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Give Me Space

February 24, 2012

Kevmath just tweeted a link that got me thinking. It seems that Phil Galfond, poker player extraordinaire, is putting his ridonkulous NY apartment on the market for $4 million.

Read that again – a two-bedroom (easily converted to four, according to the listing) apartment on New York’s Lower East Side is listing for $4 million. Granted, it’s a nice apartment with what look like some pretty spectacular views. And it is New York City, which is as over-priced as any place on Earth. But still. $4 frickin’ million?

As much as I’m enjoying being back in my home city, I realize that I don’t think I can ever earn enough money to actually live in Manhattan any more. Looking at listings for random apartments in the city, the cheapest two-bedroom place I could find on the Upper West Side was $2,250/month. The average for a decent two-bedroom in a doorman building is about $5,000/month. Things are even more ridiculous downtown, where a two-bedroom walk-up starts at the same $2,250/month and prices escalate all the way to $27,495/month for a top-of-the-line place in the East Village. Look to spend at least $4,000/month if you want an apartment in a doorman building.

Buying places in the NYC is no cheaper. If you’re lucky, you can find a two-bedroom fixer-upper in a walk-up building on the Upper West Side for somewhere around $550,000. For a doorman building or a nicer neighborhood, forget finding anything for less than $1 million. And, the thing is, most two-bedroom apartments in New York aren’t all that big. If you’re getting 1,000 to 1,100 square feet of space, you’re doing well for your money.

As a single guy, I don’t need a whole lot of space, but that doesn’t mean I want to live in a closet either. In New York, I’m afraid, a closet is all I can afford.

For my money, I’d rather live somewhere within reasonable commuting distance of the city where I can find a decent two-bedroom apartment and a really large garage. Why spend millions of dollars on a view of lower Manhattan when, for the same money, I can purchase a fleet of classic and new cars that will take me anywhere I want to go? Give me the choice between a movie screening room and a ’69 Camaro SS, and I’m taking the Chevy every time.

Sure, a high-rise apartment may offer views all the way out to Jersey, but a BMW 3.0 CS will take me to Jersey, and beyond. A private gym may help keep me in shape, but I’d be just as happy driving to and from the local Gold’s if I’m traveling behind the wheel of a 911. It’s simply a matter of priorities.

Of course, everything I’m typing right now is nothing more than wishful thinking. But, if and when I’m in the market for a new place on the East Coast, look for me in a small apartment located next to a giant old barn.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 24, 2012 9:22 pm

    The sig other loves to watch house hunting shows, so these figures aren’t surprising, yet they remain shocking. For a little geographic comparison, I live in a townhome I bought new 7 years ago, 3 bed / 3 bath, 2750 sq. ft., hardwood, granite counters, etc. My mortgage payment plus townhome fees runs about $1850/month, and I’m 2 minutes from a mall, 5 minutes from two grocery stores, and 10 minutes from work.

    There’s something to be said for Midwest suburban living!

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