Sales Market

Buy, rent, sublet, live-in nanny, or leave?

By Emmalie Vance  | June 4, 2012 - 10:18AM

I originally moved to NYC for a magazine internship, but now that it’s over and my sublet will be over in a matter of months, I need to start thinking about my next move.

I essentially have five options: buy a cheap apartment and make monthly payments on a 7-year mortgage, rent a cheap place by myself, commit to another sublet situation, explore the possibility of becoming a live-in nanny with rent covered, or move away.

Obviously I want to stay, but I need to figure out the most cost-effective way to do so.


I am 23 years old, and as much as I love looking at real estate, I have never once looked at a place and truly considered buying. At this point, it is beginning to seem like a viable option, but there has to be more to it than I think.

I pay almost $1,000 a month to share a studio apartment, so what’s a few hundred dollars a month extra on the road to permanently owning my own place? Realistically, though, with a downpayment, monthly fees, taxes, and other assorted fees, I see my monthly costs soaring through the roof and way out of reach.


I know most city-dwellers are renters. It offers flexibility (a good thing), a short commitment (another good thing), and you can always look for a roommate to split the cost (again, really good). 

One of the big problems I see with renting, though, is that unless I can afford a more expensive building, I'll run the risk of infestations, bad upkeep, and poor communication with the building super. So it begs the question that if you’re planning on paying through the nose to rent, why not pay through the nose to buy? (See: Buy)


This is my current situation, and I only have a few complaints, as faithful readers know. But the major ones are a total lack of permanence (and stability) and a high price.

Once my sub-lease is up for my current apartment, I could only hope to find as nice a place and as amazing a roommate, but I don’t know how much longer my luck will hold out.

Live-in nanny

Though I'm toying with this idea, like the others before it, there are potential pitfalls.

The plus side would be a free place to live, food, and a weekly income (plus, I love kids). The downside is that I am continuing to search for a job within my desired field, and if I nanny, I won't be able to make a commitment if a job came my way.

I also couldn't back out of a live-in nanny job, since that would require a quick relocation. This would have to be a long-term commitment, and I am not prepared to do that right now.


This is a possibility only because of everything I’ve already discussed above.

There are pros and cons to every situation, but as I struggle to figure things out, my fallback is a swift relocation back in with my fiancé in Ohio. But I don’t want to go back. I want him to come to me so we can live here together -- happily ever after (if a little cramped).


Emmalie Vance is a New York newbie who grew up on a hay farm in western New York. In the From Farm to City series, she is chronicling her real estate adventures here in the big city.

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Rental Rookie: Finding my Next NYC apartment

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Rental Rookie: I lay eyes on my apartment for the first time

Rental Rookie: I rent my first NYC apartment from 3,000 miles away



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