Author Topic: to buy or not to buy....  (Read 4168 times)


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to buy or not to buy....
« on: November 08, 2008, 05:02:13 PM »

what do you think about buying a co-op/condo in jackson heights now?  of course, everyone says that prices are going to come down bigtime in '09, but i'm ready to buy now.  how much can prices really come down in jackson heights?

also, what have you guys heard about stratford hall, the rental-to-condo conversion bldg on 35th av & 80th st?  is the building secure financially?  wonder if would it be wise to buy a condo there....

many thanks in advance for your feedback,  :)

Offline buddy

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Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 07:11:20 PM »
This is just personal opinion from living here for two decades.  It's not based on anything but personal experience. 

I think it's a good time to buy IF you find something you love.  Prices here are always lower than Manhattan and Brooklyn no matter what the economy is doing.  And they don't go up in value like those boroughs either.  On the plus side, you get more apartment for the money.

As to a newly converted rental:  I wouldn't.  Most Sponsor owned buildings have so many problems until the buildings are Shareholder run, I just wouldn't buy there.  But that's me and that's based on my experience of buying a Sponsor run building back when I bought my 2 bedroom.  The financial statements were doctored to look better than they really were and it was years before the building was actually a great investment.  I'd look at the other buildings that have been converted for awhile longer and see if there's something I like.
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Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 09:18:35 AM »
If you're looking to stay here long-term, then it's not that relevant to try to time the market.  Real estate always go up over time.   If you have a down payment ready and the interest rates look good, then you should go for it!  In a soft market, prices are more negotiable too, so even if you believe prices aren't rock-bottom now (and no one can really predict these things, can they?), you still have a current advantage as a buyer.  For comparison's sake, I bought when it was a seller's market and there was a bidding war.  Trust me, you don't ever want that heartache!
I live in a co-op so unfortunately I have no advice for you about condos here.


Offline Mike V

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Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 08:40:09 AM »
I wouldn't buy now if you don't have to.  I agree it will come down substantially in 2009.  They're predicting 165,000+ job losses in NYC.  In the building that I live in we have 4 units that have been on the market for months with NO interest.  I agree with Buddy that you should avoid Strattford Hall Conversion.  The building will be mostly investors who can rent to any one they want without Board approval.  If you're interested in a Condo consider Colton on 35th Ave but again wait since prices are high.  With prices dropping, maintenance increasing plus job losess in NYC expect to see Foreclosures for Cooperatives in JH's for those who purchased in the last two years at the HIGH.  You'll have lots to choose from late next year.   

Offline mistapresident

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Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 05:23:16 PM »
Quite frankly, most co-ops function like businesses.  I don't think all of them will suffer if they have managed their building, financial situation and shareholders for their benefit.  Many of these co-ops are strict and really examine the people before their possible passage to co-op residency: They do this to assure a situation like an economic recession.  I think most cooperatives in Jackson Heights are safe for the most part - or at least won't suffer tremendously.  Now Stratford Hall is a remarkable building!  So enticing with that tacky, plastic decor that car salesmen use to desperately attract buyers! Hmm.... I think I'd totally pass on that building, especially on the topic of buying.  I have a friend whom I grew up with who has been in that building for years.  It's an utter s**thole even as a rental building. 

Offline ShinjukuBaby

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Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2008, 10:36:39 AM »
With prices dropping, maintenance increasing plus job losses in NYC expect to see Foreclosures for Cooperatives in JH's for those who purchased in the last two years at the HIGH.

Coops aren't immune to foreclosure, but I wouldn't expect to see significant numbers of foreclosures for Jackson Heights coops.  Most boards are very conservative about who they let in.  Exotic mortgages have never been looked upon favorably in my building, and I suspect other coops in the area (and most in New York City, to be honest) are the same.

On the larger question of whether or not to buy now, I think that if you need a place to live and you plan to stay for a while, it may be a good time to buy in Jackson Heights.  As others have pointed out, we never got to the ridiculous levels that other areas in the city did, so we don't have as far to fall if things do get worse. 

On the other hand, if you have somewhere to live for the next year, or if you think that you'd want to sell the place and move within five years, then I wouldn't be in a rush to buy right now.  Wait to see what happens with the market.

Offline KC

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Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008, 07:00:07 AM »
I am by no means a real estate expert, but I really think that JH continues to be a very desirable neighborhood, and I don't think that we are going to see the drops in prices that other communities throughout the country are seeing.  While I have mixed feelings about the fact that JH has been "discovered," I think that there is no going back and it will continue to be a "hot" neighborhood.  Unless you have a really great rent-controlled apartment, I would say that the neighborhood is still a really good investment.  Even though gas prices have gone down, there is still a lot of insecurity about the future, and a walkable neighborhood with excellent transportation in which a car is not needed is a big plus in uncertain times.  The gorgeous apartments, (which are selling for 4 times what they went for 10-12 years ago), are still considered a bargain by folks coming from Manhattan or Brooklyn.  While I don't think the values are going to continue to increase at that rate, I also don't think they are going to go down much if at all.  And as others have said, if you plan on settling in for more than a couple of years, I think it continues to be a good investment. 

Jackson Heights Life

Re: to buy or not to buy....
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008, 07:00:07 AM »