There was an article in the Real Estate section of yesterday’s New York Times about a young guy who was ready to leave his roommates behind and get a place of his own. Zach Linder’s budget for rent was between $1,400 and $1,500. After exploring Brooklyn’s rental market and finding nothing but too-small studios, he smartly decided it made more sense to buy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t smart enough to think of Hoboken.
He set out searching for a co-op in Brooklyn for under $300,000 with maintenance in the low $700s. His price range limited him to studios. A co-op seriously limits his ability to rent the property out should he outgrow it in the future. He ultimately bought a unit in Prospect Heights for $223,000 but it was in need of electrical and plumbing work. The building is on Plaza Street East, very near the Grand Army Plaza stop of the 2 and the 3 trains and seven stops from Wall Street. Had he only come to Hoboken!
Today in Hoboken, Mr. Linder could have his choice of 41 different units – all condos – for under $300,000. Only four are studios, the other 36 are 1-bedrooms and one is a 2-bedroom. For practically the same price he paid, there is a gorgeous alcove studio at 201 Washington with a brand new kitchen & bath, stainless appliances, a wood-burning fireplace, laundry downstairs and private garage! It’s listed at $229,900 with taxes and maintenance under $618 a month. Its three blocks from the PATH and three stops to World Trade.
Personally, I would have gone for the upper end of his budget and selected the 1-bedroom at 1115 Willow. This property is over 650 square feet with a private entrance and room for a grill. The building has an in-ground pool, a gym and a roof deck, an elevator and is professionally managed. The bus to Port Authority in midtown stops on the corner. It is listed at $299,000 with taxes and maintenance of $677.
If space were the primary concern, I’d choose the 1-bedroom plus den at 841 Willow which is over 880 square feet for an asking price of under $300,000. It has a windowed kitchen, room for a dining table, storage space and is a corner unit with city views. While I am a sucker for a New York City view, even though I was born in Brooklyn, I am no longer a sucker for a New York City address.