To Rent or To Buy?

If you are already spending a substantial portion of your paycheck on rent, you might be surprised to learn that you can afford to buy a home in New York City. The median tipping point for buying in New York City is less than 6 years, which means that for most people who plan to stay in their home for at least 6 years, buying makes more sense than renting. This tipping point varies widely from neighborhood to neighborhood, with Bay Ridge’s tipping point under three years and the Lower East Side’s tipping point at 30 years. Nevertheless, the length of time you plan to stay in your New York City home is a huge factor in determining whether renting or buying is the right financial move for you.

An estimated ⅓ of Manhattan rental listings saw a price reduction last quarter, suggesting it is a relatively good time to rent in NYC, and research shows that renters can make more money than buyers by putting their savings into stocks rather than waiting for their equity to build. Yet while this might be true for most of the United States, the New York City sales market is unique in that median home sales prices increased over 30% from 2005 to 2015 alone, and the current combination of negotiating power (because of lower prices in various submarkets), and rising mortgage interest rates, makes it worthwhile (and fun) to do the math.

You can determine whether it makes sense for you to buy or rent using Streeteasy’s tipping point tool or  The New York Times’ rent vs. buy tool. If you determine that now is a good time to buy, I would be happy to show you homes in the best current neighborhoods for investing, and I can connect you with trusted financial advisors and mortgage professionals who will review your financial statements to give you a clear sense of what you can afford.

 

Thank you to Zach Inglis on Unsplash for the header image of NYC.

New York City Spring 2018 Events

Spring is here which means you’re fresh out of excuses to stay home all weekend in sweats. The spring months in New York City bring a plethora of festivals, fairs, art, nature and overall great events for which you’ll want to get into the fresh air again. Here are some of my favorite upcoming events to add to your spring to-do list.  Continue reading “New York City Spring 2018 Events”

Film Festivals of New York City

The art of filmmaking has at its heart the power of storytelling to captivate, move, and inspire viewers. There are countless stories for each person who exists, and the ability that writers, producers, and directors have to bring these stories to life is a gift that benefits us all. Whether you are a fan of fiction, non-fiction, animation, documentary, or anything in between, if you live in New York City, you have the unique privilege to enjoy a front row seat to the countless film festivals that take place every year in our city. Here is as comprehensive a month-by-month rundown as I was able to pull together; please let me know if I’m missing anything. Continue reading “Film Festivals of New York City”

Honolulu Spring Events

In Honolulu, where temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s all year, it seems like spring every day, yet there are special events around that are specific to the seasons, each with their own rich history. Here are four of the best spring events on the islands, one for each month of spring.

Rubber duckies on Ala Wai Canal

Solid rubber duckies

Great Hawai`ian Rubber Duckie Race – March 24
Duckie Hotline to adopt a Duckie (808) 532-6744
9am-12:30pm No admission fee for pre-race festivities, live entertainment, activities for children, duck adoptions, rubber duckie souvenir store.
Honolulu Coffee Experience Center, 1800 Kalakaua Ave.
Race Time 1:01pm at Kalakaua Ave Bridge over the Ala Wai Canal
Suggested donation to adopt a duckie is $5.
What better way to celebrate Spring than to benefit a non-profit while having a fun day and a chance at great prizes? For over 30 years, this fabled Rubber Duckie Race has raised money for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawai`i. Don’t forget your camera, because you’ll want to get a picture of 20,000 rubber duckies floating down the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. The first 50 finishers will win prizes. Grand Prize is 3 nights at the legendary Moana Surfrider Hotel, a $500 VISA gift card, and a Canon digital camera.

Waikiki Spam Jam crowd shot

Waikiki Spam Jam Festival – April 28
Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki
4pm-10pm
FREE
Hawai`i residents love their SPAM! Almost 7 million cans of this Hormel canned meat are consumed in the islands each year. This annual street festival is anticipated by SPAM fans and anybody who loves a good party. Kalakaua Avenue shuts down to vehicle traffic, and three huge stages showcase continuous entertainment while you browse the craft and food booths. You’ll come away with unique SPAM recipes and SPAM-branded merchandise you’ll love – how about some SPAM socks for the colder spring days back in New York City?

Haku Lei

91st Annual Lei Day Celebration – May 1
Kapiolani Park and Bandstand, 2805 Monsarrat Ave
10am-4:30pm Hawai`ian artisans give demonstrations. Activities for children.
1pm-5:30pm Lei Contest Exhibit
FREE
There’s nothing that says ‘Hawai`i’ more than a flower lei. For 91 years, the City and County of Honolulu have been honoring the skill and ingenuity of Hawai`i’s lei makers on May 1.  You’ll be surrounded by the scent of fresh floral leis entered into the contest, while Hawai`ian musicians and hula halau entertain at the bandstand. Food and craft vendors will also be onsite.

King Kam float

King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade – June 9
Parade begins at Iolani Palace at 364 S. King St. and ends at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki
9am-Noon
FREE
Each year Hawai`i celebrates King Kamehameha I, the beloved monarch who united the Hawai`ian islands under a centralized government to become the Kingdom of Hawai`i. The 5 mile long parade route winds through downtown Honolulu and Waikiki to end at Kapiolani Park where everyone enjoys an afternoon of Hawai`ian music, hula, and food.

King Kamehameha statue Honolulu with leis

If you’re in Honolulu on June 8, you will enjoy viewing the Lei Draping Ceremony where hundreds of feet of fresh plumeria leis are draped on the King Kamehameha Statue at Aliiolani Hale, 417 S. King St. amid Native Hawai`ian cultural pageantry. Time of event has not been publicized yet.

All images from each event website or Facebook page.