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Sunday, April 18, 2010

New York, I love you but you're bringing me down...

Spend any significant amount of time with New Yorkers and the topic of real estate will inevitably come up. It's a touchy one for sure, but that doesn't stop us from complaining, venting, comparing and generally bitching about the state of real estate in NYC ad nauseum.

Beyond the obvious question (WTF is it so FREAKING EXPENSIVE??) there are a myriad of details to hash out...Is the relative affordability of BK or Queens worth the added commute time and dependence on the dreaded MTA? Are there really any "deals" to be found on our lovely island of Manhattan for those of us who didn't inherit an apartment, a relative in the real estate business or ANY knowledge about how the F you are supposed to live here and not have 5 roommates and pay 1/2 your salary in rent? And more recently...as I've gotten older...will we ever EVER be able to actually BUY a little slice of the apple and tell our landlords to shove it?

Sadly, the answer for many of us is...maybe...when we're 40...if we're lucky...and the place sure as hell ain't gonna fit our future spouse/child/pet or a queen-size bed unless we're 10 stops from Manhattan on the G train. Let me tell you - it is DEPRESSING. We work longer and harder than our counterparts in other cities and pay more per square foot than they could even fathom. We live in tiny cramped unrenovated seven story walkups and month after month flush our money down the drain.

I could go on and on about how boo-hoo unfair it is that I wasn't born into the Trump family nor did I meet some rich sugar daddy whose penthouse is already paid for and would just LOVE to take care of me...but I won't. I chose to move here when I was 18, and got my college tuition paid for (thanks Daddy) so it's not like I'm exactly a charity case. But for a gal who is extreeeemely anal about saving money (thanks again to Daddy and Suze Orman), it would be nice if the so-called real estate crash could have crashed a little harder in our fair city... I've been checking out Street Easy

and fantisizing about not resigning my lease ("hmm, if I could get a loan to help with the down payment, I could definitely cover the $2,000 mortgage + maintenance payment for a 400 sq foot studio in Murray Hill if only the co-op board would approve me and they'd allow my dog and there are absolutely no lawyer fees or closing costs...it's a STEAL at $350,000. In 2 years the market will be back up. It's a buyer's market. I should strike now before it's too late.")

Without actually posting my w2 and bank account balance, I'll just break it down for you...it AIN'T gonna happen. The way things are looking now, I might have enough saved up to buy a decent one bedroom apartment in about 10 years. But hey, my life isn't supposed to be at it's pinnacle until til I'm 36 right? Growing up is getting harder and harder to do, but in Manhattan it's getting damn near impossible.

So does this mean I should stop saving my pennies and just face the facts that I'll be a renter for life? Eh, I think I'll just take a stroll and drop $7 on Pinkberry and bask in the fact that there are TWO within walking distance of my apartment in my city...the greatest city in the world. Rent isn't due for another two weeks anyway...