Home Buying in Inwood>Question Details

Inwoodbuyer, Home Buyer in New York, NY

We are first time home buyers looking to buy a small co-op apartment in Inwood, New York. We're definitely

Asked by Inwoodbuyer, New York, NY Wed Jul 2, 2008

going to be in NYC for the next 3 years, but don't know how long after that. Is it a good idea to buy for (perhaps) such a short period? Does anyone have a sense of the future of the Inwood market specifically?

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9
well if you buy make sure you have a good deposit - if not rent - if you want to save more deposit - get back to me secondincomeclub@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 4, 2014
That’s a good question, the future of Inwood, along with Hudson Heights etc…I can tell you that I’ve done extensive work in the area and it’s still one of the best areas per square foot that you’ll get in the city. For instance you can get a rut renovated two bedroom, totally new, no board approval (co-op) and it’s one of those rare buildings that permits you to sublease immediately for an indefinite amount of time. A one bedroom is approx $275K, two bedrooms are approx:$380K once again in mint condition, walking distance from the Cloisters which is an excellent area..You’ll also find great units in upper Manhattan, Inwood, Heights “but” will you find a gut renovated apartment with no board approval that permits subleasing from day one? You have a lot to choose from and to answer your question the neighborhood is changing and improving. Feel free to contact me for all your real estate needs and best of luck!!

Tony Lara
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Rutenberg Realty
tlara@crrnyc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 23, 2011
That’s a good question, the future of Inwood, along with Hudson Heights etc…I can tell you that I’ve done extensive work in the area and it’s still one of the best areas per square foot that you’ll get in the city. For instance you can get a rut renovated two bedroom, totally new, no board approval (co-op) and it’s one of those rare buildings that permits you to sublease immediately for an indefinite amount of time. A one bedroom is approx $275K, two bedrooms are approx:$380K once again in mint condition, walking distance from the Cloisters which is an excellent area..You’ll also find great units in upper Manhattan, Inwood, Heights “but” will you find a gut renovated apartment with no board approval that permits subleasing from day one? You have a lot to choose from and to answer your question the neighborhood is changing and improving. Feel free to contact me for all your real estate needs and best of luck!!

Tony Lara
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Rutenberg Realty
tlara@crrnyc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 23, 2011
I know and work in INwood.But understanding the market we are in right now.i would reccommednd rrenting.call me and we can work this out 516 455-8391
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Joan,

We live in Los Angeles and want to buy a property in Inwood, NYC, 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, near a park and 207th street metro, not a busy street, 1st floor. Our son now lives in Washington Heights and the three of us want to move to Inwood, NYC. Please let me know your thoughts. I am at peaches.samuels1135@gmail.com. Thank you, Joan. Jeffrey Samuels
Flag Sat May 25, 2013
Problem is, you are not going to find a decent rental for $1,290/month in Inwood. Try those numbers again with a rental of $1,600 - $2,000 for a 1BR and see what you come up with against a buying price of $250,000. And always beware of anything you see on CL.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
For fun, I plugged Zack's numbers into the NY Times calculator, which uses defaults that they believe to be reasonable for the near-term future.

The result, using default settings for all taxes/growth rates/etc: "Buying is never better than renting over 30 years."

To make it better, you have to use bubble-tastic levels of annual home price appreciation, which simply aren't realistic.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
Wow, Zack was certainly thorough there. As for the rent versus buy calculators, the NY Times has a great one that you can use to compare specific scenarios:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/2007_BUYRENT_GRAP…

Plug in your numbers and see how it stands. I'd be shocked if buying came out ahead for that sort of short time period. Generally speaking, the only person who wins in a short-term purchase is the Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
** reposted to fix typos **

"Is it a good idea to buy for (perhaps) such a short period?"

Almost certainly not. Its really just a math problem.

Since you're buying a co-op, you'll need a 20% downpayment, plus closing costs in NY tend to be 2-4%, then you'll pay another 7-9% to sell your property when you move (6% to realtor, 1-3% closing costs, transfer tax, etc). So say you buy a 300k co-op, you'll need 60k right now to put down, plus another 6-12k for closing costs right now. Say it goes up to 360k in 3 years, 6.25% increase per year, which is much higher than usual so probably unrealistic, but we'll use it. You will then pay another 25.2k to 32.4k to sell the place. We'll give you a 30 yr fixed at 6%, which may not be attainable, but if you're going in 3 years, get a 5 or 7 year ARM for some cushion and the improved rate. Anyway, so your monthly payment for mortgage and maintenance will be ~2k/mo. I used this apt for cost and maintenance: http://realestate.nytimes.com/sales/detail/221-837227. So to buy for 3 years(i'll use 2% and 8% for closing costs for simplicity):

you will pay:
~66k immediately
~2k/mo in monthly payments or 72k over 3 years
when you sell, you will receive:
91.2k proceeds from sale (120k - 28.8k closing costs)

66k of that 91.2k was yours to begin with, so you make 25.2k.
So for 3 years, you 46.8k for shelter, 72k in payments - 25.2k in profit.

If you were to rent, say you rent this apt: http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/fee/740227114.html for $1290 a month, and you take your 66k and buy a 3 year CD at 4.36% (today's national avg). We'll assume rent will rise at 5% each year, which is high, but ok, and a 1 month broker fee to rent. renting will look like this:

Year 1: $16770 (1290 * 12 + 1290 fee)
Year 2: $16254
Year 3: $17066
Total: = $50090

3 year CD will return $13165
So your cost of shelter for 3 years will be $50,090 - $13,165 = $36,925

So using these number, which are EXTREMELY generous to the purchase side of the equation, it will be ~$10,000 cheaper to rent than to buy. This doesn't take into account the tax benefits you can get from purchasing, although counting on those is getting dangerous as there is talk of the next administration repealing the mortgage interest deduction which will decimate housing. Also, if you do not itemize today, you won't be getting a full deduction anyway, only the difference between the standard deduction and you're new itemized amount. I also assumed housing in manhattan will grow at 6.25% for the next 3 years when we are facing a housing decline and a national credit crunch. Its much more likely that the price you pay today will be the same as the price you sell for in 3 years, then the closing costs for selling will be a bit smaller, but you won't have 60k in profit, so you'll be looking at a huge red number. I assumed a 5% increase annually in rent which is high, and had you invest your downpayment in a CD which generally is one of hte lowest investment returns, but its guaranteed, so it could make sense in the current economy.

Either way, you should look around for rent/buy calculators yourself and check the area you're looking in for prices to purchase and prices to rent. Even in manhattan the equation is way in favor of renting after the current runup in prices. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and make an informed decision. Good luck.

Zack
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
I would always say it is better to buy, especially in Manhattan - if you can afford it. Renting merely provides you a place to live and guarantees that you will never see that money again. Inwood is a beuatiful neighborhood and is one of the more affordable areas in Manhattan, a lot of co-ops and not much new condo construction. And three years is actually a decent amount of time. Only time will tell what the market will be like in three years, but Manhattan real estate has held up very well despite the problems most of the rest of the country is having, so I would say buying, even if only for three years, would be worth it. Even if the market were to go down, you can hold on to it and sublet after you move away and sell later. Anyway, give me a call, I'm very familiar with Inwood and would be happy to help you find a home in the area. 917-657-6532 or email rdaub@warburgrealty.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
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