We decided against buying the co-op, and now are in a mad rush to find an apartment to rent. Basically, even though we really liked the apartment itself, the financials of the co-op weren't that strong. There was a 10 million dollar balloon loan out on the building that would need to be paid or refinanced in 3 years. We had no way of knowing what the co-op would do if it needed to raise the money to pay it. Maintenance for the apartment was already pretty expensive (about $875 on top of the mortgage payment) and it could just keep going up. Also, even though the flip tax now on the apartment wasn't that high ($3000 would have to be paid to the co-op when we sold) it could theoretically go as high as 20% like many other apartment buildings in the area. Even though we wouldn't have to pay that theoretical 20%, it would definitely hinder our ability to sell. (That's at least 50-60k right back to the co-op!)
Another reason we decided to not purchase the apartment is that NYC is not where we want to be living in the grand scheme of things. We were being pushed into making a decision (it's a long, dramatic story), and buying the apartment would have tied us to this area for much longer than we were comfortable with. We would have to hold out on what we really want for even longer just to be able to recoup our expenses and make the purchase "worth it." What I had the hardest time truly dealing with is that even though I would be spending 255k on a "home" it really wasn't on a home at all. It was 255k in co-op stock or shares that allow us to live in the designated apartment. Even though I'm sure I am being overly paranoid, this just didn't sit well with me. I would never take out a 195k loan to pay for shares in the stock market, so why would I do this? I obsess and I worry far too much to put my entire future in the hands of strangers.
Another issue that I had was that the apartment was really nice. Why is this an issue? Because even though it was "really nice" it was not what I "wanted." I feared that it would make us complacent, and that we would just "settle." We would stay there because it was fine, and I would never get the kind of house that I really wanted. As silly as this sounds, I often look at houses in other areas and as wonderful as I think it would be to live there, I still feel like I will never be able to leave New York. But now, since my husband and I came to this decision to not buy the apartment, I finally feel like maybe we actually will be able to leave. We are making a plan and making a budget. For the first time in my life, I want something more than I just want "stuff." I look around our overly crowded apartment now at all our "stuff" and I just don't want it anymore. What I want more than anything is to be free of it all.
So this brings us back to renting an apartment. Yeah, it is ridiculously expensive to rent in New York, but we were about to spend 2100 a month on a mortgage and maintenance anyway. At least now I feel like we will be in control.