View Full Version : Potential new New-YOrker!

August 20th, 2007, 04:38 AM
I am a Londoner who is seriously considering a move to the NY area with my wife.
Although I have some familiarity with Manhatten our preference would be to buy/rent a house in a more suburban area. This is where I could use some advice as I know next to nothing about the other 4 boroughs!
I have done some digging around and Staten Island came up as a source of reasonably priced accomodation, but that was quicky shot down when I started reading about land-fills and poor transportation!

Also, really liking the sound of Long Island but the prices seem very high! We'd be looking for maybe a 3-bedroom house, preferably with a small back-yard.
I anticipate my salary to be in the 100k region + annual bonus. What kind of house price could I jump on with that? And would I find anything in a safe/quiet Long Island neighbourhood? Also, must be commutable to the financial district of manhatten (less than an hour). View of the ocean wouldn'd go astray either! :)

WOuld really appreciate some advice! Also suggestions on other area's in NY that fit our profile would also be well received.

Many thanks in advance!

August 20th, 2007, 07:38 AM
Good Luck:D
Price is going to depend alot on location..view of the ocean is going to cost more than the view of the building across the street. Start checking the NYtimes realestate section for prices.
I cant tell you prices on Long Island, but in Manhattan you are going to pay, 2 million for a 3bdroom apt and probably 5000?..or more in rent for one.
Without knowing..im going to say a nice house on the island in a nice community is in the 700,000 range?, but that might be low.

August 20th, 2007, 09:27 AM
The last client I had who fit your profile looked at renting on Roosevelt Island, where we saw a beautiful waterview 3-BR apartment for a little over $5K a month, and then at buying on the Lower East Side, where we saw a 3-bedroom that needs substantial work for just under a million, before ending up renting an attached townhouse in Forest Hills, Queens with 3 bedrooms, a vest-pocket backyard, and an attached garage for safely under $3K a month.

Best of all, a slightly suburban feel and good schools.

If you want, I can refer you to the agent in Forest Hills we did the deal with, she was quite wonderful and has a fix on all the inventory in her area.

If you absolutely must buy, I would recommend a mortgage loan of 2.5x-3x income. So if you are putting a minimal amount down, you are looking at a $350K -$400K house.

Given those constraints, I wouldn't reject Staten Island so quickly. Be warned that I am married to a second-generation Staten Islander, so of course I think the downsides are oversold . . .

ali r.
{downtown Manhattan broker}

August 20th, 2007, 11:57 AM
Staten Island sounds appropriate to me, as well.

Do you have a general idea of how much your wife will be earning?

August 20th, 2007, 01:43 PM
Thank you all for the replies. Let me try and fill in the gaps you have identified...

I was mostly joking about Ocean view, I know it's probably out of reach to those of us who aren't Donald Trump etc!

Since my posting above, I read in a few places that the commute from Long Island to Manhattan is actually pretty long, so I'm wondering if the cost/benefit trade-off is worth it. Can anyone add any color to that?

Also, I just want to re-iterate that we almost certainly won't want to live in Manhattan itself, for a few reasons. The main one being we will probably be starting a family in the next couple years and so would like to be in a more open/suburban area. Secondly the cost is just too high for any decent sized accommodation.

The above point also brings me on to my wife's salary. I didn't bother quoting it since I am unsure as to how work visa constraints will affect her ability to work. Secondly if we do start a family I'm sure she will prefer to stay at home anyway.

Finally, I have spoken to someone today who suggested upstate NY as a somewhere that is commutable (i.e. an hour) by train into Manhattan and also has safe, pleasant suburban neighbourhoods. Can anyone elaborate at the levels of house pricing in these areas? I was particularly interested in Greenwich, CT.

August 20th, 2007, 02:24 PM
You definitely won't be able to afford anything in Greenwich on that salary. The average home price is well over a million dollars.

August 20th, 2007, 02:48 PM
I am sure there must be some affordable homes in Greenwich, CT. For instance on the following website, there is this home which seems just perfect - exactly what we are looking for:


Then again,I could be missing something altogether!!

Although I am sure you are right - there are probably really exclusive parts of Greenwich where all the houses break the million bucks barrier.

August 20th, 2007, 03:24 PM
That does look like a great home, but I still think it's more than what you'll be able to afford on your salary, honestly. Front Porch presented more accurate numbers for you, so you might want to try a search with those and see what appeals to you.

August 21st, 2007, 01:51 PM
it does look like a perfectly cute little house with decent taxes (tell me again, why am I paying close to $10K a year in Nassau County? But I digress.)

Realize though, that as a foreign national you are probably looking at 8% mortgage rates. If you put 20% down, you are looking at housing expenses of $50K a year BEFORE you pay for transportation, heat, and repairing anything that falls down.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

August 22nd, 2007, 04:41 PM
While it might be considered heresy to suggest in a NYC-centric forum, has the gentleman from London considered many of the suburban bedroom communties just across the river from the city in New Jersey? P.A.T.H and NJ Transit make the commute quite practical for (if not always pleasant). A number of the people in the office I used to work at were only in the city for the workday, then went back over to NJ for nights/weekends. Just a thought.

August 22nd, 2007, 05:54 PM
Hey, Connecticut is no more a part of New York than is New Jersey.

August 22nd, 2007, 06:54 PM
Hey, Connecticut is no more a part of New York than is New Jersey.

Quite right. I no doubt qualified my mentioning of the NJ option as a reflex, as so many of my native-born NYC friends react with derision when the lovely Garden State is mentioned. It should be noted, however, that those are the same people who refer to denizens of the other boroughs of the city as the "bridge and tunnel crowd". They do seem to put up with me, a non-native of Manhattan but I often wonder what they say behind my back... ;)

August 22nd, 2007, 10:50 PM
Let me guess: these people also seem to be under the impression that Harlem is a separate entity than their precious Manhattan island?

Forgive me, but I can't stand people who revel in their own ignorance and biases.

August 23rd, 2007, 01:11 AM
Let me guess: these people also seem to be under the impression that Harlem is a separate entity than their precious Manhattan island?

Forgive me, but I can't stand people who revel in their own ignorance and biases.

LOL! Sounds like you've run into the type before. Indeed, when I first moved into the city I had a great little sublet up in Inwood, right across from the 190th station. I loved the neighborhood and taking the A to and from work downtown was a breeze. Even so, I was constantly asked by the same group of people "when was I going to pack up and leave the Bronx". They do seem to believe that Manhattan ends somewhere around 90th street!

P.S.- I apologize to the Londoner who started this thread for briefly detouring it to the subject of my snobby acquaintances. Best of luck in your move across the pond.

August 23rd, 2007, 10:49 AM
Moderators: Spam alert.

August 23rd, 2007, 01:26 PM
No problem MagnusPym!! Entertaining to know that I may be one day be ridiculed for commuting into Manhattan!

Seriously though... Still really liking the idea of CT, so that will be the first target on our New York hit-list. Thanks for all the advice.