Cheaper to Rent? Or Buy?

rent vs buy Cheaper to Rent? Or Buy?














One of the more common questions we get from clients, especially in a market like New York City right now, where new development inventory is so low, is “Is it cheaper for me to rent right now, or buy?”

“Good question,” I reply. The low inventory of new Manhattan construction has been driving up rents, so, in almost all cases, it makes more sense to buy. As Boland Group team member Peter Denby says,

“It makes sense to buy now. Given the appreciation and rents increasing while your mortgage payment is staying constant. There aren’t as sure bets these days as New York real estate to put your cash.”

As seen in our new issue of One212, The Seller’s Issue, downloadable on your iPad right here





Nightmares at the Closing Table

table 268x300 Nightmares at the Closing Table

The closing of a real estate deal–either from the buyer’s side or the seller’s side–can be fraught with last-minute entanglements. Here’s another one, taken from the annals of Michael Moshan, real estate attorney and partner in Gold Scollar Moshan, PLLC.

The Facts: The client was buying a condo. At the closing he was clearly agitated and mistrustful. He wouldn’t buy title insurance. He was convinced the bank was lying to him. He was paranoid, and insisted on reading every document front to back. The closing took eight hours.

“Sometimes the folks at the closing table need to be extra patient and work together almost as a team to pacify an extremely paranoid person.”

The Boland Team’s solution: Some people are very thorough, and that’s a good thing when you’re making the biggest investment of your life. But we recommend, by all means, buying title insurance. It’s designed to protect you, and it’s not a crazy fee. So you’re buying something for $1,000,000, it’s wise to spend approximately $4,000 to protect your title, which basically says that if there’s an issue with the deed or the title, you’re protected. You have no recourse if there’s no title insurance.

In the end, Michael Moshan says: “He ultimately didn’t buy title insurance, and I made him sign a release, basically releasing my firm of any liability. It was an exercise in managing personalities, not necessarily dealing with legal problems—sometimes the folks at the closing table need to be extra patient and work together almost as a team to pacify an extremely paranoid person. He bought the condo, he closed, but it was epic.”

Ten Tips for first-time home buyers


first time home buyer 300x199 Ten Tips for first time home buyers


Here they are, by popular demand, a checklist for when you begin your home-buying journey.

1) Start with realistic goals. Do you have 20% in cash for down payment?

2) Be financially prepared. Do you have two years of mortgage and maintenance in liquid cash—after closing?

3) Know when to, and who to, ask for help. Buyers and sellers, especially in New York City, tend to over manage.

4) Secure your initial loan in advance

5) Know your own timeline. When will you be able to move? How much time is left on your lease? Does your current home need to be listed for sale?

6) Smart buyers insist on home inspections. Ensure that any major problems or defects are discovered and repaired before closing.

7) Take the long view: will your new home be your dream house? Starter home—or long term?

8) Find the right person to work with. Look for real estate professionals who share your principles and style.

9) Negotiate wisely. Shrewd negotiating might save you a bundle, but you have to careful not to negotiate yourself right out of the picture.

10) Look to the future. Buyer’s remorse is common, particularly for a big ticket item like a new home. Come up with a post-home buying budget. Factor in repairs, decorating costs and maintenance.



How to Alleviate Seller’s Anxiety

psych couch 300x236 How to Alleviate Sellers Anxiety

Let’s be honest: few things one does in a lifetime can create more anxiety than selling your home. And it starts with the appraisal—receiving from a perfect stranger a dollar value on your home, which symbolizes everything you’ve built, all your accomplishments. It’s like someone giving you a report card on your self-worth. It’s called Seller’s Anxiety.

Even if you hire the most trusted agent to relieve your burdens, as long as the sale cycle lasts, your home will feel like it’s not quite yours. You’ll need to vacate for viewings, vigilantly keep it clean and show-worthy. It’s stressful.

Fortunately, you can learn quite a bit about yourself and use this experience as a tool for growth. We asked Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a New York-based psychologist, how sellers can approach this anxiety-ridden process with a degree of equanimity.

One212: What’s the first thing you say to someone who’s stressed out because of an impending appraisal?

Dr. Carmichael: Sometimes people get nervous about being nervous. The first thing I would do is normalize the experience of being nervous, and let them know that it’s a completely normal time to feel that way. They feel they’re in a very stressful situation, and they’re also feeling very vulnerable because of this appraisal. But then you move forward from that.

One212: After acknowledging that nervousness, what practical things can a seller do to relieve anxiety?

Dr. Carmichael: I would try to help them see that selling their home is a process of letting go. So maybe they think about the fact that they do indeed have a lot tied up in that home—a sense of self-worth, their sense of accomplishment. But they also have a lot of memories that are tied up in that home. So one way to re-center their interest in what really matters when they’re thinking about that home, is first of all to go through that home—and they can do this on a lot of different levels, depending on how much they want to invest in this in terms of time and energy.