Monday, November 14, 2005

A Tale of 3 Apartments, part 2

Reader, I 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!)


Anonymous said...


And welcome to the homeownership club. BTW, I've paid full price and then some, twice before, never regretted it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! It is really, really, really hard to think about how much that downpayment will drain your savings account, but you are right - this is what you have been saving for. You sound so excited and happy :) Good Luck!

Money Turtle said...

Congrats as well!

savvy said...

congrats! I knew you would recognize "home" when you saw it!

You are buying for the right reasons... because YOU like the place, not because you think some future buyer will like it enough to pay more for it.

Nina Smith said...

This is great news! You did it!

Anonymous said...

That's great news. Welcome to the pleasures of home ownership. If the numbers on your bank statement bother you after the down payment, just take a look around - what's around you is a lot bigger and a lot more real than numbers on a sheet of paper.

Best of all, you got the best of both - a home that matched your dreams and emotions, and numbers that matched your logic and calculation.

When's the house warming? Can't be there in person (NYC's too far away) - but would like to share the spirit of the moment.

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