Harold, Home Buyer in Hong Kong

My daughter wants to attend Sarah Lawrence College.

Asked by Harold, Hong Kong Wed Apr 16, 2008

I don't know the area. Is it practical to buy an apartment within easy walking distance of campus that would be considered to be in a good safe, area? 2-bedroom would be OK.

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I am looking to rent a full apartment on the top floor of my house. If this is interesting please give me a call at 617-646-9810. Sarah Lawrence is a short distance from my house. I have previously rented to students and they have always been very happy living with us. Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 26, 2009
Sarah Lawrence College has some great coops within walking distance. Check out Vincent Arms or Bronxville Arms. Askrey.net
Web Reference: http://www.askrey.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
My husband and I are starting the college search ourselves and I can relate as a parent to your question. I have not yet toured Sarah Lawrence (on the list), but after visiting some other schools, I am thinking it is very possible that the safest place for a student may be living on campus. There is indeed safety in numbers and we discovered that in addition to having security personal on staff, several schools have certain plans and programs in place to protect students. We visited one school where a student can call a number and have someone from the school walk them back to their dorm so they are not walking alone. I doubt your daughter will have the same kind of support network living by herself in a co-op.

We also considered purchasing a property in order to "save" money. In the long run, we have to count on several things to happen in order not to lose money: 1) My kid will not want to transfer to another school; 2) the real estate market will appreciate; 3) the co-op association won't increase it's monthly fees; 4) the building won't require major repairs neccessitating a special assessment; 5) property taxes won't rise; 6) co-ops will be a desirable in four years and there will be plenty of buyers who can afford the 20% down payment required by the board, oh and yes, there will be more buyers able to qualify for a loan.

I am not a gambling person. So this scenario doesn't work for me. Spending $8-9,000 a year for room and board is a bargain by comparison when you remember all the services (food for example) that go with it.

Buying a co-op in this area which is in close proximity to NYC is a nice opportunity for someone who isn't banking on turning a profit in the short term and wants to enjoy living in the home and the area.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
If you are looking in Yonkers, you can get 2bedroom co-ops in the 180-200k range, However if you look in Bronxville a two bedroom co-op would be more expensive. The area is safe and in very convenient to transportation and shopping.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
The college is in Yonkers, in the Bronxville PO area. There are a number of buildings in that area that are pretty affordable since their in the Yonkers school district which is lousy. The area is safe and rather quiet and when I was looking in the area (5 years ago), the only real problem was parking, which was nearly impossible. Some apts come with a parking spot which solves that problem. As for buying the apt, since the economy is down and the housing bubble is unwinding, in 4 years with fees and closing costs, it is extremely likely you'll have lost money on this, how much depends on the market. You'll probably hear realtors mention the tax breaks, but a full time student has no real income, so having deductible mortgage interest is meaningless.

Living on campus is generally an experience any college student should want. It forces you to meet people and make friends nearly immediately. Given the cost of room and board at colleges now, it may be cheaper to buy the apt (especially ignoring the lost opportunity cost of the downpayment) but your daughter may be missing out on part of the college experience. Renting in this area will be very similar to purchasing without the downpayment , fees, closing costs and risk and would be a wiser move in this short time horizon.

Hopefully some of the realtors in this area can comment on the types of buildings in the area. I believe most are co-ops which could be a problem getting board approval if you wanted to purchase for college students.

Zack
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 16, 2008
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