Friday, September 28, 2007

Maybe I shouldn't have slept in today

I am usually out of bed at 5:15am and on my way to the gym by 5:45, 4-5 days a week. But today, I decided my body needed some rest and stayed in bed until 6:45. Sheer bliss I tell you. After making my morning peppermint tea (herbal, natch) I curl up on the sofa and put on the Today Show. Ahh, those guilty pleasures of morning TV and sexy Matt Lauer. But to my horror, there were no stories of men rescuing babies from burning buildings, or women have sextuplets. It was about the real estate market!

The moment I turned on the TV, Lauer was talking to business know it all Jim Cramer about the outrage of his comment: "Don't you dare by real estate now!" WHA?!?! This was NOT what I needed to hear upon waking. Now, I am no real estate scholar. I practically know next to nothing, but am educating myself as we move through this process. No sooner than my head began to defuzz from my night's sleep, the next shot was, of course, another expert who disagrees with Mr. Cramer. Then the back and forth banter began, my eyes following the two like I was watching a tennis match. After a few minutes, I finally gave up and put on the DVR'd LA Ink. Nothing like reality TV to settle the nerves.

ANyway, the point is, everyone has an opinion. Experts, friends, family, the dog. We have friends telling us to keep our fabulous rental apartment. Our financial planner, when asked if this was a good time to buy, said "anytime is a good time to buy" because it's an investment, and real estate is the best investment you can make. I tend to think along the lines of our planner. Throwing $2600 each month in rent away doesn't feel so good. What we need to is see what's out there, see if anything clicks, and "calls" to us.

PS. On another note, the Post published their HOME real estate guide, which my coworker proudly presented to me this morning. Granted, much of it is advertisements, but it's great to look through. Some of these new buildings are off the hook!

PPS. I would also like to note that this is MRS. Southpaw writing an homage to Matt Lauer. Not the Mr. (Although, if this were Trainer Bob from biggest loser, it could be either of us)


The Southpaw Chew said...

It's ok to have a man crush.

Abbey Sarynne said...

OK - come close...listen up...are you listening?...good: MATT LAUER IS NOT - I repeat - NOT sexy - sheesh! It's not a subjective thing. He just isn't. He is a big unsexy dork.

That being said, we watch Jim Cramer a lot, and while the man is very smart, he, like anyone, is wrong sometimes too. You can't really count New York city in with the rest of the country as far as real estate goes. Trust me, loves, NY isn't getting any smaller...and land...well they aren't making any more of it. Don't give it another thought and buy buy buy!!!

Jaelyn said...

Most people would be well-served to never listen to anything Jim Cramer has to say...ever. That being said, you should be careful not to fall into the "it's different here" mindset entirely. NYC and anything that is a reasonably close commute to Manhattan will likely retain its value better than many other parts of the country. Obviously, there are pockets of desirable living areas all over the country that will hold up better. The bottom line is, because of current market conditions, you will be in a better negotiating position this year than you would have been last year. As you look at comps, be sure they are very recent. Not a year ago, but 6 months or less. That's your starting point. Finally, if you are buying a place because you want a nice place to live, you will be fine. If you expect to buy something and gain 20% a year for the next few years, you missed the boat. Check out this article on
You will see it lists the NYC-area MSA as expecting a 5.3% price decline between now and about this time next year. You have to recognize that there are the more challenged areas of Southern NY suburbs and Northern NJ suburbs mixed in with the NYC Boroughs. Bottom line is, you should NOT pay more than any recent sales indicate as a fair price point. However, if you are looking for a 15% discount off peak prices, you need to look at places that are an hour or more away from Manhattan. Don't be afraid to make offers and good luck.