First-Time Buyer Guide: What $200K Buys You in Brooklyn, Manhattan or Queens

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    What does $200,000 buy in Brooklyn vs. elsewhere in New York City? That’s a typical price for a starter home for first-time buyers in expensive metro areas such as Brooklyn.

    In the $200,000-and-under category, we found the widest selection in Queens, and the smallest in Manhattan. Our search did not include the Bronx or Staten Island.

    Monthly Outlay
    With 20 percent down, the mortgage payment would be under $1,000 a month. Co-op maintenance or condo common charges plus taxes and insurance will push the monthly outlay higher — perhaps by about $300 to $900, depending on the home.

    One buyer with a New York City median income of $50,711 would qualify for the mortgage. Two buyers earning the median would make the total outlay — typically about $1,500 to $1,900 — easier to manage. A single buyer with an income over $80,000 a year could also afford a $200,000 home.

    The monthly cost would be lower than rents in prime areas, and the mortgage interest deduction also helps shave a little off the cost, come tax time.

    Manhattan Transfers
    The Manhattan listings, though there were only 21, were enticing. Many were large, in attractive circa-1900 buildings with original details, and very low prices.

    But there’s a catch. Nearly all were HDFC, or Housing Development Fund Corporation, income-restricted co-ops requiring all-cash buys (no mortgage financing). The affordable housing co-ops are formerly city-owned buildings.

    A listing for a sounds-too-good-to-be-true studio on the Upper East Side, with no income restrictions (not an HDFC co-op), noted the building has “lost ground lease.” That could mean it won’t be standing for much longer.

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    420 West 206th Street #3B
    Inwood
    Price: $199,000
    Broker: Citi Habitats
    Photos by Citi Habitats

    This one-bedroom in a prewar elevator building features arched doorways, beamed ceilings and parquet floors. It’s 850 square feet and has a dining room. The co-op requires only 10 percent down and the maintenance is $778 a month. Listed by Christopher Butt of Citi Habitats, it’s already in contract.

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    The Queens Way
    The Queens apartments tended to be in post–World II buildings near major thoroughfares. Our search returned 446 listings for homes priced under $200,000.

    Many were one-bedrooms in Jamaica and Flushing. There were also a smattering of options in College Point, Jackson Heights and Forest Hills.

    The vast majority were in high-rises built in the mid to late 20th century.

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    199-58 21st Avenue
    Whitestone
    Price: $189,000
    Broker: Century Homes Realty Group
    Photos by Century Homes Realty Group

    This co-op building, Clearview Gardens, was built in 1950, according to the listing. The one-bedroom apartment measures 750 square feet and has a dishwasher. The listing agent is Dan Dan Tian. The listing does not give the maintenance or down payment requirement.

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    Back in Brooklyn
    There were more prewar options in Brooklyn. Our search for homes under $200,000 returned 60 results.

    These included a prewar studio in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, a studio in Bay Ridge, a one-bedroom in East Flatbush and a two-bedroom in Flatlands.

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    Exterior photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

    3510 Avenue H #5J
    East Flatbush
    Price: $175,000
    Broker: Charles Rutenberg
    Photos by Charles Rutenberg

    This postwar co-op elevator building, called Mansfield Gardens, is in East Flatbush and not far from Brooklyn College and Target. There are 90 apartments and six floors. The maintenance is $533 a month, and the building requires a down payment of 10 percent. The agent with the listing is Rhonda Holt.

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

    Affordable NYC Apartments for Sale for First Time Home Buyers

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