Saturday, February 25, 2012

Trying to Save, But Spending

Because I didn't know I was buying an apartment until a few weeks ago, I made some previous financial commitments that are coming due now. First, I booked a trip to Central America. I wasn't sure about this because I just went on a trip in November, but I thought what the heck. So that''s about $2K that I'm paying between January and March. In November I told my brother and his wife that their wedding gift would be tickets to Italy for their honeymoon. I bought those this month. Airfare sucks right now and they are going in the high season -- September. So there goes another almost $3K. I can afford all of this but it is very stressful to spend all this $ now when I am going to have to write an enormous check within the next few months. I already wrote a check last week for 10% of the purchase price.

I've been trying to be good in other ways, including making much more of my food, and now I've stopped drinking for a while, so that will cut down on a lot of my restaurant bill. Not that I drink that much, but it's so expensive at a restaurant.

I am also staring down a lot of costs associated with the apartment on top of the actual cost to buy and close on the place. Movers, a new TV, some new furniture, and then the service costs like someone to install blinds and possibly paint. Hence why I am sitting home on a Saturday night after having just cooked soup and baked cookies with not a drop of wine in sight!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Moving to the darkside

For my whole (adult) life, I've been a renter. Basically, for 15 years. For the last 10 years I've looked at buying an apt. in the NYC area. I've focused on different boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) states (NJ) and types of places (a place in the Catskills or somewhere rural, or somewhere in the city?). As of last Sunday, I think my loooong search is just about over!

Most of my friends and family are shocked, as they think this came "out of the blue" and while I haven't actively been looking recently, I feel confident in my decision because this apartment has most of the things I've been searching for: a one bedroom plus a little more space in the form of an alcove, low monthly maintenance, no fancy amenities, in a safe, quiet neighborhood with a cool vibe, on a great subway line and close to the subway stop, beautiful hardwood floors and a price that is totally affordable. I am planning to put down a 25% deposit. With the tax abatement, my total monthly spend should be comparable to my rent -- maybe a few hundred more depending on my interest rate on my mortgage, but if I get any kind of mortgage interest deduction, it might be even less than I pay now!

I actually feel relief. Having all that cash just sitting around and not invested was stressful. Now I certainly won't have that problem: I am currently shaking out the couch cushions to try to come up with more $! Actually, I am going to Coinstar today to cash in my change. Buying a condo in Brooklyn/NYC is not for the weak or the poor, that's for sure. The closing costs will probably be about $20K! Oy vey.