Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

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Topic Author
Wax3968
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:50 pm

Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by Wax3968 »

My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. The money ready for downpayment is around 600k (excluding 401k (we probably won’t move until retirement so it doesn’t matter how much is in there, should be around 300k tho) and emergency funds). We are currently living pretty faraway from work and saves 15k (cash, not including 401k) every month. Both of us love our jobs and rarely think about retire early, but not sure whether our thoughts will change after we have a kid or two.

We are in NY now and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

The reason why I would like to buy a house now:
1. My parents are in a foreign country and they will stay with us for a few years. If we don’t host them, they’ll need to rent close to us, which is at least 20k/year.

2. The current rental price for an ok 2b (not a luxurious one) close to my work is 5000+. If I take a 1M mortgage at a 6% mortgage rate, it’s around 6000. I need to spend that much amount of money on housing anyways, so I prefer to put it into an equity instead of renting.

3. FH seem to have good school districts, I’m ok with my kid going to public schools there until high school, but I heard about some rezoning rumors and the residents are not guaranteed to go to schools in that district. Not sure how it worked.

4. Some of the housing prices are falling by 10-20%, not a big factor but should I grab this opportunity?
Last edited by Wax3968 on Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:28 pm, edited 7 times in total.
cbs2002
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:10 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by cbs2002 »

You are considering spending $2M on a property yet are worried about "hidden costs"? The cost you should be focused on is the non-hidden one! Why do you want to buy a house?

You'll get better answers by posting more complete info such as:

What form is the $600k in?
How much are you saving every month and in what accounts?
Do you want to send your kids to public school in Queens, or are you going to pay for private?
Are you OK being locked into making that income so you can pay your $10K/month PITI for 20+ years until the kids are in college?

If we had that income and no kids I'd be saving $200K/year and renting close to work. Make hay while the sun shines.
woodside
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:13 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by woodside »

Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. Net worth is around 600k (we’ve been saving for a long time) Currently we are in NY and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
If the house is in Forest Hills Gardens, you probably have to pay the HOA fee for maintaining the privately owned streets and also the salary of the employee hired by the Forest Hills Garden's Corporation.
Topic Author
Wax3968
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:50 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by Wax3968 »

woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. Net worth is around 600k (we’ve been saving for a long time) Currently we are in NY and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
If the house is in Forest Hills Gardens, you probably have to pay the HOA fee for maintaining the privately owned streets and also the salary of the employee hired by the Forest Hills Garden's Corporation.
I see, do you know generally how much is that?
woodside
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:13 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by woodside »

Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:52 pm
woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. Net worth is around 600k (we’ve been saving for a long time) Currently we are in NY and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
If the house is in Forest Hills Gardens, you probably have to pay the HOA fee for maintaining the privately owned streets and also the salary of the employee hired by the Forest Hills Garden's Corporation.
I see, do you know generally how much is that?
I don't know. When I was buying an apartment last year in Queens (the eventual apartment is not in Forest Hills though), I checked into many different neighborhoods in Queens. I always found the maintenance fee for the same-size co-op apartment in Forest Hills Garden is at least 40% higher than the apartment on the other side of Queens Blvd.

You should be able to find it out from the realtor and your attorney during the due diligence. Assuming the process of buying the house is the same as buying a co-op, you can send out the offer first working with your buyer's agent and then work with your attorney for the due diligence (probably one to three weeks) where you can still back out the deal before you sign the contract.
Topic Author
Wax3968
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:50 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by Wax3968 »

cbs2002 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:54 pm You are considering spending $2M on a property yet are worried about "hidden costs"? The cost you should be focused on is the non-hidden one! Why do you want to buy a house?

You'll get better answers by posting more complete info such as:

What form is the $600k in?
How much are you saving every month and in what accounts?
Do you want to send your kids to public school in Queens, or are you going to pay for private?
Are you OK being locked into making that income so you can pay your $10K/month PITI for 20+ years until the kids are in college?

If we had that income and no kids I'd be saving $200K/year and renting close to work. Make hay while the sun shines.
Changed my answer.
Topic Author
Wax3968
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:50 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by Wax3968 »

woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:08 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:52 pm
woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. Net worth is around 600k (we’ve been saving for a long time) Currently we are in NY and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
If the house is in Forest Hills Gardens, you probably have to pay the HOA fee for maintaining the privately owned streets and also the salary of the employee hired by the Forest Hills Garden's Corporation.
I see, do you know generally how much is that?
I don't know. When I was buying an apartment last year in Queens (the eventual apartment is not in Forest Hills though), I checked into many different neighborhoods in Queens. I always found the maintenance fee for the same-size co-op apartment in Forest Hills Garden is at least 40% higher than the apartment on the other side of Queens Blvd.

You should be able to find it out from the realtor and your attorney during the due diligence. Assuming the process of buying the house is the same as buying a co-op, you can send out the offer first working with your buyer's agent and then work with your attorney for the due diligence (probably one to three weeks) where you can still back out the deal before you sign the contract.

I see, it is indeed an expensive area. Thanks for the input.
woodside
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:13 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by woodside »

Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm 2. The current rental price for an ok 2b (not a luxurious one) close to my work is 5000+. If I take a 1M mortgage at a 6% mortgage rate, it’s around 6000. I need to spend that much amount of money on housing anyways, so I prefer to put it into an equity instead of renting.
The 2b in rent for Forest Hills should be much lower than 5000, my guess around 3000. We need to use the same neighborhood to compare the options between rent and purchase.

For the house, you have more expenses than the $6000 mortgage, about $600 to $1000 for the property tax (you need to check the actual house), higher utility bill, and other fees (water and garbage fee, etc) and home repair (I experienced first hand for just my co-op apartment, house repair is definitely more expensive) and also the HOA fee.

The total cost for the house is definitely much more expensive than the rent of the apartment. It's reasonable because the house has much more space and is much more desirable, especially in NYC.

If you don't mind the rules of the co-op apartment, you will save a lot of money. A 3Bed 2bath on the other side Queens Blvd can be bought probably between 600K and 800K and a maintenance fee of $1500. A lot of families (good for two kids of the same sex or two kids of different sex when the younger one is no more than 10 years old)can start with a 2Bed 2Bath co-op apartment and then move on to 3 bed 2-bath when the family size becomes larger.

Your parents will come to stay with you during the time the kids are at a very young age, most families in NYC can get by with 2Bed 2Bath. With your salary, renting a 3Bed 2Bath or purchasing the 3Bed 2Bath co-op apartment will not put much stress on your finance, and it will save you a lot of money compared to purchasing the house.

Of course, if you don't mind landlording, a multi-family house may be a better deal.
Topic Author
Wax3968
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:50 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by Wax3968 »

woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:52 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm 2. The current rental price for an ok 2b (not a luxurious one) close to my work is 5000+. If I take a 1M mortgage at a 6% mortgage rate, it’s around 6000. I need to spend that much amount of money on housing anyways, so I prefer to put it into an equity instead of renting.
The 2b in rent for Forest Hills should be much lower than 5000, my guess around 3000. We need to use the same neighborhood to compare the options between rent and purchase.

For the house, you have more expenses than the $6000 mortgage, about $600 to $1000 for the property tax (you need to check the actual house), higher utility bill, and other fees (water and garbage fee, etc) and home repair (I experienced first hand for just my co-op apartment, house repair is definitely more expensive) and also the HOA fee.

The total cost for the house is definitely much more expensive than the rent of the apartment. It's reasonable because the house has much more space and is much more desirable, especially in NYC.

If you don't mind the rules of the co-op apartment, you will save a lot of money. A 3Bed 2bath on the other side Queens Blvd can be bought probably between 600K and 800K and a maintenance fee of $1500. A lot of families (good for two kids of the same sex or two kids of different sex when the younger one is no more than 10 years old)can start with a 2Bed 2Bath co-op apartment and then move on to 3 bed 2-bath when the family size becomes larger.

Your parents will come to stay with you during the time the kids are at a very young age, most families in NYC can get by with 2Bed 2Bath. With your salary, renting a 3Bed 2Bath or purchasing the 3Bed 2Bath co-op apartment will not put much stress on your finance, and it will save you a lot of money compared to purchasing the house.

Of course, if you don't mind landlording, a multi-family house may be a better deal.
This is actually very helpful! I did some search and see a lot of 3b2b co-op in pretty nice conditions and much cheaper than houses. Didn’t expect a lot of 3b co-ops. I’m also not a very big fan of maintaining the house so it’s good.
gips
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by gips »

we recenlty bought a coop on the UES near carl schurz park. Not sure if the area works for your commute but we like it and prices were pretty good visa vis other parts of manhattan. Forest hills is lovely, I've played tennis matches at the club, but yes, you do have the headaches of home ownership.

good luck!
ImSoGreen
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:44 am

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by ImSoGreen »

We bought a 3br coop apt in BK 3 years ago. 1.1M. HHI ~500k

Dreamed of a brownstone but wasn’t interested in a 1M+ mortgage. A little out of reach in the neighborhoods we wanted to live.

If you are gonna try to swing a house in forest hills id try to keep it closer to 1.5 if possible

Need to account for prop tax, HOA and transaction costs (which can be substantial)
investorpeter
Posts: 466
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:46 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by investorpeter »

Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:52 pm
woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. Net worth is around 600k (we’ve been saving for a long time) Currently we are in NY and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
If the house is in Forest Hills Gardens, you probably have to pay the HOA fee for maintaining the privately owned streets and also the salary of the employee hired by the Forest Hills Garden's Corporation.
I see, do you know generally how much is that?
A current $2.2m house on the market in Forest Hills Gardens is reporting $900 annual HOA fees. So not too bad. I imagine there are additional mandatory costs for maintaining your landscaping.
Topic Author
Wax3968
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:50 pm

Re: Does it make sense for me to buy a house in NYC?

Post by Wax3968 »

investorpeter wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:10 am
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:52 pm
woodside wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:27 pm
Wax3968 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:34 pm My husband and I recently changed jobs and our household income reaches 400k. Both of us can find comparably compensated jobs pretty easily. Our salary in the past was not as high but we saved a lot. Net worth is around 600k (we’ve been saving for a long time) Currently we are in NY and considering buying a house. My job requires going to office pretty frequently so I prefer shorter commute. My husband can choose to wfh and his office is pretty close to mine, so commuting wouldn’t be a problem for him. We plan to have kids in 3 years (or ideally 2 years)

I’m thinking of getting a house in Forest Hills of about 1.5m to 2m. I would like to know whether it makes sense financially for us. Except the regular maintenance fees for houses and property taxes, is there any hidden costs of living in FH? We’ve thought about LI but the FH has a obviously shorter commute so I’ll endure the city tax. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
If the house is in Forest Hills Gardens, you probably have to pay the HOA fee for maintaining the privately owned streets and also the salary of the employee hired by the Forest Hills Garden's Corporation.
I see, do you know generally how much is that?
A current $2.2m house on the market in Forest Hills Gardens is reporting $900 annual HOA fees. So not too bad. I imagine there are additional mandatory costs for maintaining your landscaping.
That is helpful information. 900/year shouldn’t be too bad.
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