Saturday, May 05, 2007


The Special Issue in the Sunday (May 6, 2007) Parade Magazine was about the real estate market, the hot and the lowdown, the home prices around the country and suggestions for home buyers on how to get the best price and sellers who wish to sell their homes quickly. I specially like the section, "What you can get for $150,000 or more .....".

It is true that in most parts of the country, houses are lingering longer on the market. The house next to us has been on the market for more than a year. I did not become nervous when signs for sale popping up around our neighborhood. Just our block alone, there are six houses for sale. A realtor told me one time that people usually put their house on the market or looking for purchase thus moving, when school is out and the weather is nice. No one likes to move during school year and when it is cold and snowing in the winter.

My sister, CH told me that she could get about $300K for her one bedroom apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She paid only $100K ten years ago. She would like to move to Manhattan but could not find a place, smaller than the current apartment, for less than $500K. That is half a million dollars. For that amount, I could get a whole house, 4 bedrooms with walk-in closets, 3 1/2 bath, mid-size kitchen, family and living rooms, full basement, 3-car garage, large backyard and a whole lot more in my neighborhood.

My brother wrote that every time when he visits his friend in South Brunswick, New Jersey (approximately 40 minutes from NYC), VL wanted to move out of New York City, to live in a house with a large back yard, enough room for a trampoline for his son to jump and do forward flip. I know VL would love to have his own driveway, a garage for his vehicle and not searching for a parking space each time he moves his car or the only space is three blocks away and has to walk back to the house when it is cold and snowing.

Here are a few comparisons for the money - A home with 2-bedroom and 2-bath in New Orleans, LA costs $180K while in Oklahoma City, OK for $10K more, you would get a 4 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath and a 2,408 square feet of living space. I was surprised to read that a condo with 1 bedroom, 1 bath and an attached garage only costs $186K in Las Vegas, NV compared to $244K for similar space (1 bedroom, 1 bath) in Newark, NJ. If I could, I would move tomorrow to Colorado Springs, CO to live in a 2,840 square feet, 5-bedroom, 3-bath, fully furnished (modern furniture) and decorated home for only $310K or a log cabin of 2-bedrooms, 1 bath and a dream-come-true for my husband, a 5-car garage in Casper, Wyoming. The log cabin is surrounded by old-growth pines. I could finally spend all the time doing all the craft projects I have been planning to make. Ya right!

I pick out a house in Bend, Oregon, for my brother, a 2,800 square-foot home with scenic decks, custom built-ins made with environmentally sustainable materials, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Price - $699K.

In a perfect world, I would not want a big and fancy home, just a decent home in a safe neigbhorhood and about an hour from where my brother lives so on the weekends I could take my nephew to the zoo, to go camping, to kid activities or just playing in the backyard.

My brother is searching for a new job. Though VL dislikes the crowded streets and all the big city headache, he is not ready to leave the NYC. I know no one from my family will ever consider moving to St. Louis and I am not sure if I will ever moving back to live in NYC, unless there is a major change in my martial status or better yet, I got lucky winning a jackpot from weekly lottery tickets. St. Louis lack many things that are readily available in NYC. For me, the only thing I miss the most from NYC is my nephew.

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