Q: I am told that rents are still very low, and I should rent instead of buying. Is this true?
A: While rents are slightly lower than they were pre-pandemic, consider that unless you’re in a rent-stabilized apartment, when you renew your lease, if the rental market has improved, the landlord will likely raise your rent to market price.
Couple that with the fact that prices have not fully recovered on sales, and this might be the ideal time to become a homeowner. Of course, if you are planning to move in a short period—say one to three years—then I would recommend a rental.
Q: Someone mentioned that as an owner, I can get a rebate from the government. What is this about, and does it also apply to a coop owner?
A: STAR is the School Tax Relief Program put in place by New York State as a rebate for homeowners. And yes, it does apply to cooperative and condominium owners as well.
In order to benefit from this, the unit must be your primary residence. You are required to fill out an application form and submit it to the NY State Tax Authority.
There is also an enhanced STAR rebate for those over 65 whose income is below $90,500. Note that you can only benefit from one STAR rebate regardless of how many properties you own, and there are some restrictions. Visit www.tax.ny.gov to learn more.
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