On the D
As a South Bronx resident and licensed real estate salesperson, I have the opportunity to stay in the “hood” and reap the benefits. It’s a brand new neighborhood.
The SoBro real estate market is a hot topic these days. The last big boom occurred in the 1930’s. Back then apartments on the Grand Concourse were considered luxury apartments. There was also some action seen in the 80’s After decades of being recognized for decay and poverty, things have taken a huge turn. In the last five years alone, billions of dollars have been pumped into South Bronx real estate development.
The newly named SoBro has been my home since 1992. When my family moved here from Washington Heights, my hood was a hot bed for crime, drugs, and poverty. There were whole blocks with nothing but empty lots filled with garbage and junked cars. I remember riding the D train downtown into the city and feeling like I was in a different world. There was a surplus of land and foreclosed, boarded up homes up for grabs. But unfortunately, there was hardly any demand. Real estate buyers and investors pretty much stayed away, no one wanted to invest their hard earned money in a neighborhood that was deemed hopeless and the worst ghetto in the US.
Things have taken an epic turn in SoBro real estate.
As I walk through my old stomping grounds, I see new developments everywhere. New mixed-use buildings, new supermarkets, new shopping malls. Retailers that would not open up shop here in the past, are popping up everywhere. This is a great thing for long term residents of the South Bronx, but it all comes with a price.
Market rents have increased on a yearly basis, and long-term residents are paying a higher percentage of their income to rent.
NYC renters in 2016 should really take a close look at the home ownership possibilities in the South Bronx that are available right now. It’s funny, when I think about Williamsburg in Brooklyn back in the early 90’s, it was pretty much like my neighborhood in the South Bronx. The Brooklyn real estate boom set the wheels in motion for the South Bronx to hop on for the ride. What a fab opportunity for someone like myself, who eventually one day would like to retire some place where it’s warm year round. I would certainly want to take a nice piece of PIE with me.
Home prices have increased 12.2% in the Bronx for the last 5 years. Now is the time to buy! Right around the corner from my childhood home, there are 3 beautifully renovated homes that just pop when walking past. Only one is still available, the market is moving super quick. This 2 family home is available for $479,000. Each unit has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. At this price point, we’re talking about, let’s say $2400 monthly mortgage payment. But wait, now there’s rental income in the equation. A newly renovated, updated 2 bedroom apartment in a private home can easily go for $1600. With an out of pocket mortgage payment of about $1k, I would call that a deal!!
With an appreciated value of 12.2% or higher in the next five years, buying a home in the South Bronx now will definitely pay off. Become a homeowner now while the market is still affordable. Many people have been priced out of Brooklyn and Queens. The Bronx is the last “get it while it’s hot” accessible opportunity left in NYC real estate.
Buyers have to weigh their options, there is no room for emotions in real estate. Don’t let the South Bronx “bad” reputation stop you from making a smart decision. I live in a great location that’s minutes from Manhattan. Everything is accessible. And the neighborhoods have gotten a complete makeover. When I get ready to be about that beach life, I will be glad I stayed home and built my nest egg. But hey, remember don’t ever go to the Bronx, unless you are about that “life”.