Getting Real With New York Real Estate

A friend of mine moved to New York City several years ago. In my mind, I pictured her as a glamorous working girl who would hop on the subway every morning after grabbing a quick coffee at the corner bagel shop. I was certain her lunches were filled with window shopping and that she spent her evenings watching famous plays on Broadway.

Her own reality was far different than what I imagined, though. She was unable to afford living in the city, so found a nice apartment across the river in New Jersey. Plays were an important part of her life, but she only went every few months, as disposable income permitted.

Real estate in New York City is far different than in other areas. For example, if you wanted to live in the Upper West Side – in The Dakota perhaps – the three bedroom, two bath home where West Side Story was conceived is available now for just under $6 million. If that’s too rich for you, a one-bath studio apartment on West End can be yours for just $435,000. The operative word is “studio” where there is on separate bedroom. The almost half-million dollar purchase price does not cover the monthly maintenance fee of $964, which does include utilities.

A recent report by Prudential’s Douglas Elliman shows housing prices have doubled in the last ten years in Manhattan. For example, a decade ago the average price of a home was $710,000. The average price this year is almost $1.4 million. However, prices are coming down as indicated by the 12 percent DROP from the previous year.

With this kind of up and down activity on the home buying/selling front, the good news is there are real estate agents available and ready to help you find real estate to rent. This is a phenomenon that we’re starting to see across the nation, but it has been perfected by New York agents. Often renters will be required to pay a finder’s fee, but overall rents are dropping along with home prices.

The least expensive place to buy an apartment in New York, as reported by Habitat New York, is Uptown, Brooklyn or Queens. Here, studio apartments start at $1200 and three bedrooms start at $3,000. The most expensive are in the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Midtown apartments that start at $1,600 per month and go upwards of $12,000 per month.

If you’re ready to take a bite out of the big apple, be prepared to pay the apple’s weight in gold to buy or plan a good commute for the most affordable apartment rentals.

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