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Your purchasing power, revisited

by Empire on May 29, 2012

For those among you wondering what your potential purchasing power is for the rent you are paying, we have just the number crunching for you.  We don’t blame you if you’re starting to balk at today’s rental prices, as so many of the buyers with whom we’re working are doing. 

Below, therefore, you will find an approximation of what your net monthly payments could afford you if you were to pull the trigger and buy, assuming a 4.25% 30-year fixed interest rate and 20% down:

$3.5k = purchase of $900k (a 1-bedroom condo or a small 2-bedroom co-op)

$5k = purchase of $1.35M (a small 2-bedroom condo or a beautiful 2-bedroom)

$8k = purchase of $2.25M (a nice 3-bedroom condo or a beautiful classic 6 co-op in a prime location)

$14k = purchase of $4.05M …

Clearly, this purchasing power would be even higher if you were to choose an ARM as a financing vehicle, let alone an Interest Only ARM for those bonus-heavy among you.


With interest rates remaining near historical lows, it’s no wonder that many buyers are looking to lock in a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for their property.  What’s there not to love, right?  The guarantee of cheap money for the next three decades:  hooray!  However, if you think your likely ownership of the property will last no more than 5-10 years, it may be worth considering a shorter product like a 5 or 7 ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage).  Why?  First of all, the rates are even lower.  Unless you’re looking to keep the property for investment purposes after you move out, why pay more in interest for a 30-year term that you won’t use?  Second, an ARM is still amortized over 30 years just at a lower rate, fixed for a shorter term.

Further, if you happen to be among those who still receive chunky year-end bonuses, it behooves you to consider interest-only ARMS.   Not only do you get to pay only the interest portion of the loan (you already pay mostly interest for the first years of a 30-year mortgage anyway) but your payments readjust each time you use that bonus to pay off a portion of the principal.    Most buyers’ cost of ownership could be cut almost in half by opting for an interest-only ARM versus a 30-year fixed product.  On a $1 million mortgage, monthly payments for a 3.5% 7/1 IO ARM would be $2916 versus $5066 for a 4.5% 30-fixed.  While this doesn’t make sense for everyone, it pays to consider all options before landing on one product.

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One or two year leases? Which should you sign?

by Honeycrisp May 17, 2012

We’re almost upon that time of year when leases begin expiring en masse.  Indeed, 75%+ of leases turn over between April and September, creating a season of angst and uncertainty for even the most seasoned renters.  Like the renewal of life that comes with spring, ‘tis the season when renters either renew their leases or [...]

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Where cash is still king

by McIntosh May 9, 2012

With the credit landscape continuing to thaw and buyer demand up sharply, sellers are no longer salivating over all-cash buyers.  Further, the discount they are giving to cash purchases versus their mortgage-contingent brethren has all but disappeared.  For the cash-rich among you, take heart:  places still exist where your cash gives you bargaining leverage: New [...]

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The price of overpricing in today’s market

by Red Delicious April 20, 2012

Since we’re heading into the prime sales season of the year, we thought it worthwhile to revisit the concept of pricing your property correctly.   We were recently reminded of this topic by our friends at UrbanDigs who poignantly outlined why the first 2-3 weeks on the market provide you with all the information you need [...]

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Who should list now: what NYC supply and demand are telling us today

by Honeycrisp April 5, 2012

“Should I sell now or hold on to it some more?”we always hear from sellers. With the prime selling season soon upon us, we thought it worthwhile to outline exactly which sellers should list and which could hold off for a bit longer. This is because we are seeing some wacky statistics in terms of [...]

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Predictions already playing out so soon? Williamsburg market as prime example

by Red Delicious February 16, 2012

If you recall, less than a month ago, we published our 2012 predictions for NYC Real Estate. We knew we were on to something but didn’t realize just how quickly some of these predictions would be playing out. Just today we read in the Wall Street Journal about the plight of would-be buyers stranded by [...]

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A bottom in housing prices 2 months away?

by Honeycrisp February 7, 2012

There isn’t a week that goes by in which SOMEone doesn’t ask us: “so when do you think the housing market will bottom?”  All we’ve been able to say to date is that, so long as in you are in the curvy part of the U, you’re fine … the macro outlook is what you [...]

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Annual round-up of new year economic predictions: 2012

by Honeycrisp January 31, 2012

Below is our annual round-up of “expert” predictions.  From Euroland woes to deflationary trends, there’s certainly enough to watch for on the horizon.  What’s for certain is that no raging bull market is expected by anyone, to say the least.  Beyond that, disagreement abounds.  With no further ado: Banks and more banks Difficult 2012 for [...]

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2012 in NYC real estate: The year of “eh” with pockets of “wow”

by Honeycrisp January 24, 2012

Interest rates will hit their historical lows in mid-2012:  Yes, the interest rates have been lower for longer than anyone had expected.  When is the bottom going to come?  We’re calling it for mid-2012.  We anticipate that the first half of the year will be dominated by worries of Europe’s and the Euro’s fate, increased [...]

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