Homeownership, it’s the American dream. (Although so far as I can tell, it’s entirely overrated.) We didn’t buy our home in New Jersey in the traditional way, and honestly, our purchase was made somewhat on a whim. Mr. S and I had been dipping one toe in the real estate market for a couple of years but we were wholly focused on NYC and the surrounding boroughs. We even placed an offer on a one bedroom apartment back in 2013 on East 102nd Street but we lost to a higher bid. At that price, we were already stretching ourselves way too thin and we graciously accepted defeat. The 613 square foot condo eventually sold for $487,000. NYC real estate is crazy.
We half-heartedly looked at some other apartments in Brooklyn and Central Harlem, just to see what our money could buy us. Answer: our money could buy us an itty bitty one bedroom with lots of “great quirks” in “up and coming” neighborhoods. It was disheartening, but we also weren’t super serious about buying in NYC. Our budget could only afford a one bedroom and we knew we’d grow out of that floor plan within a year or two. So when we got engaged and shifted our focus to the wedding, I was all too happy to continue renting and to let homeownership wait. Still, the nagging facts of renting vs. buying and favorable interest rates reminded me that investing in a property was the smart move and we should do so sooner rather than later.
So when my dad called one day with the news that the house across the street from them was going up for sale, I was interested – not as a home for Mr. S and me, but as an investment property. We could buy the house, fix it up a bit, rent it out, sell it in a few years, and make a good profit – all while still living the good life in our NYC studio.