In an uncertain market, the question on every buyer’s mind is whether it is the right time to get off the fence.
One buyer recently answered that question in an e-mail quoted by the Observer. His response is worth noting in part because of the credentials that he and his wife possess.
Robert Frank is the wealth reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of the best-selling book, Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich. His wife is Rebecca Patterson, global head of foreign exchange at JPMorgan Private Bank.
Smart people, right? They recently spent $4.2 million on a penthouse loft at 73 Fifth Avenue. Here’s why they made the purchase, according to the e-mail:
“We bought because this was an ideal family home at good value, to the degree that either exists in Manhattan. It wasn’t a reflection of our view on the market, which seems even more inexplicable than ever these days. I think the market will remain soft for at least the next three years; there simply isn’t enough new wealth creation or credit.”
The couple had been looking for apartments for two years. “We sold our condo near the peak and rented until we found the right place,” Frank said in his email to the Observer. “We were stalking this building for years, but no one ever sells. Finally, this unit came on and we negotiated for three months before getting agreement.”
The loft co-op, which demands renovation, has nearly 11-foot ceilings, numerous windows, four exposures, two huge skylights and 1,000 square feet of outdoor space. Said Frank:
“It had great light, rooms for our two kids and and roof space for plants or a small garden. Our daughter’s dream is to grow her own tomatoes.”
What, then, is the right time to buy? It is only when you have a pressing need such as a child who needs to move into the “right” school district or an irrepressible wish to change your lifestyle.
Otherwise, it is fine to gamble on the vagaries of the housing market, about which you can read a great deal in the e-newsletter that I write every two weeks, including today.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022