Michael, Home Buyer in Brooklyn, NY

Condo in Manhattan or Multi Family in Brooklyn?

Asked by Michael, Brooklyn, NY Fri May 18, 2012

Am I better off financially (short term and long term) buying a condo in say, Alphabet City, or a multi family in Eastern Bushwick (Wilson L or Halsey J)? My mortgage broker says I can afford around 325 K for a single family condo, or 425 K - 450 K for a multi family,(including rental income).

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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
Unfortunately a decision only you can make; however do consider consulting with your tax professional. If you are thinking multi family for investment purposes, you're not simply just buying a home, you will be running a business, therefore crunch all the numbers with your tax professional and see what will benefit you most long term....
1 vote
Dom Pascual, , New York County, NY
Thu May 24, 2012
Truett is right. Decide what you want before talking to a broker.
0 votes
Truett Hanke…, , New York, NY
Thu May 24, 2012
Michael, every person has a dream and every person knows what they want deep down. So ask yourself this: would you be happier in Brooklyn or in Manhattan? The real estate skyline in NYC is changing and choosing either place is not going to make your break you. In my experience Brooklyn is just as easy a place to get renters as Manhattan is. You will have more options in Brooklyn because your price is larger and places are cheaper, however Manhattan is an excellent option as well though your options will be limited.

I know from experience that some people prefer Brooklyn because of what the neighborhood's have to offer over the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. So to answer your question with the limited information given. Short term you would be better off in Manhattan, long term Brooklyn. But again if you can call me or email me as I can better assist you with more information.

I never try to find my clients property but rather find them their dreams. With an investment like realestate you need to be sold on a place or it can destroy you. So my job and focus is to find that place that completes you.
0 votes
John Peitler, Agent, NY,
Mon May 21, 2012
If you are interested in a condo in Manhattan, please contact Kevin at 212-714-1027. If you are interested in property in Brooklyn, please call Dennis at 212-714-1027 ext 12. We would be happy to assist you. Thank you and good luck!
0 votes
Ronnie Shuma…, Agent, New York, NY
Sun May 20, 2012
Hi Michael,

This is a very different comparison.
There will always be strong interest in Manhattan, while Brooklyn is a thriving area and it really all depends on what part of BK you look into.

You really should take time to truly consider what is important to you with regards to your financials, your needs and wants. A real agent will take the time to explore all options with you as well.

Best regards,
0 votes
Dom Pascual, , New York County, NY
Sun May 20, 2012
Those are two extremely different options. One is residential and other is possibly commercial depending on the number of units. Ask yourself, what are you looking for in terms of ROI? Then ask how much attention do I want to render to this project? Why do you want to purchase real estate? Income? Future Home?

Thank you!

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0 votes
First Last, , 90002
Sat May 19, 2012
You've asked which purchase is the better investment. People who invest in real estate for a living use formulas to answer questions like this. They calculate the capitalization rate and from there it is a simple decision.

But such a model is based on assumptions and there are always a lot of unknowns. Your tolerance for risk is also a factor, and the house is the riskier investment for multiple reasons, including the fact you would be investing more money.

Karla Harby
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Rutenberg Realty
New York, NY
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
Hi Michael. I've thought about many of the same things from those who have responded. The biggest things for me are maintenance and money. Rental properties have the lure of that passive income they throw off but they will require a lot of attention(work!!). Unless of course, you hire a management co. Condos become an easier asset to manage as the building services will take a lot of things off your hands.

Valuation is relatively stable in Manhattan and it is a singular market. Alphabet is alive with restaurants, music, Tompkins square park and students from neighboring NYU! Good luck.
0 votes
Ella Chavers, Agent, New York, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
Rental income is always a good thing.
0 votes
Voices Member, , New York
Fri May 18, 2012
There are some great answers here, but I agree this is apples and oranges. I own a co-op on the UES and my mother owns serveral multi-family homes in the Bronx. I can tell you from experience that owning rental properties is a huge responsibility. If you are up for it and are willing to be "on call" sometimes then I do think it's a great investment!

If on the other hand you want to just enjoy Manhattan living and a more carefree lifestyle then I suggest sticking with the condo!
0 votes
Angela Nelson, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
Hi Michael, I'd personally say Multifamily in Brooklyn. Let your investment work for you.. feel free to give me a call, 718-791-5427 or email me at Angelan@nestseekers.com and i will show you some great multifamilies in Brooklyn,
0 votes
Roger Lindsay…, , New York, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
I personally have seen family go under because of tenants defaulting or getting hit with a bad rental market and unable to rent vacancies for a price that can supplement mortgage payments both as a primary and an investment. In either case, I would not make a multifamily house purchase with the rental income having to supplement the mortgage while living in one of the units. That should be the gravy or there could be great risk. If it's strictly investment, you want it to be sound and be able to carry at least one vacancy in any given month (s) and still be able to pay all your monthlies or very close to it. If that's the case, I would do the multifamily, otherwise stick with the condo.
0 votes
Elena Ravich,…, Agent, New York, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
Is location and what it entails important to you? Do you prefer living in Manhattan and in the apartment when the maintenance is taken care of or in a house in Eastern Bushwick where you will be taking care of your property ? You have to answer this question for yourself first before looking at any other parameters because location determines all the rest, including the lifestyle.
Transportation, schools, infrastructure, commute to work, safety of a neighborhood - these are all issues to look into and compare what you gain and what you lose by choosing one or another option. There is no right or wrong answer, you just have to make informed decision about what suites you the best.
0 votes
Armen Meschi…, Agent, New York, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
The comparison is so apples and oranges in terms of lifestyle and overall responsibility!...

On one hand you are talking about being a landlord, fully responsible for the property and sharing itt with your tenant. On the other living in a building and having little responsibility other than sticking to house rules. My point is- multi family best BE a better financially, otherwise I fail to see the point.
0 votes
Robin Silver…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Garden City, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
I definitely agree with what Janet has told you.
There are other things to consider, such as how much a responsibility for upkeep you want to have, and what your other costs would be. The mortgage broker (Loan Officer) doesn't include these costs in calculating your debt-to-income ratio. You will have to pay for heat, water, other utilities that may not be able to be passed off to the tenant such as gas for cooking. You will also have to pay to light any common areas, although they will probably have their own electric meter.
0 votes
Janet Nation,…, Agent, Baldwin, NY
Fri May 18, 2012
I don't know which is better because you're not exactly comparing apples to apples. I will tell you as a landlord myself that if you depending on the rental income to substitute your mortgage payments and if for whatever reason your tenant doesn't pay, you can be in a lot of financial trouble if the situation is prolonged, and you have no reserves, so just bear that in mind. I've seen homes go into foreclosures because of non paying tenants. All the best on what you decide.
0 votes
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