Saturday, June 14, 2008

Real Estate: Condo Search 101

As I mentioned before, City Guy and I are new to the NYC condo market, and it's my job as the one with the more flexible hours and the greater background in real estate (my family) to do the homework.

Today, I took advantage of this stormy weather to stay indoors and get organized. I spent forever on Street Easy, looking up condos in the FiDi (Financial District for you newbies), and just by looking through all the listings and the new development listings, I feel confident that I now know all the major condo developments with available units in our price range--about 25 in all. I made a spreadsheet! I know--pretty nerdy--but I love Excel for organizing my life!

Tomorrow, we're going to try and hit up 5 or 6 open houses. Should be fun.

Other steps we've recently taken to get organized:
  1. The other day, City Guy and I made a "condo wishlist" which I think was another good way to figure out our baseline expectations as a couple for our new home. It was good to know we were on the same page.
  2. We figured out our money situation, which means now I know what to look for in terms of price, common charges and taxes.
  3. We ruled out Battery Park City, which I've loved from afar for a while. I just love the waterfront and all those "green" buildings! But the common charges and taxes are ridiculous - almost $2000/month sometimes and I'd happily walk a few blocks to get to water if it means saving a chunk of change.
  4. We agreed that our first choice in neighborhoods is FiDi. Both of us have lived in this area for many years. We've seen it evolve and we believe there's great growth potential in the next 5-7 years. I found out today that living in FiDi, our future kids would have a great school district - PS 234--and we'd be close to the waterfront parks, which I would take over Central Park any day. Plus, we believe it's our best bet for finding a place for less than $1000/square foot downtown.
  5. We're giving ourselves a 6 month to 1 year time frame for purchase. That gives us time to really do our homework.
  6. If we don't find a place in Manhattan, we'll start looking in Brooklyn. Williamsburg has some very nice waterfront developments, though they're a hike from the nearest subway stop. Brooklyn Heights is also very nice.
  7. I got a little folder to keep all my floor plans, info sheets and other real estate stuff in one place
Oh, and I found a couple more condo resources (in addition to the ones I listed before):
Hope it doesn't rain tomorrow so I can see how the light streams into those southern exposure units!

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