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Our apartment -- here are two final choices with pictures

November 2nd, 2009 at 01:28 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:

Pros:
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.
Attic













Cons:
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

13 Responses to “Our apartment -- here are two final choices with pictures ”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    oh man I was so gonna saw 2 till I caught wind of that maintance fee!!
    I dont know!! I wouldnt choose based on commute cuz that can chanfge unless you see yourself working at the same place for a very long time.

    I would walk into #2 everyday and say "I love living here." But then if I was in #1 I would say "I love living here" everytime I balanced the checkbooks.

  2. Nika Says:

    Gamecock,
    Yes the maintenance is a huge factor. That alone is extra $600 a month. The mortgage difference is another $600 a month. So the difference in carrying cost between #1 and #2 is about $1,200 a month.
    We could not even fund our ROTH if we were living in apartment #2. We could only fully fund 401K (but an apartment as an investment as well, right?).
    My fear is that if the maintenance increases for any reason, we won't be able to afford it.

    Commute is a major factor. It will not change. That commute is to Grand Central station in Manhattan. If we were to work anywhere in Manhattan, we'll still need to commute via MetroNorth, so the distance to the train station is important.

  3. CouponAddict Says:

    I like the first one, as the kitchen seems tight on the second one; the first one is a better price (and you can upgrade to your hearts content for the price difference). Is there no way of adding a porch if you were to get permission.

    I kind of wish the furnishing were closer to the same, The first one is furnished sparsely but the furnishing in the second one make it grand, but the furnishing leave with the seller.

    But from the posting you sound like you are ready to plop down the extra money and spend more time commuting for all the extra #2 has.

  4. whitestripe Says:

    will the extra commute cost more as well?

    i think they are both lovely. $320k is what we paid for our house - and i can see the similarities between yours and our househunting at the moment - we had other higher priced ones, in different areas, that we could have gone for, but in the end we went for the cheaper one, in a nice but not sought after area (yet - it is changing slowly). i guess you just have to ask yourself if and how much you are willing to sacrifice just to live in #2. will you start to resent it because you have to hold yourself back all the time?

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    The terrace is amazing on the second one, but I just love the first one. I can't believe it's so much cheaper! Bright and airy is much more my style, but I can tell you like the upscale elegant look better.

    Do they both have a second bedroom for family planning? I remember that was a big issue before.

  6. pjmama Says:

    Both are incredibly beautiful! The second one looked nicer, but the kitchen looked tiny in comparison to the first one. I would get cramped so easily! But then again, I do a whole lot of cooking Smile Not sure how much you do, but it's something to consider.

  7. all4money Says:

    I couldn't imagine adding 25 minutes to my commute if I didn't have to! Since I am not emotionally attached to the decision, then it is an easy one for me... choice #1 all the way around. Now, that terrace in #2 is to die for, but I don't think all else considered that it is enough to sway me from choice #1.

    Good luck and keep us posted!!

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    Ooh, yeah, that kitchen and patio in #2 is to die for!

    But, I'm sorry, not the practical solution. Yeah, terrible to say, but to buy that in my opinion is to cross the line where you "buy" more house than you should.

    But then to throw the maintenance fee and longer commute? Fuggeabutit.

    #1 is also beautiful. And there's no rule that says you can't upgrade to something like #2 some day, when it makes more sense to do so.

  9. boomeyers Says:

    I'm still for #1 myself! Keep us posted!

  10. Lisa Says:

    #1 looks very nice. Almost an extra hour of commuting per day?! No, thanks!

  11. fern Says:

    I loved the terrace in #2, but the costs would rule it out for me.

  12. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Definitely #1. Full of light, nice kitchen, better commute.

  13. Personal Finance Student Says:

    I'd trade space (outside and inside space) for a shorter commute and lesser rent any day. Actually when we moved to TX two years ago, that's exactly what we did and haven't regretted one minute of it! We went from 50 miles/1.5 hour commute each way to 10 miles/15 minute commute and it makes a world of difference! #1 all the way! Good luck!

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