Yesterday, the NYTimes had an interesting article about families to opt to stay in cramped quarters in Manhattan, rather than move to the suburbs (or even just outside the island) where they can afford bigger homes.
There’s the family of four who squeeze a queen sized bed, a crib, and a toddler bed into one bedroom.
Or the couple who gave up the only bedroom to their two kids, taking the walk-in closet for themselves.
I couldn’t help but cringe as I read the stories of these families. Sure, Manhattan has its charms. But it’s damn expensive as well.
Is it really worth it?
J and I chose to live just outside the city (just across the Hudson River) for the extra space. We always joke that we will move out of NJ before having kids, lest our kids become “New Joi-sians.” However, seeing as a decent two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan costs at least $1.2 million (with the average being $1.5 million), we’re highly doubtful that we will be able to save the minimum $240,000 down payment in time.
We hope to be able to afford a nice two-bedroom in Brooklyn or Hoboken in a few years. But even if our plans don’t pan out, our current 1,067 sqft condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms allows us plenty of space for a little one.
I can’t imagine how full families choose to live in spaces half the size of our condo.
What about you? Would you sacrifice space for location?
We also are faced with this dilemma here in Vancouver where real estate prices are the highest in Canada. I know many who make the sacrifice to live downtown because not only is the DT actually quite beautiful here, but they all work in it and would rather live in a cramped space than waste 2+ hours each day commuting. It’s a tough choice, though! It’s no wonder telecommuting is gaining in popularity.
Whoa 2+ hours is too much! When I still lived with my parents my commute was 1-1.5 hours each way and I swore I would never do that again. Still, it’s sad when I think that we could’ve bought a nice 4 bedroom HOUSE in the suburbs for the price we paid for the condo.
We kind of did this. Our last apartment was a decent enough size and dirt cheap, but it was kind of gross and crappy (old carpet, uneven floors) and in a crap part of town.
When we moved, our rent went up $400 a month for basically the same space, but we’re much happier as the apartment we live in is gorgeous and in a much safer part of town. We could have stayed in the same neighbourhood and gotten something double the size, but to us, the change in location was worth it.