For all you customers out there in the NYC real estate market- you only have three options: rent, buy, or stay put. Each of these options has its benefits and drawbacks which vary as the market ebbs and flows. Here is where I see it at the moment:
OPTION 1: If you are choosing to rent today it should only be for a couple of reasons-either you need someplace to live right away, you are only going to be in the city for two or three years, you want some time to figure out your next step, you have just graduated from college and you and six friends hope to find a one bedroom to share, or you don’t have the money for a down payment. Otherwise renting just doesn’t make that much sense these days. It is VERY expensive, all paid for with after tax dollars, and the sales market is in recovery. Which means that by the time your lease expires you will have to pay more for whatever it is you like today.
OPTION 2: If you are planning to buy at some point, my advice is to do it now. Interest rates are still historically low and even though we are now nearly two years off the bottom there are still opportunities in the market. For example, properties in need of work. These days we are seeing premiums paid for mint condition. Most people do not have the time or stress tolerance for renovation. If you do, that can save you money. Bur whatever your preference, if you are contemplating a purchase, do it now! We are at the beginning of the new cycle and I don’t see prices going anywhere but up for the next few years.
OPTION 3: Staying where you are is always an option. And frequently it’s a good option. But you need to assess your needs for the next few years. Are you likely to need a lot more space? If so probably finding it now will be cheaper than finding it when you need it, and you will be under less pressure. If your current space really doesn’t work for you and only inertia is keeping you there, remember, inertia is almost never a good reason for anything. And, while we are on the topic, competition is almost never a good reason for anything. If you are living in an appropriate space but others you know have much more, don’t let it bother you. It isn’t a contest and there is no correlation at this level between money and happiness. You already live in the greatest city in the world. Enjoy it!