I am taking the leap ! I am buying a house. I have been told that it is a buyers market and all that good stuff but after 2 weeks of "house hunting" I have yet to see how that rings true in Queens. The houses are still expensive and not as plentiful as I had hoped. I didn't know that the houses that my friends grew up in are now selling for far more than I imagined having to pay. But none the less, we still need a new place to put the brood. I am going to be keeping track of this experience for the benefit of anyone else who may be looking for a place to live. Here is what I have learned so far:
Rent is High in Queens
Almost too high. A 3 bedroom house in any area will run you between $2000 and $3000 per month before utilities. So unless you share bedrooms (which many families do) you are committing to pay a huge part of your income toward living in Queens. I am not going to turn this into a rent vs. buy article but if you do the math it begins to look like buying is the way to go.
The Further Out You Go The Cheaper It Is
Here is a neighborhood map for Queens. The closer you are to the city, the more expensive your house will be. Unless proximity to the City is necessary, you may be better off choosing a house in one of the outer neighborhoods. Don't worry Astorians, it's not as suburban as you may think.
Here is what I have found in my search for houses as far as pricing goes. A 3BR house is selling in Astoria for 750k. For the same house you can look in Middle Village and see ones for 520k.
If you are not as savvy to the rest of Queens as you would like to be, here is a list of neighborhoods that have decent school districts and parks close by. They are good starting points
- Forest Hills
- Kew Gardens
- Rego Park
- Middle Village
- Fresh Meadows
Onward and upward. House Hunt 2009 is under way. Wish me luck !