We’re always saying it: the rent is too damn high, the rent is too goddamn high, and—well, we don’t even need to say it again. At some point, it’ll be time to hunker down and make a long-term investment on some property. That time may come sooner than you think: Brownstoner reports that the multi-building development in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill called Navy Green is now accepting lottery applications for affordable condos.
One-bedroom units start at $230,000, two-bedrooms at $330,000 and three-bedrooms at $410,000. For comparison, average listing prices in the borough are roughly double: as of March 4, Trulia shows market-rate one-bedrooms at $457,000, 2-bedrooms at $692,500 and three bedrooms at $955,000. So the Navy Green condos are definitely below market value. To find out if you qualify, here’s a chart of the lottery’s income bracket, which tells you (if you can read it) that a household size of two can earn up to $120K a year to qualify for a two-bedroom.
As far as the buy vs. rent question, it’s a little harder to make comparisons. Putting aside mortgages and loans, though, a one-bedroom apartment for $230,000 would take you 20 years to amortize into “cheap rent” equivalent (i.e. paying under $1,000/month). If you’re roommates renting a three-bedroom for $410,000, your “rent” after 20 years would have been under $570 per roommate. Not bad, huh?
[Update: we found out you can apply for a rental in the building, too. Looks like there are a couple of studios available for $867 apiece, holy wow! It’s probably still on a lottery system, but good to know you don’t have to have a family/long-term plan to justify moving in here.]
Don’t forget, also, that a condo isn’t anything like your Flatbush walk-up. We’re talking onsite laundry, fitness center, storage units, bike parking, roof terrace and more—the kind of stuff you thought you could only ever afford one at a time. It’s a lifestyle change, all right, but if you’re looking to settle down in the borough, this might be the ticket to get you started on the right track. Get a lottery application form off of the Navy Green’s website.
The best part about all this is that it’s a crap-shoot of a dream, right? So if you don’t win the housing lottery, you can always go back to complaining about the rent.