Back Again

by Jay on June 26, 2010

It’s been six months since I last wrote a post on this blog. How time flies…..

A lot has happened since then. The main thing is, I have bought a condominium! I’m a bit nervous about the housing market, but I found the perfect condo and decided to buy. It’s a two-bedroom / two-bath, brand new construction, huge windows, on the fifth floor.

After living in a 120-year-old brownstone for 23 years, I can’t get over how much I appreciate some of the smaller luxuries of a new building — a washer/dryer, a garbage chute by the elevator, a parking space for my Vespa, and a dishwasher….where else but in New York City does anyone consider a dishwasher or a parking space to be an unusual luxury?

And best of all, I have a decent view. Instead of living in an old brownstone, I look out over brownstones — hundreds of them!

I’m now living in Bedford Stuyvesant, just over the border from Clinton Hill. It’s a big change from my old neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, which went from being mostly Italian American twenty years ago to being pretty much exclusively ultra-rich in the genre of Greenwich, CT or the Hamptons out on Long Island. For those who don’t know Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant is predominantly African American and, though absolutely beautiful with its Victorian brownstones, has a reputation for being a bit rough. But after a couple months of living here, I have found it to be perfectly safe — haven’t had any issues whatsoever. I’m enjoying the West African and Jamaican restaurants around here, as well as the vibe on the street, which is so different from my old neighborhood.

The process of moving has been difficult though. After 23 years of living in one place, I had accumulated a LOT of stuff, and have spent pretty much the past 4 months getting rid of stuff. moving stuff, and rearranging stuff. This weekend I have finally finished. The new apartment feels like home.

I tend to get into financial details in this blog, and will probably go into detail about my condo transaction in a later post. For now though, I’ll say that what convinced me that buying was the right decision was this: My landlord wanted to raise my rent to $2,300, which is more than I wanted to pay. I could find no comparable two-bedrooms in my old neighborhood (or just about anywhere in Brooklyn or Manhattan, for that matter) for under $2,500.

My monthly payment now is $2,800 (this includes mortgage, maintenance, taxes and insurance), but after tax deductions my monthly payment comes out to just over $2,200, which is cheaper than what it would have cost to rent. I took out a 30-year fixed mortgage — none of that interest only or adjustable rate business — so I know that I won’t be paying more in the future. The next several years may be rough for the economy, but eventually better times will come and housing prices will rise. When that happens, my monthly mortgage payment will still be $2,800.

Now that my move is complete, I plan to start blogging more. Writing is a way that I use to work through my thoughts, and I’ve missed it, as well as the feedback that I received here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul June 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Congratulations on your purchase!!!! I think it was a great decision. Glad you are settled in your new digs.

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