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Archive for November, 2009

About to make another offer

November 28th, 2009 at 02:32 am

This is on a different apartment. I hope this one works out!

I emailed the owners asking how to do this. No reply yet (I don't know how often he checks his email, this seems to be an account set up just for the purpose of selling his co-op).
I am pacing a little.

I hope get the right price. Negotiations can be a bit sensitive without an agent in the middle. I don't know what other issues are different when buying from an owner.

I am trying not to get my hopes up too much. I like this place. They are asking 450K (down from 495K 9 month ago). It is less than what they bought it for (they bought in 2007)

Another money saving healthy idea

November 7th, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I'm sure many of you are doing it already, but I just started making my own yogurt.

Yes, I invested $37 into a yogurt machine (all it does is keeps a constant warm temperature, but I strongly prefer glass jars over the plastic ones, so I bought a more expensive one).

This is the second batch I'm making.
I used 1/4 gallon of organic milk to make 6 cups, so it comes out to $2.5 or 42 cents for each jar of ORGANIC, PROBIOTIC, FRESH, NO STABILIZERS or PRESERVATIVES, NO HFCS or sugar yogurt. (if I choose to, I'll add something sweet, but I will know exactly how much)

It is quite simple. All I needed was to heat milk and mix in some probiotic yogurt (I kept some from the last batch I made, so I no longer need to buy a jar to use as a starter).

Tomorrow our breakfast will be a jar of yogurt with crushed roasted almonds and a thin layer of honey on top, freshly made steel cut oatmeal, good coffee and a orange juice.

Today I did not go out for breakfast either - I made an omelet with melted in fresh mozzarella, and some sliced tomatoes covered in pressed garlic w salt/pepper and fresh basil leaves. I love weekends. Having time to eat breakfast at leisure with DH is nice.

Update on the apartment

November 7th, 2009 at 04:19 am

We offered 290K.

Realtor believed it was a good offer.
It was declined a day and a half later.

Today (realtor was trying to convince the seller for 2 days) she came back saying she is willing to sell it for 315K.

She is being very emotional about it.
She originally listed it at 359K (which had no basis in reality).

We are not taking it. We can afford it, but I don't believe this is the right price. I looked up records of sales in that building and they are are nowhere near that figure. They were not that high even in 2006.

I don't know if I am doing the right thing - I really like the apartment.
But I don't want to overpay by a lot.

Made an offer!

November 3rd, 2009 at 07:34 pm

Now we have to wait.

We bid on............ #1!

Thank you for all your feedback. I was leaning towards #1 as well, because #2, as wonderful and lovely as it is, was really a financial stretch.

I know the common "stretch at first, you'll be glad later when you grow into it" advice... however, what would we do if the maintenance was raised?

So now I have to wait to hear from the seller...
Excited, scared...

All these questions:
Did I offer the right price?
Should I have started from a lower amount?
Is there something even better out there?

Did you guys have these fears when you bought your homes? How strong were they?

Our apartment -- here are two final choices with pictures

November 2nd, 2009 at 09:28 pm

Sorry about being absent so much - we've were spending all of our free time apartment hunting.

We narrowed it down to 2 choices, in a nice area of Bronx.

Here are their pros and cons.
Apartment 1 (the one I previously described)
Pros: cheap 320K, $700 monthly maintenance
walking distance to MetroNorth
(excellent commute for me)
good light
good size

Cons: 2 windows are facing busy parkway
no window in the bathroom
building has no amenities
parking on waitlist
no outdoor space
large building

Apartment 2 (new one we just saw last week). We saw it twice now, it is so loveley:

1,100 sf private terrace with nice view with trees and shade around. Just gorgeous.
Very quiet and green, large windows everywhere facing only greenery and pedestrian path that leads to just a few apartments.
Great area
Separate entrance, feels like a townhouse in a village setting
Quality high-end renovation (not for purposes of selling, they obviously renovated for themselves.

Expensive (financially, it is possible, but much tighter - it is at the upper spectrum of what we can afford)
480K, almost $1,300 monthly maintenance
will have to take a shuttle to MetroNorth, adding 25 minutes each way to the commute.

There are only 2 cons, but they are big ones