Would You Rather?

Is it worth downsizing from your rental just to be able to buy an NYC apartment?

By Lambeth Hochwald  | April 3, 2017 - 1:45PM

It’s one of the biggest conundrums for New Yorkers: Is it better to buy a small (and affordable) apartment or rent a big one? After all, experts say it’s harder to unload a studio than a larger apartment and, for many of us, it’s a drag to live in a shoebox.

Then again, to buy is to invest in this city we all love so much and some say it’s a better move tax-wise to own versus rent. So which appeals most? We asked five New Yorkers to weigh in:

I’ll buy outside of the city Being an "I want it all" kind of girl, I'd prefer to rent a comfortably sized apartment in NYC and use the money I'd have to spend on buying a small apartment in the city to buy a larger place elsewhere, either as an investment or a weekend destination. —Shelley, Upper East Side

Attachments are overrated I would rather rent a large apartment rather than buy a small one as there is some great literature out there about the downside of owning property. Also, as someone who is a bit averse to attaching myself to things, I actually find the idea of renting liberating. I'm not tied to one location forever. Also, if I want to host friends for an evening or family for a week, I'd rather have a large apartment to do it in. When I die I'm not going to miss the money that went to rent, I'm going to cherish the memories made in my big-ass apartment! —Phillip, Lower East Side (pictured below)

Small is working for us My boyfriend and I currently rent a studio on the Upper West Side and we’ve made it a year without biting each other’s heads off, so I’d rather buy a small apartment. Then I wouldn’t feel so bad about throwing all that money away every month and could paint the walls a more soothing color that’s not the current poop brown shade. —Katelyn, Upper West Side

Living in the short term I would rather rent a large apartment, because I’m a millennial and consistently opt for short-term satisfaction over long-term stability. —Jamie, East Village

Large works for me I would 100 percent prefer to rent a large apartment. I can’t bear the thought of owning anything more expensive than my MTA monthly pass. —Kylie, Fort Greene

Verdict:  Go big and go home to your spacious apartment!


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.