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Where would you buy if you were in my shoes?

Ok, so I wanted to get a feel of DLers here on this. I am considering buying an apartment for myself in the NYC area (since I have some cash to pay for it without a mortgage). For my budget range, I've narrowed it down to two areas in the five boroughs.

One place I'm looking at is in Staten Island at the top of my budget. It's by the ferry, has a nice view of the water and lower Manhattan and the HOA fee is low. However, the apartment is small (400 sq ft) and it's in, you know, Staten Island.

The other is in the Bronx. It's at the lower end of my price point, has a good amount of sq ft. (700) with a low HOA and is near two subways, the Metro North and Van Cortland park. The drawback is, like Staten Island, it's in the Bronx. Not the worst neighborhood in the Bronx, mind you, but still.

I'm including the first listing in post 1 and then the second in post 2. Maybe some of you will say that I shouldn't purchase in either, but if you [italic] had to choose, [/italic] which would you go for?

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by Anonymousreply 75June 16, 2023 4:35 AM

Here's apartment #2.

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by Anonymousreply 1May 24, 2023 1:33 AM

Based solely on transportation options, I’d go with the Bronx.

by Anonymousreply 2May 24, 2023 1:38 AM

The Bronx apartment has no windows in the living room, kitchen, or bathroom?

by Anonymousreply 3May 24, 2023 1:38 AM

The most important thing is how comfortable you are not only in the apartment but in the neighborhood. I’d recommend going to each place and spending some time walking around and seeing if you can picture yourself living there.

by Anonymousreply 4May 24, 2023 1:38 AM

The tinier Staten Island place seems much nicer. Brighter. Better layout.

The Bronx kitchenette gave me the willies.

by Anonymousreply 5May 24, 2023 1:42 AM

I would sooner move out of NY altogether than to SI.

by Anonymousreply 6May 24, 2023 1:44 AM

Here’s r6.

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by Anonymousreply 7May 24, 2023 1:45 AM

R2 Definitely something I've heavily considered. However, as to R4, I haven't actually been around that neighborhood in the Bronx before, whereas I have been in that area of Staten Island before and I like it a lot. What I don't like it that it has no subway, but the ferry options (plural, since the NYC ferry goes to Hudson Yards, in addition to the Staten Island ferry to Wall Street), isn't the worst option in the world.

I'm going to try to get appointments to see both soon and then explore each neighborhood more, but I'm still open to hearing more from other posters as I weigh my options.

by Anonymousreply 8May 24, 2023 1:45 AM

If you move to Staten Island you can blow Colin Jost when he visits his family.

by Anonymousreply 9May 24, 2023 1:45 AM

You really don’t the first thing about finding an apt. do you? That said, your move to SI would immediately require a strong dose of cyanide…no question: Bronx.

by Anonymousreply 10May 24, 2023 1:49 AM

I like the stark, Hopper-esque beauty of the SI apartment.

by Anonymousreply 11May 24, 2023 1:54 AM

Staten Island is a thousand times safer than the Bronx.

by Anonymousreply 12May 24, 2023 1:56 AM

I should also clarify that I've seen a lot more places in my price range in the Bronx, but that place was the best on the low end with good transport options and a low HOA. The one in Staten Island I shared is the only one in my price range.

by Anonymousreply 13May 24, 2023 1:59 AM

R12 Definitely something that has been on my mind.

by Anonymousreply 14May 24, 2023 1:59 AM

OP - I grew up on Staten Island (and you always say on, not in) and now live in Upper Manhattan. First off, I think the SI apartment was used as the exterior location for Brian DePalma's "Sisters" so be on the look out for psycho twins.

I guess the question is where do you want to spend most of your time? I work in Times Square - at night it usually takes 45 minutes to get up to 145th street once the express train stops running. SI ferry is always a half hour to South Ferry (plus waiting time for the boat to leave) and then you usually have to get on the subway anyway. So both options from a commuting standpoint are about an hour-plus depending on where you are heading and time of day.

I have no love for Staten Island, but St George does have a few places to go that are walkable -- not sure about the Bronx neighborhood you are looking at -- it really does come down to where you think you will be spending your time / where do you work- thus commute. Then neighborhood. Then which apartment you like better as a space.

by Anonymousreply 15May 24, 2023 2:00 AM

I’ve lived in the Bronx, and while I think it is a smart borough in which to buy, I second those who say get a feel for the immediate neighborhood. It’s not in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area (where I would have no reservations). If you can, visit in the evening and during the day to really get a feel for whether it’s a good fit. (Not to totally discourage you, it’s just a block-by-block sort of place outside of certain areas.) I like the extra square footage in the apartment.

Staten Island is definitely safer, and if you are in midtown Manhattan or below, or Brooklyn a lot, a more practical choice. The Bronx if ypu see yourself going upstate more often.

by Anonymousreply 16May 24, 2023 2:01 AM

SI is a thousand times more stifling than the Bronx. That new ferry doesn’t take you to Hudson Yards… it is the dead zone behind JAVITS. So a 40 min ferry ride and then a schlep followed by at least one subway transfer unless you are staying on the 8th ave line …

You should be looking in upper MANHATTAN or Astoria QUEENS.

by Anonymousreply 17May 24, 2023 2:02 AM

Staten Island.

by Anonymousreply 18May 24, 2023 2:04 AM

I'm correct about the "Sisters" location - just googled it. The SI apartment does have views and the rooftop going for it, and is a nicer space overall.

by Anonymousreply 19May 24, 2023 2:07 AM

A view of the bigots in the surrounding neighborhood…

by Anonymousreply 20May 24, 2023 2:10 AM

Staten Island listing is much more attractive. It’s small but looks very well kept. I don’t know much about either neighborhood but I’ve a clear favorite based on the listings.

by Anonymousreply 21May 24, 2023 2:14 AM

Just looked at google maps, the bronx apt is an hour to Times Square by subway. The SI apartment would take about the same amount of time -- the boat ride is nice, but boats only run on the half-hour most of the time -- so are you the type who plans things and sticks to schedules or do you just leave the house / work whenever -- I am the latter, so often spend time waiting at the Ferry Terminal when I go visit my mother.

by Anonymousreply 22May 24, 2023 2:16 AM

My sister lives in that part of Staten Island (right outside of Snug Harbor Cultural Ctr) and loves it. Imo, that section, St George, is so different from the rest of the island that you might as well be in another borough. There are a lot of decent restaurants around there. And a ton of shopping. My favorite plant nursery, Girardi's, is a couple blocks away on Richmond Terrace. There's a cool old man's bar, Liedy's also on Richmond. Snug Harbor is a wonderful place to just walk around. There's always stuff going on over there.

I'm not even from Staten Island but I do like that area from all of my visits through the years. I don't know the Bronx well but I know that there are some beautiful sections there as well. Obviously, I vote for the Hamilton Ave place which I believe is on a hill.

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by Anonymousreply 23May 24, 2023 2:20 AM

Just did a street-view tour of the bronx area -- it's essentially outer-boro residential nowhere (much like my area of Hamilton Heights) You have the basics, but not much that's interesting. -- St George has more going on and better architecture. Where do you live now, OP?

by Anonymousreply 24May 24, 2023 2:23 AM

Be sure to visit both buildings at night to get a feel for how safe you feel.

A neighborhood can look fine in the daylight, but not so late at night.

by Anonymousreply 25May 24, 2023 2:33 AM

Is the SI unit on the ground floor or the floor above?

Was the neighborhood impacted by flooding from Hurricane Sandy?

by Anonymousreply 26May 24, 2023 2:39 AM

I recognized the apartment building from 'Sisters' right away.

by Anonymousreply 27May 24, 2023 2:43 AM

[quote]The Bronx apartment has no windows in the living room

Click to pic #7. It looks as if a wall was built in the LR to turn it into two rooms, one very small. And that small room is where the former living room window is.

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by Anonymousreply 28May 24, 2023 2:50 AM

Not a New Yorker here, and I'm shocked that one could buy a 1BD apartment in ANY borough of New York for less than $200,000.

by Anonymousreply 29May 24, 2023 2:53 AM

What, no Brooklyn?

by Anonymousreply 30May 24, 2023 3:00 AM

I was just thinking the same thing R29. Both are very reasonable prices for a 1 bedroom apartment in New York. Surprising.

by Anonymousreply 31May 24, 2023 3:35 AM

R29 I think it’s partly the HOA, if I’m not mistaken?

by Anonymousreply 32May 24, 2023 3:47 AM

OP is that Bronx apartment building from 'Rhoda'?

by Anonymousreply 33May 24, 2023 10:33 AM

Bust out a few shekels and get a 2br place. This place is just as shitty as the other apartments but with more room.

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by Anonymousreply 34May 24, 2023 11:03 AM

I agree with r17. Have you checked other areas, OP?

If I had to choose, the SI place by a country mile. Nicer area, nicer apartment.

by Anonymousreply 35May 24, 2023 11:31 AM

First, I would get some better shoes.

by Anonymousreply 36May 24, 2023 11:34 AM

Why not here?

And there were more in Manhattan to choose from.

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by Anonymousreply 37May 24, 2023 11:48 AM

And which Ring of Hell would you like to inhabit outside of Manhattan?

by Anonymousreply 38May 24, 2023 11:57 AM

Yikes at the assessment at r37.

by Anonymousreply 39May 24, 2023 11:58 AM

Access to the mainland always is important in island living.

That includes Manhattan.

by Anonymousreply 40May 24, 2023 12:04 PM

OP, the apartment near the ferry is ON Staten Island. Use IN when referring to your Staten Island neighborhood.

by Anonymousreply 41May 24, 2023 12:10 PM

R37 There is a huge fight going on between tenants and landlord at 100 West 57th. Several stories in papers over the last few months. Rents are going sky high.

by Anonymousreply 42May 24, 2023 12:14 PM

As someone else said, Astoria makes a lot more sense than those options.

And suggest you stay on SI for a week first and take the ferry every morning. Only in movies is it romantic.

And yes, at least in some parts of Staten Island you can expect neighbors who won't welcome you moving in.

by Anonymousreply 43May 24, 2023 12:26 PM

OP, are you just moving to the city for the first time? Why are you buying a house if you can only afford a $150,000 mortgage (which I assume means you only have $15,000 in savings). Just move to NY and rent for a year while you look for a better paying job.

by Anonymousreply 44May 24, 2023 12:36 PM

I can't imagine buying a tiny, mediocre apartment in a not so desirable area and still having to pay $600+ per month in HOA fees. Screw that.

by Anonymousreply 45May 24, 2023 12:39 PM

r29 New York is actually pretty good when it comes to cheap housing because it historically has a lot of economic diversity, unlike say San Francisco.

by Anonymousreply 46May 24, 2023 12:43 PM

Definitely The Bronx apartment. That studio in SI would get smaller and smaller the longer you lived there. At least the apartment in TB doesn't require such an effort just to get into Manhattan.

by Anonymousreply 47May 24, 2023 12:43 PM

Jamaica Queens is only 10 minutes from midtown and much less likely to get shot than the Bronx.

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by Anonymousreply 48May 24, 2023 12:46 PM

R48, Jamaica is 10 minutes from Manhattan by helicopter. At least a 1/2 hour on E or F train.

by Anonymousreply 49May 24, 2023 12:50 PM

r49 Long Island Rail Road. 10 minutes max to midtown Manhattan or downtown Brooklyn .

by Anonymousreply 50May 24, 2023 12:53 PM

Foolish to look only at housing expense. NYC is very expensive, unless you're poor or an illegal immigrant.

So don't forget health insurance, heating and utilities, car expense, and income and property taxes. Middle-class people in those neighborhoods you're looking at with no government assistance just scrape by.

by Anonymousreply 51May 24, 2023 12:54 PM

OP / R8: I haven't been to either neighbourhood, but whatever you choose, buy something with plenty of daylight in the living room. It isn't that important for the kitchen and bathroom, but an absolute must for your living room. You need daylight, and, if possible, a bit of a pleasant view.

R37: How on earth can that place be so cheap, right beneath Central Park?

by Anonymousreply 52May 24, 2023 12:58 PM

OP's link looks like where the women lived in "Sisters".

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by Anonymousreply 53May 24, 2023 1:02 PM

Wasn't able to post due to primetime, so I'm back. I'll give a few more details that will answer a few questions.

Right now, I live in Queens and really don't enjoy it here. Most of the other areas in the borough are either too expensive or, as R49 correctly points out, way too far of a commute to Midtown for my liking. I did see one property in Astoria that I would consider, but I'm not a huge fan of the area, so I'm not that keen on it, and it's also the only one in my price range.

I could afford a more expensive apartment if I were to take out a mortgage, but my goal is to not have that hanging over my head. It's already bad enough having to pay HOA fees every month and having to go through the annoying process of Co-Op board interviews, so every little expensive I can shave away helps.

I saw the apartment in R37. but with that HOA, you're practically just paying what rent would cost in Manhattan, even if you own a stake in the co-op. The HOA's are what is holding me back from considering any place in Manhattan, even upper Manhattan where it's still too high for my taste. For NYC, R45, a $600-$700 HOA isn't too expensive, and it's all about location, location, location.

My main reason for staying in NYC is because it's where my family is. My father lives in Midtown and my mother, although not divorced from him, is practically uncoupled at this point, so she's thinking about moving. She hasn't pinned it down yet, so it's tough to decide between the two boroughs for where I should go. If she moves upstate, that is going to have me leaning towards the Bronx. If she moves to New Jersey or Pennsylvania, it's Staten Island.

So that's what my considerations are. I'm going to do some visits this weekend. If primetime isn't on, I'll update you all on my experience.

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by Anonymousreply 54May 24, 2023 1:18 PM

Also should mention that I saw this place in Brooklyn that I really liked with a backyard pool, but the HOA was outrageous for what you were getting, so it was an immediate no. Brooklyn is pretty much out of the question, since nothing in my price range is accessible to transport.

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by Anonymousreply 55May 24, 2023 1:20 PM

FWIW, and based solely on the apartments themselves (not the locations), I'd go with #1.

As posters upthread said, #1 has tons of windows/light, a great view, looks really well-kept, etc.

The odd, tiny room in #2 is where the AC is located, and that wall they put off to cordon it off means it would be hard to cool the living room/rest of the place.

by Anonymousreply 56May 24, 2023 1:31 PM

If you can afford a $150,000 down payment and these are the places you are considering, you are a real masochist.

Go see the mortgage guy. Mine was a very sexy young Rutgers grad with a decent size bulge.

by Anonymousreply 57May 24, 2023 1:52 PM

OP, for me The Bronx over Staten Island. No question.

The Bronx has amazing attractions:

~Wave Hill

~New York Botanical Garden

~Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance

~Little Italy

~Wakefield (nice Irish pubs)

~Riverdale (good Jewish delis)

~City Island (fresh seafood)

~Orchard Beach (walk from the beach into the woods!)

~Van Cortlandt Park

~The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

~Woodlawn Cemetery (with beautiful live concerts)

Plus, Staten Island is awful for transportation. In the Bronx, you have subway access to the rest of the city, Metro North access to Westchester and Connecticut, and newish ferry routes from Soundview/Ferry Point (beautiful parks, btw) to the Upper East Side, Midtown, and Wall Street.

PLUS, in The Bronx your neighbors and your representatives on the City Council, in Albany, and in Washington will all be Democrats. SI is filled with Trump lovers.

No contest.

by Anonymousreply 58May 24, 2023 2:01 PM

Good God OP. You've got at least 200 grand in cash at your disposal, but you can't afford $1.99/mo so you can post anytime you want on DL?

by Anonymousreply 59May 24, 2023 2:08 PM

^100 % agree. Plus, Norwood is safe,diverse and fun, surrounded by parks.

In any apt, the most important factor is the upstairs neighbor.

by Anonymousreply 60May 24, 2023 2:15 PM

Of the two, I like the Staten Island one, and the view of the water is nice.

by Anonymousreply 61May 24, 2023 2:20 PM

I can't even vote. No to Staten Island because the transportation is terrible. The Bronx! I wouldn't buy in the Bronx before I lived there. Don't do it. What about New Jersey. Or some spots in Queens. Kew Gardens has some affordable places. A bit of a trek to manhattan but no more than the Bronx or SI.

by Anonymousreply 62May 24, 2023 2:23 PM

The thing many posters are not taking into consideration are the specifics of OPs situation -- he wants to pay cash and have a low monthly maintenance fee. This may not be what you would do, but to me it seems smart, you could spend the $600 a month he saves over that midtown studio and eat out and go to a play once a week. NYC is a great place, but it is expensive - either in actual money or in time; and the choices OP presents show that -- reasonable cost, but you pay with the time and inconvenience it takes every day to get to and from your apartment to where you work or the things you want to enjoy.

I'm R15 / 19 -- the Staten Island MAGA thing certainly real, but it's not an issue in the St George neighborhood OP is considering -- those types of Islanders would NEVER live in St George -- it's too "urban" and "old" and "unsafe" -- there are some housing projects not too far away. St George has municipal buildings and lots of old victorians, as SI goes the residents are on the poorer side, or they are the type that want to fix up an old house -- so it's a blue area. SI doesn't have great public transit, but OP really has no reason to venture into the rest of the the Island -- there's nothing there but houses. The attraction of St George is it is right near the ferry - thus "easy" access to Manhattan (versus the rest of the Island) for that reason, and the fact that it has been a rather run-down area since the 70s, people are always trying to make St George happen. See the building the Pete Davidson lived in for awhile -- but it never does happen because for most of us the ferry ride, and more crucially the ferry schedule, is a deal breaker.

OP already lives out in Queens, and he understands that if you don't have the money to live in a dream NYC neighborhood you MUST live very close a subway stop (or be able to walk to the ferry). Astoria can be nice, but there is only one train -- I have friends who lived there, but the cheaper apartments are literally a 30 minuet walk to the subway, and that gets old quickly. The LIRR from other areas of Queens in much more expensive than the subway -- Queens is like SI in that there really aren't many train lines, most transit is busses.

Light is super important -- the SI apartment has that and really great views, for Staten Island it's really crazy nice and crazy cheap; the issue is the commute, but OP understands that any option that fit his criteria will involve long ones. For the time you actually spend IN your apartment, and I go months where I basically just sleep in mine, the SI apartment will be much more pleasant for hanging out and reading - again the views and the roof deck. Of the two, I'd honestly choose the St George apartment, and I'd rather cut off both my arms than live on Staten Island again. -- but in OPs case he's really not living on the Island culture-wise, and the ferry time will only be a bit longer than subway train time most days, and if you sit outside, even in the winter, it is a pleasant ride.

by Anonymousreply 63May 24, 2023 4:38 PM

One thing I like about the Astoria apartment posted above is that the stove and the refrigerator aren’t directly across from each other. Otherwise I vote for Staten Island because I like the light and don’t get out much anyway.

by Anonymousreply 64May 25, 2023 3:20 AM

Finally got a moment to post out of primetime.

I went to go see the Bronx apartment the weekend it had an open house. It left much to be desired. Biggest problem was it was in a bad neighborhood. Like, it wasn't that I necessarily felt unsafe there, but it was dirty and rundown. The apartment itself was nowhere near the subway and train, even though it looked that way on a map, so just from the area alone, it was already a no go.

The apartment itself was fine. The neighbors seemed nice, no one sketchy. The posters talking about the wall between the rooms blocking light were correct. It was dark and it made the space more cramped than it needed to be. The good news was the little alcove space was big enough to sublet to someone else, if I wanted a roommate.

Kitchen was teeny tiny with a fridge that was way too big for the space and no dishwasher. It was not an apartment I could see myself cooking in. The bedroom space was nice, but the view was unpleasant. It also had a lot of drawer and closet space, so I could fit a lot of stuff in the apartment if I had wanted to.

Needless to say, I did not end up going with the apartment in the Bronx. Important to note that it was on the lower end of my price range, so I'm willing to spend more for a better neighborhood. I haven't had time to check out the Staten Island apartment yet, but it looks like the price went down in price since I first started this thread. May try to see it soon. Hope this update was interesting.

by Anonymousreply 65June 15, 2023 7:10 PM

Too late..too boring. Come back when you’re ready to actually sign a lease.😴

by Anonymousreply 66June 15, 2023 7:18 PM

Damn, are apartments in NYC really cheaper than they are in Phoenix. I had no idea you can buy things for that price. Maybe I should move.

by Anonymousreply 67June 15, 2023 7:46 PM

If you have $150k cash to buy without a mortgage, use that as a down payment and take out a mortgage for something decent.

Hypothetical speaking, the SI apartment is nicer but imagine yourself living in 400 sf. I didn’t see any closets. Where are you going to keep your winter coats and jackets? Four seasons worth of clothing and shoes? As a grown ass adult are you going to be comfortable sleeping on the sort of bunk that’s in the “bedroom”?

You can do better. If you’re considering an hour plus commute into Manhattan, why not look at White Plains and have an even easier commute?

by Anonymousreply 68June 15, 2023 8:09 PM

Mortgages are the devil, pay cash.

by Anonymousreply 69June 16, 2023 3:34 AM

r69 Mortgages in the US are heavily government subsidized especially in blue cities. It's potentially hundreds of thousands in free money you're just leaving on the table.

by Anonymousreply 70June 16, 2023 3:40 AM

Neither R69 nor R70 know what they are talking about —perfect for each other.0

by Anonymousreply 71June 16, 2023 3:42 AM

$100,000 free cash for low income NYers who get their first mortgage.

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by Anonymousreply 72June 16, 2023 3:48 AM

^And that's just one of like hundreds of different programs.

by Anonymousreply 73June 16, 2023 3:53 AM

You don't really like yourself, do you OP?

by Anonymousreply 74June 16, 2023 4:06 AM

One enters in the KITCHEN? This doesn't even qualify as a pied-à-terre.

I'll take a garden apartment sans garden in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, thanks nonetheless.

by Anonymousreply 75June 16, 2023 4:35 AM
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