value. I just don't want to pay more money.)
-General Upkept-ness: We're not handy people and while a little fix here or there may be okay, I'm not about to become Fixit McToolbelt. Any major project will need to be done by either contractors, or our more handy friends who have their own lives and will also expect some money. I want things like "newer appliances," "decent shelves and countertops," "not an aqua green 1970s bathroom," and so on. The problem is that the nicer and newer things are, the more they cost.
-Windows: We live in an apartment where there are no windows in the living room. I desperately need a bright living room. Or do I?
-First Floor: I have a serious aversion to living on the first floor of an apartment building. Is it overblown if we're living in a rather safe neighborhood and smart about closing and locking things?