CNN Money: Great Advice - "Dreaming of a bigger home"
Posted 06/24/2011 by Anonymous
CNN Money: Great Advice - "Dreaming of a bigger home" http://ht.ly/5pxvt How much home can you afford? No cost, no obligation to find out!
Wyonnie and Kwame Flaherty, with daughter Nylah.
(Money Magazine) -- When Wyonnie and Kwame Flaherty bought their two-bedroom apartment in Queens, N.Y., in 2008, they thought it was the perfect stepping-stone.
Putting down 20% of the $177,000 purchase price, the couple figured that rising home values would eventually help them trade up to a house.
Three years later, the 1,000-square-foot apartment feels too cozy for the 35-year-old couple and their 4-year-old daughter, Nylah, especially since they are considering having a second child.
"There are families who squeeze into a small apartment, but we'd rather not," says Wyonnie.
They pay $740 a month on their mortgage, plus another $945 in monthly maintenance, which includes taxes and heat. "It seems like for a couple hundred dollars more a month we could buy a single-family home in a good school district," she says.
Trouble is, with local real estate still in the doldrums, their home is worth $17,000 less than they paid. After accounting for commissions and other costs, they'd walk away with just over $14,000 to put toward a $350,000 house -- where three-bedroom homes in a top school district in Queens star