Rent or Own? A Response To The New York Times

While it may be true that most New Yorkers rent, and with good reason, the idea that those who buy will compromise on affordability and flexibility is not true. That’s why we felt the need to comment with Rent or Own? A Response To The New York Times.

Moving every couple of years may be an option that renting provides, but the process is often not what New Yorkers want to do every few years. By the time you get settled into a place, a year or two can fly by. Then you’re back at it again, spending precious time apartment hunting.

Affordability is not exclusive to renters, either. In our experience, most people do not move because they want to, but because they have to. As most of you know, moving is not only tedious and time consuming, but expensive. In some cases we have seen highly qualified (financially affluent) tenants spend upwards of $1,300 dollars for co-op move-in costs for rental apartments in the $2,900 range. Include the first, and last month’s rent, security deposits, broker fees (often 15% of the annual rent), the cost of a moving service, and the time spent packing and unpacking your stuff. That’s about $15,000 in this instance.

When clients are ready to commit to a place for at least a few years, buyers can often get into spaces they own, with monthly payments less than their previous monthly rental cost. And after factoring in the tax deductions of ownership, it’s usually overwhelmingly more affordable. It’s not about the amenities that buying can offer, because New York rentals can offer some of the best, but you will pay dearly for them.

For those that can afford whatever they like and don’t feel up to compromise on their dream location, maybe you can have your cake, and eat it, too. Why not invest in a place that will yield a rental income and live wherever you like? Having an income-producing condo to call home, or liquidate 10 to 15 years down the road, is likely going to benefit you, or your college age children, in the long run.

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