married him didn't buy that apartment.
I had been thinking about it all Friday evening, talked it over with a friend, tossed and turned all night. Though I could have negotiated a good price on the 1-bedroom, there were still a lot of drawbacks to that place that I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with. (Like having to carry my bike up 3 flights of stairs.) The lovely studio with the deck loomed large in my memory, but its only advantages were its location and outdoor space, and a working fireplace. It was what the agents like to call "charming" but charm only goes so far, and so does my bank account, so I was starting to rule that one out.
Then there was the other condo that had come back on the market. It was more expensive, but bigger, much nicer, and I wouldn't have to do any work on it. I ran it through my spreadsheet, and my budget still worked. Saturday morning I went to an open house, and afterwards went home and made a 3-column list of the pro's and con's of each apartment: space, light, amenities, costs, etc. This place didn't win on the cost lines, but believe it or not, it did better than the studio! (because I can get a better mortgage rate than I could on the studio.) And in every other respect, I realized more and more that it just felt like the perfect place for me, with everything I needed. The final factor was that I realized that this condo could actually be cash-flow positive if I ever wanted to rent it out, despite my belief that this was currently impossible in NYC! This was one instance where I knew a good deal when I saw it and saying it "wouldn't last" wasn't just real estate agent hype. If you could have seen me at that moment, I would have been writhing and gnashing my teeth, my arms wrapped around me while kneeling on the floor surrounded by papers. It was really difficult but I decided that I had to just go for it!
I offered full price about 2 hours after the open house and it was accepted an hour after that. So if all goes well, I am going to be a homeowner again in a few months, and this time it will be mine all mine!
I am thrilled. Of course I am also a little nervous. Paying full price for a new condo at the peak of a real estate bubble was not exactly the buying strategy that I'd had in mind! However, there are a lot of reasons why I feel that I got a good value, and that things will be okay in the long run even if prices do decline. After almost 6 years of living in a 242 square foot studio, I am looking forward to having a home where I can invite people over and not have to make them eat dinner sitting on the floor! It's going to cost me a lot of money, but that is what I have been saving it for. Well, one of the major things anyway!
(I will post more juicy details about the apartment in the future as I move forward with the deal but right now I don't want to jinx anything, or have Madame X autograph seekers showing up at my future doorstep!)
Monday, November 14, 2005