Are you ever procrastinating enough on the internet that you’ll find yourself reading the real estate articles on the New York Times? Really? No? Ok, well, let me just say that it’s an especially useless bit of time management especially if you’re not in the market for real estate AND you don’t even live in New York, so knowing about the market there will only take up space in your brain that could be used for remembering state capitals and how to do algebra (some day, your kid will probably want you to tell them how to do their algebra homework and you’ll only be able to tell them what a brownstone in Park Slope goes for). Anyways, I got caught up in this 1200 word piece about 34-year-old pharmaceutical marketer Claudia Beqaj’s hunt for a place to live in Manhattan.
Don’t click the link. You’ll get strangely sucked in, like I did, and the story is longer than it needs to be. Let me paraphrase it – Claudia was getting evicted from the NYU grad student apartment she was illegally sub-subletting. She wanted to buy a $400k, 475 square foot studio apartment in the village, but found out she didn’t have enough money (she only had $40k), so she moved in with her sister in Jersey and saved. Then, she raised enough money to have 20% of the down payment ($80k plus 2 years of mortgage in her bank account), and found a $387k, 550 square foot apartment in the East Village. With mortgage and building maintenance, she pays $2500 a month PLUS, $1000 a month in property taxes. So, I read this whole article and this what it made me think:
1.) “Yup, that squares it, I could never live in New York. All that money, for so little space!!! Granted, she was buying not renting, but the next place I live, I’d like it to be someplace where I could ostensibly put down some roots.”
2.) “Well, maybe I could live in New York. If it costs that much to live in Manhattan, maybe it’s a little cheaper in Brooklyn. And I really don’t need that much space, especially if it’s just me. And if you own a spot, you essentially live there forever. And in 30 years, you won’t even have to pay mortgage anymore, because it will already be paid off. Yeah. New York. That’s the ticket.”
3.) “Fuck. I forgot how property taxes were a thing. That sounds TERRIBLE.”
4.) “How much space is 550 square feet? Is it enough to fit a regulation-size ice-hockey table?”
5.) “What would $400k buy in my hometown, Eugene, Oregon?” I took a Google break and checked into it. 400k could buy a pretty sweet four bedroom house, with yard, and a bunch of other stuff.
6.) “I think I’d rather buy the studio in Manhattan, you know, if I could.”
7.) “I don’t even want to know what 400k would buy in San Francisco.” I went ahead and checked. Doesn’t look good.
8.) “Once again, I will probably never own my own place.”
9.) “The only other person I know who would read this whole article is my Mom. What the fuck does that say about me?”
So there you go. The lesson for the day: reading about other people house hunting will only depress you. But, if you’re like me, you’ll probably do it anyway.
Henry Goldman is founder/editor/lead writer for yr an adult. Insert your own, requisite, funny comment.