full life

20%

Just got off the phone with Norberto; apparently the sellers talked with the management company of the co-op and changed their down payment requirement from 10% to 20%.

This is bullshit. Everywhere in NYC it's 20%, even for a co-op in the middle of nowhere, Queens. We're not asking for something ridiculous, just something in the low 200s, but apparently that means at least $40,000 up front, which is basically impossible. If we were buying a HOUSE anywhere else in America we could get a first-time buyer credit and deal with a 5%-10% downpayment, but most of the buildings in New York City are asking for completely ridiculous amounts, and it's just not fair.

*** Addendum. Norberto just called me with a 1BR in "Sunnyhills" for only 10%. Aside from not knowing what or where Sunnyhills is, a 1BR isn't what we're looking for. The point though is that apparently there are a few buildings that only require 10%.

Maybe we'll just have to move to a smaller, cheaper apartment and rent for a while longer until we can save up some more. I guess our lil' puppy dreams will have to wait.
anywhere in the metropolitan area (including long island and westchester) are just astronomically ridicexpensive. i mean $200,000 for an apartment!!! in jackson heights??!!

also, i think noberto is making up "sunnyhills".
Well, more like $230-250 for a 2BR, in Queens. We had hoped for Astoria, but saw that a 2BR for that price is basically impossible.

Norberto, whose English is somewhat rough, seemed to imply that Sunnyhills is where I currently live. I thought I lived in Woodside, which is near Sunnyside, but what the hell do I know.
thinking of where i'd like to end up...
if that's new york, i'll bet san francisco (or maybe even LA) are around the same level of bullshitude.
Re: thinking of where i'd like to end up...
Whereas Chicago, apparently, is NOT like that. My former boss just bought a duplex condo in Chi-Town and only had to put 5% down. Key word in that sentence is "condo", b/c condos generally require less of a downpayment than co-ops.

I can't speak for SF or LA, but real estate in NYC is about as insane as it gets. You can get a 2BR in Queens for $230K, downpayment notwithstanding, but $230K in Manhattan might get you a 12x15 studio in a shitty neighborhood.
Re: thinking of where i'd like to end up...
wow. just wow. and i didn't realize that about chicago, either.
I think Sunnyhills is the neighboorhood they built on top of that old indian burial ground.
For what it's worth, last year my friends bought a two-bedroom down the street from us in the North End of Boston -- which, while a well-thought-of neighborhood, is much more of an "old" neighborhood than any kind of "ritzy" neighborhood -- and they paid $309,000 for a 2BR that required a fair amount of cabinetry work in the kitchen. And I get the impression it was a great deal.
$309K for a 1BR doesn't exist in Manhattan - or, at least, certainly not anywhere nice. Whereas $309 in Queens could get you the top floor of a house.
Perhaps we should all move to central PA, where a house can actually be purchased for $12,000.

On the other hand, let's not.
Indeed. But seriously, maybe. No, wait. I'd be down for one large communal band house in the middle of nowhere. Our women could live in the guest house.
Perspective...huh.
People in Austin have been complaining about the "ridiculously expensive" housing costs here since the dot.com boom.

Thing is, you can easily find a 3bdr, 1600 sqft, house in an awesome neighborhood in the very low 200's for 5% down.
Lucky us!
Re: Perspective...huh.
Right, see, if that came along here, I'd pee in my pants.
Re: Perspective...huh.
and this is exactly why we are leaving nyc for austin this summer!

Yikes. Not to brag, but we just bought a rather large 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in the suburbs for $197,000. And it's brand spanking new--it doesn't even have walls yet! So, you're right--it's NOT fair. I wish I had some suggestions, but I have no idea how real estate works in NYC. Good luck, man.
That's what I'm saying. We could get a house in the NYC suburbs for what we've got, but we don't want to leave NYC just yet. If anything, selling an apartment in NYC will help us raise a fuckload of capital for a pimpin' new house in the 'burbs. If such a thing is possible.
Brooklyn is completely out of our range - it was out of range last year, when I was talking with Polley.
They suddenly "changed the down payment requirement"? That sounds like racial steering to me. Shit, dude, nobody wants caucasians moving into the neighborhood. Makes me sick.

Seriously, though — does the typical New York married couple end up buying, or do most people rent for their whole life? Do you have any friends with experience in this area who can confirm whether this is a typical apartment-buying experience?

Part of me yearns to live in New York or London or San Francisco or some other big city, someplace where I wouldn't have to drive a car every goddamned day. But then I realize that Andrew's Urban Fantasy conveniently ignores the numerous downsides of population density, namely RIDICULOUS COST OF LIVING. Then I remind myself that I live in a fantastic city already, pay $510 for a nice one-bedroom apartment, and should quit my bitching.
Burke and Tara Lee just bought a place in Woodstock for 120k. Sure, it's Woodstock - but it gives me hope. Their downpayment? 0%. And Woodstock is a lovely town. I know eventually - very eventually - you guys would consider - *sniff* - leaving the city.

Zina and I are going to start this process next year and, frankly, it's terrifying me reading about your travails with Norberto.
Lemme tell you, Woodstock is fucking awesome. There was a time, not terribly long ago (but before Katharine), when I seriously considered moving up there.