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I am "in contract" to buy a 1BR apartment in soho. By 1BR apartment, lets say its 370 sq. feet (long and more narrow). I currently live in 200 sq. feet (one block away) so everyone out there, please know this is an upgrade. The closing price is around $1,000 psf and is "move in ready" but I would want to renovate the kitchen, re-tile the bathroom, expose more original brick, and do built-in storage. I see myself living here for a while, so the extra $$ to renovate (30-40K aka $100PSF) isn't really an issue, this is a now-or-later question.
My mother thinks I should move-in, and figure out the "quirks" before renovating and take everything into consideration. This is a classic tenement, so I would anticipate a few quirks (although feel fortunate to have them/see them as charming).
My lease is up 9/30, and my landlord won't let me do month-to-month since I am rent stabilized.
I have two choices --
1. I can re-new for another year, move into new place, and sublet (with hopes landlord doesn't find out--I have someone willing from october-december), learn the quirks, then move back to old apt after subletting, then renovate (then re-sublet).
2. I can renovate before I move in (set to close 9/10/12) and hopefully find an agressive contractor who would be willing to complete the bedroom work (expose brick/built in closets)before 9/30.
Please feel free to provide other ideas. Just wanted opinions. Thanks!
Try number 2. If you can't, just move in. It's not like you're doing a gut reno. I wouldn't delay moving in and hassling with a sublet just to avoid what? Some tile dust? You already have almost nothing you're moving in. Enjoy your purchase. Doing repairs isn't a big deal.
There is no way you should move in. I would find another apt that you could rent month to month or a short term lease. Would be a huge mistake, huge
Some points i am going to throw out for you to think about, unfortunately I don't have time to structure them at the moment or check spelling.
How much do you know what you like to make decisions, i.e. do you know what you love or want with regards to tile, cabinet style, colors, faucets etc, this can be an enjoyable part, selecting things you love to have in your home.......you don't want to be rushed.
How much time do you have to dedicate to the process, finding out what you love, finding the right team, getting the alteration agreement done etc.
Is it possible not to do it all, however some of the messier stuff and leave the rest till you move in.
IE exposing more of the brick is particularly messy
I know you have till the 30th of Sept, with your current lease, that seems tight to me (however I have a high degree of attention to detail and craftsmanship and usually the things I like have a longer lead time), if it also seems tight to you is there any where you could go/rent/ your mum for an extra month or so if needed?
As contractors will move faster if you don't have your stuff there, you don't mention refinishing floors however this in particular you need to be out for.
How much access do you have to go and sit in there at the moment and really figure out how you would like to live, picturing your day to day movements. you can learn some of the quirks by being there and looking at the floor plan and visualizing.Go thru the minutes of your day, egs, like..... I am going to open the fridge, which side should the handle be on, does it "knock " into anything when it opens. When I walk into the room where is the light switch, Is it in the right place for easy access etc? There are 100's of these to go thru
How ok are you if most of the work is done moving back in while it is still a bit of a working site?
Have you seen the renovation agreement? If you need one, I have seen some coops take 3 weeks to get back with a yes for a simple renovation, i.e. before you can start. With regards to the bathroom, have you really looked at the fixtures, is there any way you would want to save it and do a full renovation later, as you still have to pay for the tiles now and labour, that will possibly have to be pulled up down the track if you are going to re plumb down the track i.e. put in new pipes to fixtures.
Good luck, I am sure you will make the most of the extra space.
only paint and do floor work before moving in. then just come in with basics and work around from there.
You will not want to live there during the renovation.
The question is whether you want to renovate now, then move in, or whether you want to live there for a year, learn the quirks, and then move you and your belongings to a sublet while the space is renovated.
I've done both. #2 is much more painful, but also can be much more rewarding. I made much better long-term decisions after living in a space for a year plus. E.g., understanding the light conditions at various times in the year, knowing how I use the space, knowing where I really need an additional outlet / a light switch / etc., assessing the quantity and configuration of the storage space v. my belongings.
I'd usually say definitely live there for a bit (then get furnished month to month when renovating) to learn quirks. But is pretty small, so not sure how many quirks you'd need to discover.
what are you doing with ur rent stabilzed apt??
listen to your mom.
What part of "rent stabilized" doesn't everyone understand?
Renew your lease for a year, and when you tell your landlord you're breaking your lease so that he can get more money from someone else -- provided he signs off on it so that you don't sublet or have your greatstepgrandmother take over the apartment -- he'll kiss you all over, slip you some tongue but not too much, and lick your eyeballs (if you're into that; it takes all kinds).
Thank you all so much for your comments--the thing is...I don't think I could ever get a better deal on an apartment in soho than what I'm living in (I will be paying $1,580 if/when I renew and live in the best part of soho). That would be my reason for keeping it. Yes, subletting is a pain (not to mention risky) but if the tenant got locked out or toilet flooded etc, I could come by in a second? I don't think any short term rental would be less than $2,500.
P.S. I can't live with family because I am originally from Ohio, so my parents still live there.
The painting/floorwork is literally in great shape for a tenement, not to mention compared to other units in the area I've visited for open houses in the same price range. The only thing is that it still has the wall up dividing the living/kitchen, so if/when I remove that I don't know what type of flooring is underneath and would have to figure that out.
It seems like the consensus is to definitely not be living there when I renovate, its just now deciding when and if its worth the risk for keeping my current apartment to do so.
The co-op board seems to be pro-renovation. A unit that sold in June 2012 is being gut-renovated (or so I've been told and read in the board minutes). So much to think about! And yes ss400k, I probably will listen to her, I just wanted to see if there was a swaying reason not to renovate ASAP before I moved in.
Oh, and your landlord isn't allowed to let you do month-to-month under Rent Stabilization. But he can certainly do a tit-for-tat sublet agreement, and I don't see why he wouldn't.
Your closing or reno could be delayed, and probably will be if you plan on a certain move-in date.
Renew your lease, and leave when you're good and ready. As alanhart said, the LL will have no problem with your breaking the lease. You might even be able to get some money off him for leaving.
Now thats an idea! Getting paid to leave ;)
That *is* a good idea -- bear in mind that it's taxable as income, so don't spend it all.
I don't know if I'd be counting on the LL doing something special for you w.r.t. letting you out of the lease or paying you.
Your lease will renew at $1600 for 200 sq ft, which works out $96 per sq ft per year. That's very high by any standard other than "I get a place to hang my hat for $1600 in Soho". Can't you find similar places, but 2-4x the size, in the $2000-3000 range in the same neighborhood? If so, it's not like the LL can get an appreciable bump (if any) when you leave.
Well, I am at $1,550 right now, so my rent is going up to $1,580. But that doesn't change the fact the $ per sq foot is high. I don't need a lot of space (which is why I am buying a 370 sq. foot co-op). The only thing I care about is location and net rent. They are actually renting the apartment next to me for $2,200.
Before moving in is more logical! Why? You possess the answer within yourself.